With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

The Real Star of Showtime’s New Series? L.A.’S Neglected Mexican and Chicano History

Segregation. Racism. Nazis infiltrating local government. Even for many Angelenos, the popular conception of city’s history leaves out its darkest aspects. With the next iteration of “Penny Dreadful,” creator and showrunner John Logan plans to change that.

“When you think about Los Angeles history, you think of Hollywood, and that’s not what Los Angeles is,” Logan says while walking through the series’ late-1930s, pachuco-era Los Angeles set, located at the historic Melody Ranch studios. “I’m an Angeleno. I live here, I love this city. I love the neighborhoods of this city and I love the history of the city — particularly because people don’t necessarily know it.”

The man behind the original “Penny Dreadful,” which ran for three seasons and drew on famed figures from Gothic literature, has now taken an oft-forgotten piece of history, added the supernatural and the culturally specific iconography of Santa Muerte, and produced Showtime’s spinoff “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels,” which premieres Sunday.

Logan wanted to tell a story that “had to do with where we are now in 2020 and the seismic change that happened the world in the last five years,” he says. “All the assumptions I had made about liberal humanism, compassion and the democratic process were being circumvented everywhere and the marching cry of so much of this was anti-immigrant, and in America, particularly, anti-Latino and anti-Mexican.

Read entire article at LA Times