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Carnivale: The Complete First Two Seasons
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Set during the 1934 dustbowl we first meet the ragtag members of the Carnivale as they pass through Oklahoma. Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) mother has just died. His home is about to be bulldozed and the dust storms that struck the midwest rage incessantly. Jonesy (Tim DeKay)the head roustabout stands up to those about to destroy Hawkins home and helps him bury his mom as do the other members of the carnival. Suddenly their family whether Hawkins likes it or not.
It seems Hawkins has the ability to heal others and perform miracles. He's a lost soul in denial of his abilities and focused on discovering who he is. Across the U.S. in California Preacher Brother Justin Crowe (Clancy Brown "The Shawshank Redemption" and Mr. Crabs in "Spongebobsquarepants")discovers he has a similar gift but through circumstances beyond his control this fire and brimstone preacher who wants to do good loses his faith in God and finds himself on a very different path from the uncommunicative, uncertain Hawkins. The two men are linked both by their abilities and a series of dreams. "Carnivale" gives us their stories as they discover whether they are good or evil and find a place in the world for who they are as well as who they become.
Featuring an excellent cast (Michael J.Read more ›
HBO seems to thrive on super violent material that is laced with meaningless four letter words. The actors on _The Sopranos_ certainly have a payroll that out does the production costs of Carnivale yet maybe there is no room even on cable for works of complexity that demand that viewers think.
So buy it and yes, HBO owns it and will profit - but just this one last time. They abused their trust and far be it from me to ever again add to their coffers.
A very well made series! But why didn't HBO keep going with it????
The most strikingly thing about CARNIVALE is how the cast is a pitch-perfect mix of character actors, unknowns and modestly famous celebs. Anytime you see Clancy Brown AND Amy Madigan AND Patrick Bauchau in the same cast credits, you know it will be good! Cynthia Ettinger is flawless as the world-weary stripper/prostitute who falls painfully in love with Tim McKay's heroic Jonesy. Nick Stahl and Clea DuVall are both outstanding as young characters already damaged by Depression-era lives and relentless bad luck. Michael J. Anderson deftly plays the leader of the troupe as he walks a tightrope between deception and power.
Show creator Daniel Knauf apparently struggled for years to make it as a teleplay writer and then when the first season of CARNIVALE was completed had to struggle again to convince HBO to make the second season. Knauf currently writes for SPARTACUS BLOOD & SAND.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA creator Ronald D. Moore was an exec producer on the first season of CARNIVALE and he has said he was very sad when it was canceled after two seasons.
The set and costume design (which won several Emmys and was nominated for at least a dozen) is flawless. You can almost feel the dust and dirt on your face in several scenes. The economic and cultural desperation resonates in the show as we watch victims of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl wander across a sun-blasted American West in search of any sort of salvation.
Watch CARNIVALE and be amazed.
When they finally arrived at my house I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. Ripping the plastic cover off season 1, I placed the first cd into my dvd player and began to workout. For me the best time to watch TV shows was during a good bike ride. The initial opening sequence was gripping and my bike ride soon became of secondary importance.
Two days later I had watched both seasons and I did not want to leave the world of Carnivale. Watching how Daniel Knauf intertwined the two stories of Ben Hawkins (good) and Brother Justin Crowe (evil) was fascinating. But what was even more intriguing was the constant struggle between good and evil. Although this was a "basic" struggle, what Mr. Knauf succeeded in doing was showing how both characters were corrupted by their surroundings and the events that took place. Both characters were prisoners of Mr. Knauf's story and as such, were destined to become enemies. These characters were very real and at times I found myself immersed in their stories. Call me crazy, but I felt as if I were living in the world of Carnivale. That is how good this series is and why I recommend it to everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed both of the seasons one and two. I just wonder if there is a season 3./ I would love for it to go on. Very good.Published 5 months ago by mom of five
Here's the deal, this series was pretty cool with some pretty fresh writing. Now here's the problem, it is very plot based and they ended it after season 2... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark
My husband and I loved the series and we were sorry to see that it was not going to on any longer. We decided to buy what they had. Sorry to see it end.Published 9 months ago by Margaret
Carnivale is amazing. Yes, it's a bummer that it was cancelled, but at least we got these 2 seasons. The acting, writing, setting, etc. are all unique and fascinating. Read morePublished 10 months ago by David G
I'd never heard of this series until I discovered Tim DeKay on White Collar. It's not really my kind of show but Tim is really good in it and some of it was really good. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nanci Casad
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