Vox Hunt: I Miss This Show: Carnivale

Video: Show us a clip of a TV show you miss. 

Cancelling this show was like a murder:  ending a life before it was done.

Golly, I loved this show.  With passion, loyalty and ferocity.  Anyone who saw even one episode had already formed their opinion of it – and whether it was positive or negative, that opinion was passionate, fierce and no one ever seemed to change their mind. 

The two Carnivale camps spoke in extremes:

"Do you believe what just happened?"
"What the hell just happened?"

"Can you believe that dialogue?"
"What the hell were they talking about?" 

"Do you believe that detail and subtlety?"
"When the hell is something going to happen?" 

And it's so ironic, in a way, because that's what the story was about:  belief and hell.

It takes place in Depression-era America.  And it's acted out by the members of a carnival.

From the first frame of the opening credits I saw that something beautifiul, violent and unbelievable was about to happen.  The art in this sequence is fabulous, the images challanging (Stalin?  The KKK?  Babe Ruth?  The Dust Bowl?  Brueghel? What does it mean?), the skill staggering (when the child's face merges into the face of the painted angel - the transition is seamless).  And these were only the credits.  What could possibly follow?

Well, invariably, after watching what followed, I would be stunned, shocked, confused, amazed:  all swirled together into one flavor.  What was it?  Wonder. And wondering - because my mouth would be hanging open in astonishment after each episode.  Many times I had no idea what I had just seen – and it was thrilling.  To actually have to think:  to put the pieces together to come up with your own theories and see if they played out next week.

When the show was cancelled, the ensuing uproar, at least, was gratifying.

I do miss it. 

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10 responses to “Vox Hunt: I Miss This Show: Carnivale

  1. i should check this show out – although i think it's on hbo (which i don't have). and i think the dvd boxsets are too expensive 😦

  2. You absolutely must find a way to see this! I went out and bought the boxsets as soon as they were out, and it did hurt…$90 each. But it had to be done. It's some time later – hopefully the price has gone down.

  3. I didn't have a TV when I first heard about this…wonder if Netflix has it available?

  4. I did a little searchie for you Redz, and yes, Netflix has both seasons.

  5. Ok, I am going to order the dvds right now. (Well….maybe one set at a time!) ;)Simply seeing the two words in a phrase "thinking" and "tv" has me all titillated!

  6. I remember the hoopla when it was cancelled and did wonder what was up.

  7. I signed online petitions and sent letters, myself. I hadn't done anything like since Comedy Central cancelled MST3K. I sent a letter to them, with two words: "Bite me."

  8. Aub, sounds like me when they cancelled Firefly. I busted my ass sending letters and e-mails (as did thousands of other people), but for naught.

  9. Are they putting the show on DVD?

  10. Oh yes – it's on DVD even as we speak.

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