City Of Angels — 5 Ways The Spin-Off Is Better Than The Original (& 5 It’s Not)


Oftentimes, the original is better than the sequel or spinoff set up for the audience to view. Whether it be because of the fan base or the source material working more than the successor, the original series or film works better in most cases.

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There may be a case said for a spinoff inspired by the dark fantasy series Penny DreadfulPenny Dreadful: City Of Angels was only given one season against the previous series three seasons, where some of the show’s best episodes popped up. Yet, is it possible that this spinoff serious is superior to the original or vice versa?

10 Spin-Off: Unknown Mythos

Magda and Santa Muerte face off

Audiences are used to seeing monsters and demons on the big screen, to seeing the same old creatures pop up and wreak havoc in the film or series. Yet, despite having seen all the classic movie monsters over and over, there are still plenty of other myths that have yet to rise to the surface.

City Of Angels tackles such legends, with the likes of the patron saint of death in certain cultures alongside demons rising up and influencing certain figures that are done with lesser-known legends and myths.

9 Original: Longer Length

Penny Dreadful Season 3 poster

Perhaps this is a bit of a low blow to imply that one series is better than an0ther because it lasted longer. Penny Dreadful made it for three seasons, resulting in a total of 27 episodes whereas the spinoff in the course of one season, got 10.

It’s all in the storytelling. While the spinoff could’ve ended the first season open-ended, they instead tried to lead things into a new season, setting the stage for bigger things that never came whereas Penny Dreadful got to tell its story in full and gave audiences some of the shows best episodes.

8 Spin-Off: Different Setting

The Cast of penny dreadful city of angels

For one reason or another, most pieces of media that deal with monsters invading the real world almost always take place during the late 1800s or early 1900s. So few times does one actually see the monsters interacting with an almost real world.

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So when it was revealed that City Of Angels would have a 1930s setting, it was actually a welcome surprise to many. Seeing the supernatural invoked in a new kind of world was exactly what the audiences needed to see to get back into the monster mood.

7 Original: Familiar Setting

The cast of Penny Dreadful

Of course, it could be said that familiarity is the best course of action for a series to take. Instead of taking risks or going too far off the deep end, keeping the main story in the familiar while also taking steps into the unknown may be the best course of action.

While the first series does evoke the old fashioned and almost overused setting of the 1800s, it uses them in a way that can keep the typical setting in focus but allows for a new idea to form.

6 Spin-Off: Political Commentary

Marching in LA

Given that this is the modern world, there’s always the possibility of a show or movie having some kind of political commentary popping up. For City Of Angels, a series that is literally about the Hispanic population of 1930s LA and the rise of Nazis, this is more than true.

However, where a lot of series stumble with this, City Of Angels does a decent job of pulling it off, allowing for the series to have the political comments hit their mark and work in some decent ways.

5 Original: Spooks and Scares

Monster glowering in the dark

Now, when creating a show about vampires, witches, ghosts, ghouls, demons, and even the devil, it’s probably smart to include some truly scary moments along the way.

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This very well is one of the biggest reasons why City of Angels didn’t do as well as it should’ve, because unlike it’s predecessor, it lacked a decent amount of scares and spooks to keep the audience interested and on the edge of their seat throughout each episode. Instead of putting so much time into politics, the spinoff should’ve stuck to the scares although apparently they weren’t enough to give Penny Dreadful the title of the best scary TV show.

4 Spin-Off: Reality And Fiction Together

Tiago in front of cops

It’s always interesting to see something from a fictional world collide and even connect with reality. It adds the illusion that what’s happening in the series is actually real and happened, despite demons and monsters flying about every which way.

City of Angels does just this, taking the idea of the early beginnings of WWII and a few racial issues of the time and twisting them together with a demon’s villainous plot and supernatural ideas to give audiences the best of both worlds.

3 Original: Intriguing Story

The group in Penny Dreadful

Every series needs a hook, an idea that latches onto the viewers and draws them into the strange, bizarre world and gets them excited for things to come. In order to truly do that, each show needs an intriguing story to reel the audience in.

A witch, gunslinger, and monster hunter going after evils in Victorian London are probably as intriguing as one can get, with the idea of classic characters coming together and forming shaky alliances to take on greater evils getting the better of any dark fantasy fans even though some storylines were left unresolved.

2 Spin-Off: Monsters In Humanity

Nazi's marching

There’s an idea out there that the worst kinds of monsters aren’t the ones lurking in closets or hiding under beds. It’s the idea that monsters live inside everyone and are just waiting for the right chance to leap out and make themselves known.

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In more ways than one, the dark fantasy spin-off allows for these human monsters to develop and become known. Whether it be Nazis, certain characters, or even one of the main characters, the theme of monsters in us all makes itself known.

1 Original: Retellings Of Classic Characters

Vanessa and Dracula

Reimagining certain characters or reinventing them for a certain series is always a tricky endeavor. There’s always the off chance that something may go wrong, that the audience may react poorly. Then again, there’s always the option that things will work out.

From Victor Frankenstein to Dorian Grey, Dr. Jekyll, The Wolfman, The Creature, and one of TV’s best versions of Dracula, the classic monsters that many grew to knew and either love or hate are redone and reimagined in Penny Dreadful in a way that will leave many remembering it for ages to come, unlike some other forgotten horror TV shows.

NEXT: 10 Shows To Watch If You Like Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels


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Updated: December 1, 2020 — 11:00 pm

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