Sunday, October 24, 2010

Carnivale (2003 - 2005)

Carnivàle featured myriads of gripping stories and plot twists in every episode, fantastic multidimensional characters that you felt you knew and really cared for, breathtaking performances from outstanding actors, mesmerizing cinematography in an incredible universe, all blessed with a wondrous soundtrack.

There was magic in Carnivàle.

And there was dust.

Lot's of dust.

It was set in the 1930s dust-bowl, and followed the journey of a traveling Carnival. Strong-men, snake-women, contortionists, hustlers, pimps, healers and freaks were all on the carriage, trying to get along with each other and make a living.

The life of a carnie was not a clean one. Not in reality or on the show, and actors were frequently sent back to make-up during filming, to make them look more dirty. More ragged. More alive.

There was no glamor on Carnivàle. The people on this show looked real.

Although all the actors did a very good job, there was one who stood out, in the role of his career: Clancy Brown. Shepherding his flock as the priest of darkness, the guttural commandments of his voice will make your head shiver.

And it was simply the best thing to ever come on TV. There's nothing to compare it to, because it doesn't look like anything else.

The show was inevitably larger than itself, as it was canceled after 2 of 6 planned seasons.

Now, if the show was this great, then why was it canceled? The answer is nothing but infuriating: HBO (who produced the show) started to make another expensive show, Rome, and suddenly found they couldn't afford to finance both shows. Shortly after the cancellation of Carnivàle, the sets of Rome burned down, and that was canceled too.

Still, the legacy lives on amongst fanatical fans all over the world. It even inspired the creation of a real life, present day Carnivale.

Heck, I loved the show so much that I left town and joined a carnival on my own, and traveled with them for 5 weeks.



  1. I loved Carnivale, it was amazingly addictive, despite the fact I usually had no clue what was going on. I agree with your parise of Clancey Brown. Another interesting actor in the series was Patrick Bauchau as Lodz. one of his first roles was the lead in Eric Rohmer's "La Collectioneuse" in 1967...what a career!

  2. God... i love this series too.....

  3. Hehe, I just watched it for the 4th time. Still just as awesome!

  4. Tiger... have u seen the cantonese movie, "The Chungking Express" and "the Last supper"? I am the same guy who commented on the lawn dogs... heheheh

  5. Yep, seen and like them both, especially the first one.

  6. Ok... last one for the night before i go to snoozeland... what about le grand école...

  7. Nope, haven't even hear of that before. Will check it out. Thanks! =)