Last viewed 2006
Carnivale takes place in the Depression-area dust bowl. Ben Hawkins is a son shunned by his mother for his ability to bring things back from the dead. Brother Justin is a preacher who can make extra-ordinary things happen. Ben finds his way into a troupe of circus performers while Brother Justin starts to build his congregation.
Slowly the fate of the two heads for collision.
The production values are sublime. The writing is very strong and there are some excellent discussions/depictions of things such as victim blaming, slut shaming and able-ism. The victim blaming is depicted as being strongly out of place, inappropriate and perfectly hurtful. If anyone didn’t understand why victim blaming was wrong before watching this, they would afterwards. There are some pretty well written disabled characters in the show and, from my very able-bodied perspective, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with the way they’re depicted (from memory, it’s been a while)
For season 3, the creators demanded 2mil per episode from HBO which was abnormally high at the time. It was intended to be 6 seasons long so if you decide to get to watch to the end, you will be left with the ultimate of blue-balls of television experience (yes I’m aware that blue-balls is not a thing, though I cannot overstate how high your frustration levels will be)
Pros: Good women characters, disability representation, strong writing
Cons: worst ever cliff hanger that will always be a cliffhanger
Genre: Drama, Historical…esque, Fantasy
Light/heavy rating: 7
Approach carefully if: you struggle with depictions of rape, there is one depiction of and one violent and realistic attempt of rape in the show. There is also a fair amount of slut shaming and victim blaming of the women. There is also a depiction of a cult.
Can be found: HBO