The 35 best TV performances of 2016 (and one worst)

With more scripted television programs in production than ever before, it follows that there are now a wider range of opportunities for television actors. Looking back at the performances that caught The A.V. Club’s eyes in 2016 confirms that hypothesis: While some of our favorite character actors found new facets of…

Tim Burton enters mashup mode with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

C+

The central setting of the new Tim Burton movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, is an abandoned orphanage, overgrown with vegetation and situated on the lonelier side of a small Welsh island. Except the building isn’t abandoned, not really. Behind its dilapidated walls, a makeshift family of superpowered…

Tim Burton’s quirky X-Men assemble in the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trailer

Tim Burton may finally have his own superhero franchise—albeit without the spandex—with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Based on the book by Ransom Riggs, the film follows a newcomer (Asa Butterfield) joining a home for extraordinary youths with gifts that make them different from the outside world.…

The women of Penny Dreadful rise up, but hit the glass ceiling

A

Nearly every episode of Penny Dreadful presents another opportunity to gush over Eva Green’s work as Vanessa Ives, and “Ebb Tide” is no exception. In doing so, however, we run the risk of overlooking some of the other fine performances by the regular cast. There’s no better time than now to show a little love for…

The pace accelerates on an eventful Penny Dreadful

B+

The Penny Dreadful regulars aren’t reunited quite yet, but they’re all present and accounted for in “No Beast So Fierce,” following two episodes that drilled down into the backstories of isolated characters. Considering how much time was devoted to laying out the particulars of Ethan’s dilemma last week, it’s a little…

In its third season premiere, Penny Dreadful expands its scope with impressive results

A-

October 6, 1892 is the date in question. That’s when Alfred Lord Tennyson shuffled off this mortal coil, and although the Poet Laureate’s demise mostly lurks in the background of Penny Dreadful’s terrific third season premiere, it does serve a purpose. For one thing, it grounds the increasingly otherworldly happenings…

Penny Dreadful pushes its premise into a fractured but beautiful third season

B

The elegant and the garish, the gothic and the grimy, have always been in productive but uneasy tension on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. The series, which brings together famed heroes and villains from turn-of-the-century horror fiction, takes a trick familiar to popular cable series—dressing up pulpy entertainment in…

Penny Dreadful: “And Hell Itself My Only Foe”

A-

Much of “And Hell Itself My Only Foe” serves as connective tissue between last week’s blockbuster and next week’s finale, yet it’s still a generally strong episode in what has turned out to be an outstanding sophomore season. As Vanessa and Ethan are wrapping up a loose end at the Cut-Wife’s cabin (it turns out that…