TV Review: Carnival Row (2019- )

Original Run: August 30th, 2019 – current
Created by: Rene Echevarria, Travis Beacham
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Based on: A Killing On Carnival Row by Travis Beacham
Music by: Nathan Barr
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Simon McBurney, Tamzin Merchant, David Gyasi, Andrew Gower, Karla Crome, Arty Froushan, Indira Varma, Jared Harris, Alice Krige

Siesta Productions, Legendary Television, Amazon Studios, 8 Episodes (so far), 5-67 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

It took a few episodes for this show to kind of hit any sort of stride. Around episode three or so, I thought I would like it, as it was coming together in an interesting way.

However, I couldn’t finish the first season and it was only eight episodes.

The problem with this show is not that it deals with political and social issues, it’s that it bashes you in the face with them, again and again. It’s so heavy-handed that I don’t even know how it can physically lift its arms to hit its audience and clobber them with narratives and tropes that feel extremely outdated and tired.

That being said, the acting is pretty damn good and this is a really good looking show in regards to its atmosphere, special effects and its rich world. But all that is destroyed by its predictable and tiresome agenda.

Carnival Row is a show that thinks its audience is stupid. It thinks it needs to spell everything out for you constantly because you’re not smart enough to connect dots and understand metaphors. It has to hold your hand like you’re an idiot toddler and drag you through its woke muck.

This feels like it was written by first year film school students with an axe to grind but their professor was too scared to tell them that they’re making trash because college kids today will just get them fired with a hashtag whether or not there is actually just cause in doing so.

Color me disappointed. I saw the trailer, thought this looked really interesting and I was on a high after Amazon Studios just gave us The Boys. Also, I like Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne and Jared Harris. But they aren’t able to make this even remotely palatable in its full form.

Rating: 4/10
Pairs well with: other modern fantasy television, none of which I’m crazy about.

One thought on “TV Review: Carnival Row (2019- )

  1. I really wish this had been better. The concept was solid enough and no one had really done a dark Steampunk fantasy show. The real problem is that Orlando Bloom has all the personality and charisma of a dial tone. He drags down the dialog of every scene he is in. Which since he is the star is most of them. It’s the same fate that Netflix “Iron Fist” suffered from.

    Like

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