Carnivale 2 Seasons 2003

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Season 1
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(674) IMDb 7.7/10
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1. Milfay TV-MA CC

In the pilot episode of this one-hour drama series, 18-year-old Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) is taken in by a traveling carnival and begins to display mysterious powers. Meanwhile, a preacher begins to have a similar experience.

Runtime:
58 minutes
Original air date:
September 14, 2003

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Milfay [HD]

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Season 1
Available on Prime
  • Free with ads

    1. Milfay In the pilot episode of this one-hour drama series, 18-year-old Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) is taken in by a traveling carnival and begins to display mysterious powers. Meanwhile, a preacher begins to have a similar experience.

    TV-MA 58min September 14, 2003
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    2. After the Ball Is Over A practical joke leads Ben to a piece of the puzzle that is his past. Meanwhile, Brother Justin and his sister Iris are going through their own changes--including an effort to turn a Chinese brothel into a house of worship for migrants.

    TV-MA 57min September 21, 2003
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    3. Tipton When authorities of the poor town of Tipton refuse to let the carnival set up, Samson takes Jones's advice and reinvents the troupe as a religious revival show--with Ben as its headliner. Meanwhile, Brother Justin makes a promise to the migrants.

    TV-14 50min September 28, 2003
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    4. Black Blizzard On the road to Babylon (Texas), the carnies come face-to-face with nature's fury. Lured by clues about his past, Ben reluctantly follows Lodz into an abandoned house, where the seer tests Ben's powers.

    TV-MA 47min October 5, 2003
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    5. Babylon As Brother Justin tries to make sense of a major catastrophe, the carnival rolls into Babylon, a tapped-out silver-mining town with a luckless history--and few visible inhabitants.

    TV-MA 49min October 12, 2003
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    6. Pick a Number Thirsty for payback, the carnies get caught up in an obscure yet fascinating phenomenon known as 'Carnival Justice.' Ben's dark adventure ends, and Lodz is there to welcome him back. Meanwhile, Brother Justin ends up wandering in the wilderness.

    TV-MA 57min October 19, 2003
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    7. The River While Brother Justin rediscovers his 'birthright' on the banks of a river, his sister Iris gets some unexpected support from a radio reporter. At the carnival, Rita Sue and Stumpy argue over their family's future; and Ben and Ruthie hunt for snakes.

    TV-14 52min October 26, 2003
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    8. Lonnigan, Texas Samson sends Ben on a road trip to enlist a new attraction, where he encounters a rival. Sofie debates whether to defy her mother and join Libby on the bally; and Lodz and Samson have a falling out over Ben's errand.

    TV-14 58min November 2, 2003
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    9. Insomnia Ben tries to stave off the torments of his dreams by staying awake, but the lack of sleep is taking its toll. Samson looks to drum up new business by resurrecting several tried-and-true scams; and Lodz's psychic act gets a jolt.

    TV-MA 46min November 9, 2003
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    10. Hot and Bothered Brother Justin returns to Mintern to chart out a new direction for his ministry. At the Carnivale, Samson's loss is Lodz's gain; Libby catches on to her mother's deception; and Sofie accuses Apollonia of 'breaking the rules.'

    TV-MA 53min November 16, 2003
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    11. Day of the Dead With Management's blessing, Lodz hatches a devious plan to 'reach' Ben. Sofie reads Stumpy's cards and doesn't like what she learns; and Ben learns that some wounds aren't easy to heal.

    TV-MA 55min November 23, 2003
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    12. The Day That Was the Day In the Season One finale, Ben faces a life-or-death crisis that prompts him to turn to Lodz for advice. Instead, he ends up meeting with Management for the first time. Meanwhile, Balthus and Brother Justin contemplate the former's 'greatest evil.'

    TV-MA 55min November 30, 2003

Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Rodrigo García
Supporting actors Adrienne Barbeau, Patrick Bauchau, Clancy Brown, Debra Christofferson, Tim DeKay, Clea DuVall, Cynthia Ettinger, John Fleck, Carla Gallo, Toby Huss, Amy Madigan, Diane Salinger, Karyne Steben, Sarah Steben, Brian Turk, Michael Massee, Amanda Aday, John Savage
Season year 2003
Network HBO
Executive Producer Gigi Coello-Bannon
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

327 of 347 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 19, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Carnivàle" is part of small but growing number of quality television shows that are committed to the sort of lengthy and complex story arc that was once the province of the mini-series. But shows like "Wiseguy" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the past and current offerings such as "24" and "Lost" have paved the way for television shows that emphasize the big picture rather than the more traditional episodic approach. As such, "Carnivàle" is most similar to "Lost," in that we are pretty sure we know what will happen at the end of the journey, but we have no idea how many seasons down the road that end game will be played out. Does creator Daniel Knauf ("Wolf Lake") have an ambitious five-year plan similar to what J. Michael Straczynski had in mind from the start for "Babylon 5"? We will have to wait and see.

