Performer of the Week: Billie Piper

Billie Piper Performance

THE PERFORMER | Billie Piper

THE SHOW | Penny Dreadful

THE EPISODE | “Memento Mori” (June 21)

THE PERFORMANCE | Seething with jealousy after spying his betrothed out painting the town with pretty boy Dorian, the Creature intended to demand that his fiancée behave like his fiancée. But when push came to shove, it wasn’t the green-eyed monster who did the shoving but Lily. Careening from fluttery fear to blistering cruelty to righteous outrage, the erstwhile Brona at last exposed her true nature — and her awareness of it — to “Mr. Clare.” And her portrayer? Lord almighty, Piper spat out series creator John Logan’s brutal monologue with such power, such passion, that we were left as shell-shocked as the Creature. Seriously — damn!

Even more impressive than the ferocity of Piper’s performance was the absolute control she displayed. Though Lily’s diatribe against the indignities of Victorian womanhood called for the actress to veer from one emotion to the next at breakneck speed, she made the transitions seem as organic as the movements of a dance. So, suffice it to say, by the time the would-be bride of Frankenstein suggested that she and her fellow “corpse” show Victor exactly what kind of monsters he’d created — and kill their maker! — Piper already had slain us. She doesn’t just deserve an Emmy nod, she deserves a bloody altar! (Screen grab via Gamers Sphere)

unnamedHONORABLE MENTIONS | We dare you to watch the British rom-com Catastrophe on Amazon and not be won over by its stars (and creators/writers), Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney. Just minutes into the witty premiere, it’s obvious why their characters would embark on a week-long tryst with each other (that ends in a surprise pregnancy). Delaney transcends TV’s Perfect Man trope by infusing his visiting American ad exec alter ego with a playful sense of humor and distinct personality. Meanwhile, Horgan’s confidence and charm is so contagious, we’re almost jealous of Rob for snagging her. “Aren’t you supposed to fall in love first?” Sharon asks Rob when he suggests they get married. Oh, we’ve fallen hard.

HONORABLE MENTION | In a POTW-JoeMortonperfect union of real-world issues and pop culture persona, Joe Morton during a visit to The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore orated loudly on the Confederate Flag kerfuffle — as channeled through Scandal’s Papa Pope. To open, “Eli” cribbed from a Shondalogue, saying, “It’s always summertime and the livin’ is easy” for the “proud, Southern white boy.” But then he acutely tailored his message, while never dropping the Pope of it all. “I am a black man. I have… scraped for every inch of dirt I walk on; you cried yourself to sleep ‘cause Lincoln hurt your feelings!” he scoffed. “You think you love this country [but] what you love is the satisfaction that mess brings when people feel they need to give that flag some credence…. You. Are. A. Bigot.” Even Olivia would be proud.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments! 

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Becca Porter says:

    When I saw that scene, I knew it would be here. Awesome.

  2. Tim says:

    Yes, Billie finally got an episode to shine

  3. Jim says:

    Kudos for including Joe Morton. That spot was awesome! It doesn’t matter what role he’s in, Joe Morton is always worth the price of admission.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I do sort of hope that he was reading off of a prompter for that, because if Joe Morton can improv a speech like that, I think he may actually be Papa Pope, and we’re all in trouble.

      • Angela says:

        Haha, seriously, I was actually wondering about that myself!
        Whether he read from a prompter or not, though, being able to rattle that whole thing off without messing up was damn impressive. And the message in his speech was powerful, too.

        • Wordsmith says:

          Absolutely. The language and the delivery were spot-on for the character, and the content was amazingly well-observed and appropriate to the topic at hand.

  4. rebecca says:

    Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan created a fantastic show, Catastrophe is great. Cannot wait for more episodes.

  5. Grey's Fan says:

    No #OITNB nominees. :(

  6. Simon says:

    They finally gave Billie Piper some material after almost two seasons and boy did she deliver. I think Lily is now the most compelling character on PD

  7. abz says:

    Billie Piper was amazing in that scene. The whole episode was great even without Eva Green. I kind of wished they used her character to kill off the creature/John Clare. Really don’t like that character.

  8. TheDus2009 says:

    and yet another week with not even a mention for kathleen robertson in murder in the first. c’mon guys!

  9. Temperance says:

    Penny Dreadful has been my favorite show on TV soice the first episode, and it’s only gptten better. It’s like (in the best way) an acting competition amongst the gifted. And in this case, the ladies are in the lead of a glorious pack.

  10. specialka says:

    She’s incredible in every show she does! Loved her transition to Brona’s accent.

  11. LAwoman says:

    Billie Piper killed that! I can’t wait to see what Lily does next. Watch out, Doctor.

  12. B says:

    I was blown away , I don’t rate the Emmys at all and to prove it Piper will not get the nod she deserves

  13. Ali says:

    I can’t stand Billie Piper and have never seen the appeal, but damn, that scene was fierce and she deserves every bit of praise she’s getting for it.

  14. Amy H says:

    Catastrophe is so much fun to watch. So glad it’s renewed for Season 2.

  15. Ann says:

    She left me speechless! She gave me goosebumps! Bravo honey! Bravo!

  16. Jason Malone says:

    I was so inspired by piper’s acting, that it inspired me to write erotic fiction about Shrek’s whore wife. This is the story I wrote:

    There was a young whore named Charlotte. She ran away from home as her family kicked her out. They were so embarrassed as their daughter had got raped my the family donkey when she had tried to wash him. Everyone found out about it and joked that she was pregnant with Satan’s child, so she ran away due to these circumstances. (It’s a nice word that, ‘circumstances’ isn’t it?)
    She wondered into a nearby town and walked past three blind mice with little sunglasses and little walking sticks. She then walked past a wolf dressed in a bed robe. She then walked past a donkey who spoke like Eddie Murphy.
    Suddenly she heard a rumbling from a nearby house. The door blew open. Within seconds she had been mounted by something that had flown through the door, but this thing was riding her like a professional rides a bucking bronco. She couldn’t breathe, then all of a sudden she fell to the ground, with this being still upon her. She started breathing again though. It was then, that the being that she had deduced to be a living body, spoke.
    ‘I am the whore wife of Shrek and I now own this young whore as my slave!’ At this point, Charlotte, the young whore, realised to her horror that Fiona, Shrek’s whore wife, was talking about her! Her sheer dismay at hearing this was cruely accompanied by the villagers’ applause. Even Pinocchio’s nose had grown longer! The wolf in the bed robe was also howling with joy, literally.
    Fiona would then make Charlotte clean her house completely naked. Fiona laughed and cackled like the dirty whore she was. Lying on her bed in an entracingly revealing gown, she would fan herself in the summer’s heat, whilst Charlotte, the young whore dusted in the maid’s outfit that Fiona had bought her.
    However Fiona tried to have sex Charlotte and she decided she didn’t like to be a lesbian, so she stuck with Shrek.

  17. sinister1nchains says:

    I was speechless! !!!
    Billie ‘s performance was flawless : )
    Handle yours girl !!!

  18. D. says:

    So very well deserved, I was in awe after such a brilliant performance. Too bad they waited two years to fully use the extraordinary talent of Billie Piper!