TV

Carnivale: Season 1

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Posted by Sulkyblue (29th Dec 2004, 20:08)

Not 100% certain this is sf, but it's probably close enough. The basic premise is that we're following a travelling freak show around in 1930's dust bowl US. We join them as they pick up a stranger who doesn't appear to be a freak but may well actually be the most 'different' of all of them. One of my favourite things about the series is that the characters are all flawed and by no means the most honest people on the planet, but they really are actually freaks - be that an actual bearded lady or a fortune teller who really can see the future. They are a spectacularly disfunctional and bizarre family, and they know and acknowledge it. Except none of it's acknowledged outloud. It's just the way things are. And the audience picks up on that as the new member of the group does so too.

The other story running throughout and almost entirely independantly I'm a bit less sure about. It follows a priest who seems to have some close connection with God, through visions and strange occurances. Without spoilering his character goes through a quite impressive journey over the course of the season and the whole thing seems to be a very large set-up for... well, I'm not sure what.

Ordinarily I wouldn't go into such ramblings about the plot and just tell you what I think, but I honestly don't think I know. I watched most of the 12 episodes of the season in a couple of days while off-sick and I don't actually know whether I liked it or not, beyond that I didn't want to stop watching. It was certainly beautifully shot and produced (as evidenced by an impressive haul of emmys and other awards) and the scripting and acting is superb. However I can't help feeling that the whole season is just one long scene setter for something much bigger, if it pays off then it's challenging and daring, but if it fails, I can't help thinking I'll look back on the season as a disappointment.

There. That's a pretty crap 'review' all things considered. Might be great, might be crap, make your own minds up. *shrug*


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