With a show like "Carnivàle" it is easy (and fun) to play with various antecedents that explain the series in simple but readily understood terms. From the start I was thinking of the show as a cross between John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," Tod Browning's "Freaks," and Stephen King's "The Stand," all of which I consider to be classics in their respective genres. But there are other options as well (with Michael J. Anderson in the cast "Twin Peaks" becomes an obvious choice), which simply speaks to the potential of "Carnivàle" to resonate with its viewers.

The premise of the show is provided as the opening narration: "Before the beginning, after the great war between Heaven and Hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called man. And to each generation was born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. And great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between good and evil.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Berg on December 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In a short period of time, "Carnivale" has grown into my favorite television show. Structured like a dense, epic novel, the production values are sumptuous, the acting uniformly ingenious, and the central mysteries complex and involving. The series, ostensibly about the final battle between good and evil, as wonder gives way to reason, is so firmly rooted in a three-dimensional, realistic world with three-dimensional realistic characters that I would classify it as more magical realism than science-fiction or fantasy. The characters drive the plot, rather than the other way around, which is a difficult feat to accomplish in such a complex narrative that includes shadowy symbolism and prophetic dreams. There have been complaints that the first season did not wrap up any loose ends, but why should it? Season 1 is but the prologue to this novel-for-television, and narratives are never concluded in the prologue. Be forewarned, though, if you are looking for a television show that does not tax your intellectual muscles and does not ask you to do some work to understand it, this is not the show for you. If, on the the other hand, you are looking for a show that is fascinating, multi-layered (the symbolism alone could be discussed for hours), and intellectually stimulating, with fantastical situations that still manages to maintain a strong verisimilitude of character and the time period in which it occurs (1934, the Great Depression, in the Dust Bowl), I would urge you to watch this DVD set immediately, so you can be caught up for the second season, which premieres January 9th. The video quality of this DVD set, by the way, is among the finest I have ever seen. I would rank it up there with "The Lord of the Rings" Extended Edition sets for a near-perfect picture.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By E. W. Mark on October 15, 2004
Format: DVD
Some may complain that "Carnivale" leaves too many loose ends. I would argue that these people are entirely missing the show's point. If you are the sort of person who likes things to be wrapped up all neat with a little bow, turn back now... Otherwise sit back, and let the pure magic of this show suck you in.

"Carnivale" has a plot that begs to be questioned, mysteries waiting to be theorized upon, and characters that you will truly love (or love to hate). It is a show you can discuss for hours on end. The joy of it is not discovering the answers through the plot itself, but by your own deduction.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on December 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Carnivale is a TV show that seemingly came out of nowhere and debuted on HBO in 2003. It depicts the struggle between good and evil, light vs. darkness and how they are forever intertwined. This battle takes place during the Depression with its focus on the inner workings of a traveling carnival.

Disc One features an audio commentary on "Milfay" by director Rodrigo Garcia, series creator Daniel Knauf and executive producer Howard Klein. This is a very informative track with all the participants making some good observations.

There is also an audio commentary on "After the Ball is Over" by director Jeremy Podeswa, Klein and Knauf. They talk about the casting of certain characters with people who looked like they came from that time period.

Disc Five features an audio commentary on "Hot and Bothered" by Podeswa, Klein and Knauf. They talk about the look of the show. One quickly gets the feeling that they started running out of things to say by this track judging by the lengthy lulls between comments.

The final disc has a Making Of featurette. Knauf felt that the inner workings of a carnival had never been dramatized before. The cast and crew talk about their characters and the themes of the show.

Ultimately, Carnivale poses a lot of questions. How did Ben and Justin get their powers and why them? How does Ben's fevered dreams of a man fighting in the bloody, dirty trenches of World War I figure in his past and that of the mysterious owner of the carnival whom we never see (and might not even be human)? By the end of the season there are precious few answers but some tantalizing clues that will hopefully be explored in more detail in the upcoming season.
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