The search for Amazon Prime Video for a series in the style Game of Thrones – with a grandiose universe, and with a story that moves the discussions out of it – continues and it seems that streaming has no problem with toasting money to make this happen.
Carnival Row arrives now at the end of August, as the second big bet of the year for Amazon’s streaming service, right after The Boys, with the mission of presenting to the spectator a (lovely new) fantasy world full of fairies (the fae as it is called), mixtures of magical beings, class struggles, and of course, conspiracies and murders that give a touch of charm to the Victorian-style production.
Surrounded by an extensive, complex, and sometimes tiring, mythology Carnival Row makes one of those series that we are invaded by an immense amount of details, whether in the fancy costumes, or in the interactions of human characters with the critch (as non-human beings are generally called in the series), where all of this contributes to the series delivering a very impressive and inviting setting, which should create a legion of fans in a similar way that Lord of the Rings did in theaters with an entire generation.
But, even with all this pomp, Carnival Row it still suffers from some things that at the beginning of the season even pass by due to a certain dazzle with the whole history, and the new world that is presented to us. Unfortunately, the text turns out not to be the best, some lines are kind of harsh, and some plots seem to be there just to fulfill the table, think final season of Game of Thrones, OK? . Of course, all of this is due to the fact that Cara Delevingne did not improve much after his disastrous passage through Suicide squad (2016) and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), but as far as possible, secure the tips, where interactions and chemistry with the screen partner Orlando Bloom, help to compensate for the fact that here, the actor raises and levels the performance for both sides.
And in the end, like most of these fantasy dramas, see Harry Potter or even Hunger Games, the main plot involves love. And here, the big gas that moves the plot is the tumultuous relationship between the inspector Rycroft Philostrate, better known as Philo (Bloom) with the fairy Vignette (Delevingne), where the duo will face the biggest challenges to be together, as the plot sets out to explore more political issues, in a super interesting parallel to the present day on issues of refugees, intolerance against different beings and thoughts, and of course, rulers with more radical ideals.
With 8 episodes for the first year, Carnival Row spends a good part of them, at least the first three 1 × 01 – Some Dark God Wakes, 1 × 02 – Aisling 1 × 03 – Kingdoms of the Moon, to present the universe created by the duo of screenwriters Travis Beacham and Rene Echevarria. For fans of the genre, the series turns out to be a plate full of fun, where the presence of captivating supporting characters, and a mystery plot that involves murders, a mysterious serial killer, and conspiracies help complete the magical package that Carnival Row is delivered to us.
Thus, we see the series giving plots and screen time to all these characters, where we have, as a highlight, the actress Indira Varma, like Piety Breakspear, a kind of socialite in the best style Victoria Grayson in revenge, and the charismatic Jarred Harris (which is in a good year, after Chernobyl) like Absalom Breakspear, a politician with greater interests than he presents at first, and Tamzin Merchant like Imogin that lives a romance also tumultuous.
Already renewed for a second year, Carnival Row it seems to have been planned gradually as a great book adapted for TV as a beginning, middle, and end, clear and defined. Perhaps, the journey of long episodes, with 1 hour of duration, and an uncertainty as to whether the series would continue or not had the development of some plots and narrative arcs that are concluded at the end of the season with a great 1 × 08 – The Gloaming.
We hope that in the new season the writers will rethink some characters, plots, and sub-stories that in the first year seemed to have more than we should have, but that doesn’t take away all the charm, and the impressive world created by Prime Video. The series mix Pennyful Dreaful with the tales of JRR, Tolkien help Carnival Row to stand out in a completely positive way, where Amazon’s streaming service continues its great work on original productions this year, standing out for a very different and daring line-up than what we have seen out there lately, in a new (and magical! ) platform adjustment.
Carnival Row arrives on August 30th.