Noob Reviews: Carnival Row (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Carnival Row?
Carnival Row delves into the lives and stories of those that call The Burgue home. Whether it be tales of mythical creatures, who have had to abandon their homeland due to war. Or those of a volatile city struggling to hold together strained bonds between the ever-increasing immigrant population. And the humans that had already claimed The Burgue as their own. Carnival Row takes a no holds barred look at everything from social differences, to racism, secret societies and the occult.
The Burgue can be a place to start a new, amass a fortune and seek adventure. And yet on a knife’s edge, it can also be a place of danger where Pucks (a derogatory name given to the immigrants by the humans) are openly attacked in the street. A miss-step in high society can ruin a family’s reputation. And ancient beasts lurk in the sewers beneath the city.
What is the first season about?
The first season of Carnival Row introduces us not only to the streets and residents of The Burgue but also follows the adventures of an inspector by the name of Philo.
War hero turned inspector for the local constabulary, Philo must work his way through high society, the city’s underbelly and everything in-between as he seeks to unravel the mystery behind a series of murders that have left the victims savagely beaten and missing their livers. His every step been monitored as the streets hang by a thread, ready to erupt into violence.
Unfortunately for Philo, a past lover who he left during the war and thought to be safe far away from The Burgue arrives in the city and he must also contend at the same time he runs the investigation - with his feelings for Vignette, a fae warrior. His past choices about leaving her. And her fury at discovering him to be alive. After thinking he had been taken from her by the war.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Amazon Prime Video’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can find Carnival Row’s listing on Amazon’s Prime Video platform here. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, access to Prime Video is already included in the package!
When was the first season released?
Carnival Row’s first season was released in August 2019.
Has a second season been confirmed?
It has and furthermore has already entered into filming. However, due to the COVID pandemic filming has been delayed. Although no official time frame has been provided, many large entertainment websites have been hinting at a summer 2021 release.
How many episodes are there?
There are a total of eight episodes so far, with an average run time of sixty minutes - with the occasional episode having a few minutes difference here and there.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Cara Delevingne (Vignette Stonemoss)
David Gyasi (Agreus Astrayon)
Indira Varma (Piety Breakspear)
Orlando Bloom (Rycroft Philostrate aka Philo)
Tamzin Merchant (Imogen Spurnrose)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Carnival Row’s first season?
Carnival Row is a captivating epic that explores some genuine life issues in a very creative and unique way. From social classes and racism to secret societies and power struggles. The story throughout has a brilliant sense of pacing that reveals the plot twists at just the right time to leave you wanting more, but also guessing as to what is yet to come.
Personally, just some few minutes into the first episode, you are thrown into the war-torn fae homeland and see Vignette garrotte (with its own leash) what can only be described as a warg like you might see in Lord of The Rings. So I was hooked and already heading down the rabbit hole.
When it comes to the actors within Carnival Row, I was amazed to see such big names as Orland Bloom and Cara Delevingne but found their characters to be well portrayed. And the story arc between Agreus Astrayon (played by David Gyasi) and Imogen Spurnrose (played by Tamzin Merchant) was one of the best I have seen for a while. I will not do spoilers, but it definitely resonates with something you may find in Romeo and Juliet or Game of Thrones. The supporting actors, too, were brilliantly portrayed with absolutely zero complaints about anyone’s screen time or delivery. Even the (not so closet) racist Sergeant Dombey (played by Jamie Harris) shows his character in such a way you will want to smack him in the mouth many times over for how he treats the fae and how he speaks about them.
In addition to a great story and fabulous cast, the setting and scenery for Carnival Row are really atmospheric and immersive. The effects used, especially for the Darkasher, are next level, fascinating and really well executed. And the backing score is delivered masterfully.
Although I have tried, it is tough to pick fault with Carnival Row, and I would highly recommend it as worth a watch. Whether it be the human/mythical creature interest stories, crime elements or fight sequences - there is something for everyone. And personally, I can not wait for season two to be released.
What rating would you give Carnival Row (Season 01)?
I would rate the first season of Carnival Row as an exceptional 5 out of 5 bananas.
With an exhilarating story, fantastic delivery and mind-blowing cast who really help to suck you into the world around them - Carnival Row is a genuine treat to watch and has something for many a viewer no matter their taste. Although there are some graphic sex and gore scenes, I would have to say everything is handled very tastefully and is relatively mild compared to some shows out there.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Carnival Row and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out on Amazon’s Prime Video platform here.