gaming since 1997

Carnivale Season 1

It’s hard to tell you about the storyline of Carnivale without giving away some of the plot but I’ll try anyway.

Ben Hawkins is an escaped convict that returns to his house in the middle of nowhere to save his mother with his special powers. However, his mother doesn’t want him to use them and she dies. As he buries her, a carnival comes by and offers to take him along. Although this seems all to be accidental, it isn’t. The management of the Carnival, someone that no-one has ever seen and only Samson the boss talks with, knew Ben would be at that place and has plans with him. Meanwhile, in a small town, a priest believes he is chosen by God to do his work. He too has special powers but doesn’t know it. The final battle between good and evil is getting closer…

Sound and Vision:
For a transfer of a TV series you can’t get much better than Carnivale. The color palette is very different from natural colors but that’s to create the “magical” atmosphere that surround Carnivale. The dark scenes are a bit too dark at times but for the rest we can’t complain at all.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is really great with subtle use of the surround speakers but aggressive when necessary.

Extras:
– Three audio commentary tracks with episodes 1,2 and 10
– Making Carnivale: The Show Behind the Show: promotional feature that shows all aspects of making the series but without any depth.
– Episode index

Conclusion:
Carnivale goes at the pace of a turtle on valium, it’s about the slowest series I’ve ever seen and still it managed to keep me interested. Magnificent! The acting is top notch, the storyline gripping, and the way that things very slowly but steadily start falling into place make you urge for more. However, I most certainly hope next season will contain quite some more action as I don’t know how much longer the series can take this slow pace before getting boring. While writing this down, I suddenly remember the first time Twin Peaks was shown on TV. It also had strange characters, was slow in developing the storyline, and did manage to keep millions of people returning to their TV when it would air. I doubt the same will happen with Carnivale as these are different times, but it most certainly has the same appeal to those people that do watch it. The dvd box looks extremely nice but when it comes to additional content, things aren’t so great as the extras are hardly worth checking out

Our Score:
8.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Warner Home
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