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Dare to be dreadful face your inner demons: about my latest tv crush

by Marlies Dekkers
I’ve told you before about my fascination with the leading ladies of today’s hit series. Now let me introduce you to my latest crush, Gothic sex goddess Vanessa Ives.

TV series Penny Dreadful (Showtime) has it all: vampires and werewolves, orgies and orchids, Dracula and Dorian Gray. But most importantly, it has the sexiest, most enigmatic heroine: the clairvoyant Vanessa Ives. Now it definitely helps that she is played by Eva Green, once described by Bernardo Bertolucci as ‘so beautiful it’s indecent’. I don’t think any other actress could have switched so masterfully between the two sides of the tortured Vanessa: the mysterious, composed lady and the posessed medium who has wild sex in alleyways with complete strangers.

Penny Dreadful takes place in 1891, in a so-called demimonde — a half world between reality and the supernatural- peopled by famous characters from Victorian horror literature like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Vanessa Ives has supernatural gifts, but what makes her so easy for me to identify with, are her inner demons. As Eva Green said in an interview: “What I really love about Vanessa is that she’s always at war with herself. She’s very flawed.”

To me, the way that Vanessa faces her inner demons head on is a glorious metaphor for how to deal with our own flaws: by sometimes embracing them or other times battling them, but always with total fierceness. Some examples of Vanessa’s inimitable style:

-When Josh Hartnett’s character tells Vanessa: “That sounds like a warning,” she replies: “It’s an invitation.”

-Vanessa in a letter to her friend Mina who has been lured away by vampires: “Your father loves you very much and would do anything to save you, but I love you in a different way. I love you enough to kill you.”

-When, during a date with Dorian Gray in a botanical garden, he asks her what a poisonous flower says to her, she replies: “Touch me with your finger, softly.”

Penny Dreadful will be back later this year for a second season. You can watch the preview here: http://www.sho.com/sho/penny-dreadful/home. In the mean time, I’m planning a HOT date in a botanical garden!

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