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Carnival Row

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Johnny Angell, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Has anyone caught the trailers for this new Series on Amazon? They have gotten my attention. Apparently the premise is that fantasy creatures like fairies and others aren’t fantasy after all. They’ve fallen on hard circumstances and have congregated into a slum called Carnival Row, located in London, I think.

    This is the dark side of fantasy, which itself is not new. It reminds me a bit of the premise of District 9 or Alien Nation. From the previews, it appears to be very well done and I am looking forward to catching it on Labor Day weekend.
     
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  2. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Watched the first episode of this last night and I liked it. I think it has beautiful production and costume design, an interesting cast of characters, and rich world building in terms of back stories for characters and societies. It's part fantasy, part steampunk, part murder mystery, part just thought-provoking stuff. A little complicated with all of that, but I'm planning to watch the second episode tonight.
     
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  3. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Finished this 8-episode show today, and here's my short review....

    Part fantasy, part steampunk, and part murder mystery—all of that and much more is rolled into this dramatic and beautifully produced show. The production designs and costume designs are a delicious feast for the eyes, and every one of the actors delivers a strong and nuanced performance (and for me this is Orlando Bloom's finest role). But what holds it all together is the writing by René Echevarria (who wrote for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, etc), as well as the other writers for this series. The writing combined with the visuals, cinematography, editing, and the performances creates some magical moments of emotion.

    I hope Amazon renews this show. I love it.
     
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  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I'll definitely be giving it a watch. I seem to be a sucker for anything Steampunk.
     
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  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Started watching this yesterday, stuck home with a stomach bug. Despite being in a state of absolute physical misery, and despite frequent pauses to use the bathroom, this one sucked me in completely. Five episodes in currently.

    First and foremost, how wonderful to have René Echevarria creating another show. He's always been a master world builder, and this time around he has a like-minded collaborator in Travis Beacham and the budget of one of American's most powerful companies behind his effort.

    This is a world that resonates with ours, but is not ours. The obvious difference is the flood of otherworldly refugees from the distant isles of Fae, primarily the tall slender winged Pixies and satyr-like Pucks.

    But the lands of man are also different a steampunk mashup of various eras of Western development, with a feel that borrows from Victorian and Edwardian London but twists the technology in alternative ways. The public transit operates on raised tracks like monorails instead of underground. Phonographs never made the transition to vinyl discs. Electricity exists, but it has not yet transformed a world built to be lit by gas. In places where you would expect to see crosses and crucifixes, you instead see idols of a hanged man, the blessed martyr.

    The central setting for the show is the Burgue, which seems to exist in the same physical location as London, but is otherwise an entirely different city. The Burge maybe the capital of a large nation known as the Republic of the Burge, or it might be a city-state so that the republic is the city. It's governed in a parliamentary system in which the Chancellor is the head of government. The Burgue was previously a monarchy, but that monarchy was at some point overthrown, disbanded, or conquered.

    The cause of the refugee crisis was the Burge's sudden withdrawal from the war with the Pact in Fae lands. Glances of the Pact in the first five episodes are few; in the series premiere, they appear to be human from a culture evocative of Russian culture in the same way that the Burge is evocative of English culture. The Pact appear to have more advanced technology than the Burge, with zeppelins and machine guns. The Fae creatures divided their loyalties between the two warring armies. Life is hell in the fae lands for those who sided with the Burge.

    The central love story has enough meat on its bones to sustain my interest. Bloom and Delevingne have real chemistry together, and the show sparks every time they're on screen together.

    The subplot with the mystery Bloom's character is solving is probably the least interesting point so far. I'm reminded of "The Alienist", which also approached crime solving in an archaic period setting. What helps in this case is the the inspector's growing personal involvement in the cases, and the possibility for the supernatural to turn up in unexpected ways.
     
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