Now Streaming: CARNIVAL ROW, More Blood, More Guts, More Rebellion

Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne star in the Prime Video series, debuting its final season today.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: CARNIVAL ROW, More Blood, More Guts, More Rebellion

If you want to see how many ways blood and guts can pour out of bodies, this is the series for you.

Carnival Row
All eight episodes of Season 1 and the first two episodes of Season 2 are now streaming on Prime Video. Subsequent episodes will debut weekly. I've seen all 18 episodes.

In the Before Times (i.e., August 2019), "I felt pleasantly immersed in the alterna-Victorian world created by Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) and Rene Echevarria (TV's Teen Wolf, The 4400)," as I wrote in my review. After the passage of more than three tumultuous years, I'm much less taken by the series.

The first season employed a serial murder-investigation to reveal its alternative-history steampunk world. The second and final season concentrates on an overall theme of rebellion against oppression, broadening far beyond the star-crossed relationship between former policeman Philo (Orlando Bloom) and activist leader Vignette (Cara Delevigne), whose romantic sparks defined the first season.

More time is spent over the course of the second season's 10 episodes on Imogen (Tamzin Merchant), an aristocratic human, and Agreus (David Gyasi), a wealthy faun (maybe it's better not to ask?). Their loving relationship moves them to escape Carnival Row, but they suffer a shipwreck and are reduced to the common class in a radical society called New Dawn, whose motives are driven a hybrid form of socialism and communism. Imogen's haughy, sneering brother Ezra (Andrew Gower) escaped with them, and causes them nothing but increased trouble and turmoil. But family, you know?

Meanwhile, back on Carnival Row, Tourmaline (Karla Crome) has acquired dark supernatural powers that are bound to cause serious problems for her and everyone she loves and truly desires.

As the series progresses, I began to see more clearly the narrative and social themes that are involved. (Truthfully, the constant spillage of guts and intestines and severed heads distracted and disturbed me.) It's a tough slog, in part because less attention to paid to the people than to the themes, making it more challenging to invest emotionally in the fate of the characters.

If that's your thing too, and if you love blood and guts, Carnival Row may be the series for you.

Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.

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Cara DelevigneOrlando BloomPrime VideoUK

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