Tuesday, July 23, 2019

DC’s Pennyworth: A Spoiler-Free Review of the Pilot

By SiddeeQah Love

“Pennyworth? Why does that name sound familiar? Is this another Kingsman thing?” Questions I asked myself as I prepared for a screening of EPIX new show, DC’s Pennyworth.

 As a self-titled Marvel girl, I often forget many aspects of the DC Universe I enjoyed much more as a child, however, this was something that I never knew. I assumed Alfred was a mononymous superbutler who assisted Batman. Maybe there was more to his story, but how can one explore Alfred while being distracted by the……Batman. My curiosity was immediately piqued when I read that Pennyworth was indeed not a Kingsman thing and in fact a show exploring the backstory of Alfred Pennyworth, who is definitely more than a “mononymous superbutler”. 

Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon, right) and Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge)
in a suspenseful moment.

Pennyworth is an enjoyable show exuding the conservative charm of 1960’s London contrasting with the gritty city life of its inhabitants. Alfred Pennyworth, played J is a sexy, well-mannered guy with a youthful face equipped with the badass qualities of a former special-forces officer. We see many layers of Pennyworth as each scene unfolds. We dive right into him transitioning from military life to being an everyday civilian. Though his friends and family doubt him, Alfred is determined to get his security business off the ground and leave behind a life of bouncing at a club in town. However, it’s this very club and a random yankee (who happens to be Thomas Wayne) that change the life of young Pennyworth. We discover a mystery involving an underground world of crime and witness the gripping love story between Alfred and his love interest. As these two worlds collide, our main character must think quickly as he is faced with an undeniable ultimatum. He fearlessly approaches every villainous character with battle expertise and unmatched intellect. 

Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) is a wicked and dark villain.

The pilot episode captures the essence of many DC storylines, steely and gripping, packed with action, suspense, and stirring moments. So while Pennyworth’s storyline is completely standalone, it is very familiar. We meet a hero who delivers on both brawn and brains with a love interest that leaves the damsel in distress trope behind. Hilarious supporting characters who break up the seriousness of the plot. What’s most familiar are our villains, akin to something you may find in Gotham: dark, twisted, and quirky with a powerful underground influence. Can you tell I like this show? I 10/10 recommend giving Pennyworth a watch, premiering on EPIX on July 28, 2019.


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