Lately, I have been all over the place with TV shows. I find it hard to decide what to watch or get into. It has consisted of throwing on the usual items… The Office, Family Guy, or at times Deadliest Catch (if I’m feeling adventurous). But, the past few days I have binge-watched the first three episodes of Epix’s original (in association with DC Comics), Pennyworth. I dove in to this show for one simple reason… I needed something new to watch, and those re-run shows I’m used to were no longer cutting it. But, beyond that… I really didn’t know that much about Alfred Pennyworth’s origin story: where he came from, his morals, his family, and how he ended up being the ultimate guardian to the Dark Knight Bruce Wayne.
The show is very young and spotted for one season as of now. One of the things I like about the episodes is that they are almost like a mini-movie, with a much larger picture following from episode to episode. Each one is about 55 minutes of straight uninterrupted screen time of the London born bad-ass butler and his mates. During the war they were right beside him; that bond has carried over to civilian life. Throughout his 10-year military career, Young Pennyworth (who joined the British armed forces at the age of 16) rose through the ranks and was part of the British SAS Special Forces. The show doesn’t talk a whole lot about his time in the armed forces… other than flashbacks to him and others during his trench time in World War II. From those flashbacks we can gather that the young man was a natural leader and someone that had military smarts, and just sheer intuition.
After his time in the armed forces, he started a security consulting business with his war-mates where eventually he crossed paths with the infamous Thomas Wayne. We don’t really know yet where Pennyworth and Wayne’s relationship is going, but we are given hints that Wayne is also working for some secret society. Obviously, we know that they will eventually be working with each other. The thing with this relationship that has me paying close attention is some sort of foreshadowing referencing Batman. A true foreshadowing to batman would be in how Alfred, at a young age, goes about his business. He does not want to kill anyone and he has the best of intentions. We see those same characteristics within Bruce Wayne’s Batman and without his true childhood father, we can assume that Alfred has effectively conveyed those morals.
The show, visually speaking, is fantastic. The scene is set well for the roaring 1950’s and 1960’s. The night life that Alfred is a part of is period accurate. Full of scandalous dancers, mob-like villains, jazz and high-class brass music… you will also find every man wearing a three piece suit, and every woman in a beautiful dress and short heals. The trio of Pennyworth Security spend their time in multiple pubs drinking dark ales and scotch; all while they plan their next job or figure out how to get in the good graces with the Ripper family (who runs much of the district they live in). I have only been able to watch the first three episodes… so not a lot of content is available yet… but for the episodes that have aired, I do thoroughly enjoy the show and its premise. In order to get hooked on a show, there needs to be some sort of “grabber” or foreshadowing that is evident, to keep you returning the following week. It’s almost like there needs to be an everlasting cliff hanger at the end of each episode. Pennyworth does a great job at keeping me hooked and wanting to pick up the next episode right away.
With grabbers in all different aspects of the show, it’s certainly intriguing. For example, the lack of love between him and his father, or with his troubling girlfriend (who might love him for the wrong reasons), or his best friend Dave Boy (a complete wild card stricken with PTSD), and of course Thomas Wayne, (and how that relationship fluctuates so drastically). Whatever it is that grabs you within the show just know that those feelings will remain as the series continues.
If you’d like to tune in to the newest episodes, Pennyworth comes on Sundays at 9/8c on Epix!