If you have seen a pop culture depiction of Dionysus, odds are he was wine drunk at a party. The “drunk bro” aspect of Dionysus is the most easily portrayed and recognizable, and arguably the least exciting. Here are three more depictions of Dionysus that I find much more palatable.
TV SHOW: LOST GIRL
STARRING DIONYSUS AS ROMAN
For anyone who knows anything at all about fae lore, this show is painfully inaccurate. That being said, I absolutely love it. In season 3 episode 5, they introduced Roman, a “Bacchus” type fae who uses his Thyrsa to induce sexual desire and also as a blasty-sort of weapon. Roman lives for pleasure, specifically sex. He was pretty one dimensional, though I wouldn’t expect more from a single-episode character. I just really like the idea of his sex club. (Minus the goopified humans).
TV SHOW: THE MAGICIANS
STARRING BACCHUS AS BACCHUS (MORE OR LESS)
This will not be the last you hear from me about this show. I don’t want to spoil it, just please do yourself a favor and watch it. Again, this is a one off character. He is peak Bacchus as interpreted by the modern age- frat bro who keeps the shots coming, bounces from house party to house party, and kicks you out for being a buzzkill. His followers (and the main characters) connect with him via Instagram. He can’t be bothered with the minor issues of the mortal world- life is for the moment, and in this moment he would rather be faded.
COMIC: THE WICKED AND DIVINE
STARRING DIONYSUS AS AN EDM ARTIST
While Wiccked and Divine’s Dionysus definitely falls into the “Bacchus” category, in my opinion he is more well-rounded; there are nuances to his character that I find charming. His aspect of literal Madness is also brought up in this comic:
Introducing this edges towards some of His more complicated aspects that relate to the darkness of the mind, death and rebirth, and the razor-thin line between euphoria and inescapable madness.
For that reason, I am not surprised that pop culture media, and the general public, prefer to focus on Bacchus, a safer image of the Ecstatic God; the deeper levels of Dionysian understanding are much more earth shaking.