Monday, October 12, 2015

Octoberfest Five: 5 Fab Men of Current Horror TV

While there are a plethora of really interesting characters on Showtime's ode to Victorian horror literature, when pressed I would have to choose the mournful and melancholy - yet extremely dangerous - John Clare, a.k.a. The Creature (Rory Kinnear).  His torturous existence by the hands of Dr Frankenstein has brought him nothing but confusion, sadness, and hardship.  Fitting into the world when you are essentially a monster has not been easy for our Mr. Clare, but there have been wonderful "normal" moments, particularly when he ound a friend in Miss Ives, reciting poetry and commiserating together about the cards they have been dealt.  The clarity of his anguish is ever-present, which makes his character one of the most intriguing and magnetic on television today, regardless of genre.

Bennet Drake - RIPPER STREET
Ripper Street is the one show you're not watching, but should be.  Set just a year or so after the Jack the Ripper case, it surrounds detectives working the Whitechapel beat, trying to deal with the sordid and horrific memories of the Ripper while attempting to keep up with the current state of dismal life in Victorian London.  With impressive performances from its three male leads, it was tough to choose one to highlight. But I feel the layers of Detective Inspector Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) make him the most interesting character of the lot.  As a former street thug who boxed his way into paying his rent and was married to a former prostitute,  he was devastated when his wife died.  Hence he rededicated himself to his career and tries to be the voice of reason of the three partners.  But sometimes that fails him and he has to take matters into his own, rough hands.  Falling in love again has helped steer him back on track, and his promotion in H Division has finally found him peace. He really is one to watch.

I'd be remiss if I forgot Daryl, and though he seems like a really obvious choice, I have to give credit where credit is due.  Daryl somehow ended up being the heart of TWD.  Fans adore him, enough to threaten anarchy if he were to be killed off.  With his trusty crossbow on his back, Daryl started out being a nasty redneck unsure of whether or not he wanted to fall in with the group and stick together. But once his brother Merle is killed off by zombies, he starts to come out of his shell and becomes a vital member of the core assembly of misfits fighting the walking dead.  These last few seasons we have witnessed true emotion from Daryl, as he grew close to Beth and lost her, and his almost inevitable relationship with Carol unfolds.  Brutal when he has to be, mysterious when he needs to be, and dependable - always.  For me, it's true when they say "If Daryl dies, we riot!"

Norman Bates - BATES MOTEL
I simply can't believe how much this show has grown on me in the last few years.  Psycho is one of my favorite movies (sitting at #2 with me and going nowhere soon), and Norman Bates is my favorite character in horror, hands down, so to expect a lot from another series plucked from Robert Bloch's masterpiece novel is asking quite a bit.  But the casting in this show is sublime.  Freddy Highmore as Norman is a revelation.  At this point of the series, he has everything down - the straight-backed walk, the nervous laugh, the stuttering speech, the uptight and agitated personality...and now he is morphing right into Anthony Perkins, with the last few episodes being his best yet.  When he does things like peeking into one of the motel rooms as someone takes a shower, hanging out in the basement perfecting his taxidermy, or when he gets up and makes blueberry pancakes at the ass-crack of dawn - in his mother's housecoat...he is Norman personified.  And I can't wait to see what's next!!

Tate Langdon/Kit Walker/Kyle Spencer/Jimmy Darling/James March
It may be a secret, but I'm letting the cat out of the bag.  I love Evan Peters. From the first season with the show playing a tormented and eventually homicidal teenager to his most recent turn on the Freak Show incarnation as "lobster-hands" Jimmy Darling, he transforms himself into someone different. Someone who always seems to have a heart of gold.  Even when he shoots up his high school in Murder House, he is still able to find love with the young Violet Harmon and shows an affectionate, yet melancholy side to his persona.  It's hard not to fall for the young Peters, able to warp into totally diverse characters and charm his way into our hearts. Even though he is seemingly playing a version of a monster in each season, you can't take your eyes off him in every scene - he's magnetic.  I can't wait to see how all the colors of his personality shine in AHS: Hotel.

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