Eye Feast #1 - Carnivale

Monday, October 07, 2013


Carnivale
2003-2005
Created by: Daniel Knauf


Does anyone remember Carnivale? The absolutely great, creepy TV show?


Carnivale is hard to talk about because they have such a large cast and the plot itself is intricately wound around itself -- always hinting, always suggesting what could be coming up.

Carnivale is set in 1930s Dust-Bowl era. The story follows Ben Hawkins a nobody farmboy

Played by Nick Stahl 

and Brother Justin, a preacher.

Played by Clancy Brown


They have special powers that neither quite know how to fully use and they both seem to be the center of something happening. Something happening between good and evil.

Ben becomes part of the circus after his mother dies and the more Management finds out about him, the more interested in him they become.

Like I said there are a ton of characters, as you can see in the photo above. It makes the story very interesting since their circus is more of the freak show variety.


They have the lovely bearded lady.

Debra Christofferson



The snake charmer.

Adrienne Barbeau

The conjoined twins.


And no circus would be completely without the cooch girls.

And for you lady-lovers out there, it's HBO so there are boobs.

And the head roustie. 
Tim DeKay


Carnivale has some of the best TV cinematography I have ever seen. It's also historically accurate and doesn't do the whole shiny-Hollywood thing. The production quality is great, don't get me wrong, but when things need to be dirty - they are dirty. Unlike movies where the guy is working on his car and he has one smudge of whatever on his face but his hands are clean? No. These guys are grimy and dirty. Just adds another layer to its authenticity.


The writing is absolutely superb. The story doesn't rush itself. It's slow but it's never boring. There is always something more to be discovered, some other hint of what is waiting for you if only you keep watching.

The intro is amazing too. It does a good job of mixing reality with that small hint of magic, the same way the story ends up playing out.



Not only is the story in itself satisfying complex, thought-provoking and interesting but the shots, the colors, basically everything in this show can be taken to another symbolic level.


Out of all the TV shows I have watched (and believe me I have watched plenty) this show is above. This is the one show I hold in such high regard that no other show even comes close.



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