Arguably the 3 horror shows of the past few years that have the attributes of both popularity (although Hannibal was cancelled), acclaim and consistently good acting. Despite their differences, which series impacted you the most as a viewer and deserves the most praise?
American Horror Story is closer to the quality and acclaim as Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries than these rest two. I’ve only watched a few random episodes of Penny Dreadful when I saw it on TV but I liked the way it handles horror cliches with subtlety and cleverness. Something that AHS is incapable of. Hannibal was a great show. That is my number 1.
The Seance episode from Season One features one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen on television.
Although the show can get a little hokey at times, It more than makes up for it with quality acting (Eva Green, Helen McCrory, Simon Russell Beale, Patti Lupone in her guest starring role in Season 2), smart dialogue, great pacing and film quality direction. It’s the best thing currently airing on Showtime.
Hannibal was one of my favorite shows and in my mind set the standard for how to integrate the camp factor into modern television. The fact that it’s actors/visuals were never recognized is a shame.
I’ve never seen penny dreadful but I never made it through the actually dreadful AHS season 1…I can’t buy into Murphy’s particular brand of contrived plot and stunt casting
I don’t watch Hannibal, but down to the other two it is without a doubt Penny Dreadful. The show had a really good 1st season, but the 2nd season has risen to a whole other level. It perfectly blends literary characters that everyone knows with completely original creations to make totally surprising storylines. The acting, especially by the women (Eva Green and Billie Piper especially are giving some of the best performances on television, but theres also McCrory, Kinnear, and Hartnett doing great work) is all amazing. The writing is fucking incredible, it’s so poetic and and gothic and melodramatic but in a way that could not fit more perfectly with the tone and the characters while still being able to work in some amazing dark humor. The direction is gorgeous, down to the tiniest detail of production design and cinematography. There is one particular scene in the episode Memento Mori, and anyone who watched the show will know which scene I’m talking about, might be the single best scene I saw on television in 2015.
Meanwhile American Horror Story, at it’s best, features some great acting, clever storylines, and fun camp. And at it’s worst it features inconsistent characters, uninteligable and contrived storylines, self conscious writing and completely lost performances.
I think Hannibal is elevated above the other two on an artistic level, but the performances in Penny Dreadful and AHS (Asylum at least) more than match those in Hannibal so it makes it a good debate. H > PD >>> AHS if consistency is taken into account, but at their peaks it’s a tough call.