160 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Bout Darn Time"!!!
Season two of this amazing series saw a shift in gears as far as the direction of the show. Season one, while a masterpiece, suffered critical hits for taking too long to develop, and thus, perhaps lost some viewership. The not-so-well-kept secret is that time it took to craft the characters is exactly what true fans of the series enjoyed.
Some of the deep...
Published on May 16, 2006 by D. Ware
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in the end
We bought both seasons of "Carnivale" after missing its run on TV. We had heard many positive things about it and given the difference from the norm in plot, time frame (30s), and venue we enjoyed the first season so we bought the second. It was a well done as the first but it obviously begs for a continuation of the story. All the plot angles are left unresolved and...
Published on November 30, 2008 by F. J. Meriwether
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160 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Bout Darn Time"!!!,
Some of the deep mystery and magic is gone from the second season, in favor of moving the plot along, but series creator Dan Knauf was so adept at his craft that he never allowed the series to become ho-hum and typical like other network series that delve into fantasy and science fiction.
What ultimately killed this series was two-fold. 1. It lost viewers who didn't want to be bothered with trying to figure the mystery out instead of having it handed to them on a platter and 2. executives who lost their vision as to what the show stood for and didn't recognize the art for what it was.
This show has created a cult following matched by few others in it's genre. True fans who cry out for more while keeping the vision alive in our minds. Hopefully one day our wishes will be fulfilled, but until then we have memories and two excellant seasons to enjoy.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "When it comes to livin', dying is the easy part...",
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It's hard to describe such a show without giving too much away, but I will do my best. The first season left off with Ben Hawkins (an unlikely savior and healer) and Brother Justin (a man who once served religion has now found his place along darkness and an ultimate evil)finally realizing their path in life and knowing who they really are. Ben is scared and instructed by the mysterious Management on what he has to do in order to prevent the end of the world as we know it, but Ben is not so sure who is using him and who he can trust. Yet, he knows that the key to the final battle between good and evil is his father, Henry Scudder. The problem is that Brother Justin is also looking for Scudder, as he has some terrible, awful plans of his own for the world. These two are states away, but finally they will meet and the fate of the world ultimately depends on who ends up coming up on top. And that's only a part of the overwhelming and forceful epic that is known as "Carnivale."
The second season is much more darker and unsettling than the first, and it never slows down. As good as the first season was, the pace was very slow--but it had to be in order to set the pieces into place. A lot of things that didn't make sense in the first season will come to light in this one. The scenery, the look and feel of it all really cements this as a memorable and solid series that was quite possibly ahead of its time. Not only does this show rely on great and hypnotic writing, but also the actors who give it their all and bring their characters to life. With a show as complex as this, you have to have the writing and the characters, and this show has no problem delivering the goods on that front. The DVD contains all 12 episodes and some very cool "behind the scenes" features that are worth seeing, along with commentaries on selected episodes.
"Carnivale" is not a show for everybody. It's extremely dark, brutal and the themes can get pretty disturbing and unsettling, especially since it deals with the religous and spiritual world. If you are a fan of the first season, then this is a must-see, even if we may never get another season ever again. Sure, not everything will be answered, the last episode does leave us hanging, but all in all this season is very satisfying and is even more exciting and thrilling than the first. If you're looking for something you've never seen before, check it out. I'm just happy the second season has finally found a home. I just wished that such a great show had more of a chance. I don't think I'll ever see anything that will ever surpass this, and I believe I will think that way until my last breath. -Michael Crane
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After all this time! Thank you!,
Season Two answered a lot of these burning questions, it raised the stakes of the looming confrontation, it threw in some intriguing twists, and finally gave us an amazing pay-off at the end. The problem is, is that there is still so much more of the story that needs to be told and this fascinating saga is no where near completed.
One of the biggest mistakes HBO has ever made was to cancel this series in the heart of its story-telling. Since they've done that, I have done everything in my power to distance myself from their programming. How can the company expect a decent amount in DVD sales when the price they decide to charge is obscene? Most consumers immediately realize that they can take their $100 and turn around and buy a 24 episode season of some hit show, and at LEAST three full length feature movies for the same price. Especially in this world of pirated and downloadable media; it appears that HBO is rather naive and making some bad business decisions on bogus data.
Regardless of HBO, I will definitely be purchasing this long awaited Season Two of Carnivale on 7/18/2006 and preparing myself for another marathon of watching the enthralling saga play out one final time.
65 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring Back Carnivale!,
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOYCOTT HBO FOR CANCELLING THIS,
Despite the huge campaign, those same people have ignored the great hue and cry to resurrect the series. Much in the same mind frame as NBC executives in 1968 when Star Trek was cancelled. Personally, I cancelled my subscription to HBO and have never looked back. For anyone into Stephen King, see this and realize just how inadequate the "master" is when compared to a really great gothic horror series. Hopefully, another network will pick this up and allow the cast and crew to once again put some quality back on the small screen.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing...,
As the story unfolds, you get more and more excited. This is how I felt watching each show. Ben Hawkins is coming to grips with his power, at the same time the priest is rising to power. The clash between good and evil is about to come, and we're left guessing what's going to happen throughout the way. The story takes a turn towards the dark side. Hope seems to be a luxury few can afford, the Carnival itself is not doing well. What will happen in the end? Who is Management? Is it all forseen or can Ben pave the steps to his own future? These are some of the questions going through my mind as I watched the episodes and I am sure looking forward to watching this show again because I am sure there were things I missed the first time round.
Enough can't be said about the story. Bold, intelligent and creative would be some of the words I would use to describe it. The story never ceases to amaze me. It is so well crafted, episode after episode. Where Season 1 to me, was pretty slow to take off the ground...here it's full steam ahead. I was completely glued to the screen at all times. So cautious was I to NOT miss anything. I was really disappointed with the finale only because I heard this was the last season but it didn't have closure. I then found out that it was written for something like 4 seasons and HBO ended it for budget reasons. This was such a shame as I think the story would've developed to something really great, which is pretty rare in TV nowadays. The acting was superb across the board, no surprise there. And the music from Jeff Beal continues to dazzle me. I can safely say, quarter of this show's success can be attributed to the music. Ominous, calm, eerie...the music contributes real emotion to Carnivale.
In short, if you've watched the 1st season and loved it, I don't know why you're even reading this review. Buy it already! If you have not, buy Season 1 and 2. If you're looking for an unconventional, original story that unravels slowly and surely to become a masterpiece...look no further, you've found it.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why?,
Let's see, they cut off Carnivale after two seasons before it could be satisfactorily ended. Sure it had fans, just not enough. So to hell with those of us who loved Carnivale.
They cut off "Deadwood" after three seasons when David Milch was expecting to end it in four. Deadwood has fans too, but alas not enough, so they'll screw those of us who love "Deadwood" also.
"Rome" may never get a second season, and will therefore also be cut short, and who cares what we think? Certianly not HBO.
Why make these series? Why put the money and time and publicity into something and not follow through with it? Why must HBO constantly leave their subscribers hanging? The bottom line is that most of these original series is the best reason to subscribe. Everything else HBO offers is movies we've already seen, or rented.
If they can't commit to a series and decide at one point or another where they will end it BEFORE committing to it, then they are all in the wrong business. FOX is starting to put out some risky stuff, so are other networks-- networks that don't cost anything to watch. Smarten up HBO.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TV DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS,
Where do I start? To I mention the incredible writing of Daniel Knauf and his staff? The astonishing attention to detail paid to recreate the reality of the Depression and the Dust Bowl, in order that this story be more artfully rendered? Do I mention the sweeping, sense-rattling plotline- that travels like a slow-moving tornado throughout this season? Do I mention the shocking violence, startlingly imaginative imagery, red-hot sex and rollicking ol' time religion that animates these plots? Do I mention the almost unbearable tension of the apocalyptic struggle this series portrays, closely mirroring present day events? Do I mention the astonishingly gifted cast- including Nick Stahl, Clea Du Vall, Clancy Brown, Amy Madigan, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom DeKay and on and on ad infinitum. The worst actor on Carnivale is the equal of the best on any network show.
The cancellation of this show- even on a boutique channel like HBO- is a sad statement on America's cultural and intellectual decline. Our collective intelligence is being drained away, and it's perhaps because Carnivale all too correctly portrayed our national decline in metaphor that it was unpalatable to American Idol-loving couch potatoes. Carnivale defies categorization- it's a genre unto itself. It is passionate, provocative, confrontational and ultimately uplifting television. Scratch that- it's BETTER than television and freeing it from the submoronic drivel polluting the networks and cable channels and letting it stand on it's on is true justice.
Some might complain that the story is unfinished, but I think the story ended on a much better note than many other shows. In a sense, it showed that the struggle continues today by leaving the story open. If you don't have the first season, pick it up. It's not as spell-bindingly amazing as season two, but it helps establish the players and the plot. Don't think of this as a TV series, think of it as an epic novel adapted to the screen. Put away your expectations and prepare to have your mind blown. This season is pure bloody MAGIC. It's as great as any story ever told.
Do yourself a favor- buy this set. You're interested in this type of fiction, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this review. This is Television Godhead.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Finally, Finally,
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just any Tv Series , but ART!!,
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