Carnival Row

I’ve watched this trailer 20+ times since finishing the first season and re-watched the show twice. When I need to remember the magic and tragedy that is Carnival Row, but I don’t have time to dedicate to an entire episode, I dip my toes back in with this trailer; which is an excellent summary of the first season.

There is still so, so much to unravel in this series and I look forward to season two. While it may appear to only be a steampunk mystery, I assure you, there is a lot more at work behind the curtain of Carnival Row.

For those of you who fell in love with the medieval politics of Game of Thrones, Carnival Row has the plotting, scheming, and back-stabbing fantasy intrigue you’ve been missing since the finale of GOT.

When I had first seen the teaser trailer for Carnival Row, I immediately panicked, thinking that someone had somehow written and created the Detective Docherty universe and made it into a streaming series before me, and while there is a strong likeness, as I watched each episode of Carnival Row, I felt a deep, inspiring awe and kinship to the show’s creator, instead of competitiveness. I understand now that our two worlds are different but could easily compliment one another.

The title Carnival Row immediately invokes thoughts of circus tents, elephants, and terrifying clowns (they terrify me, they really do), but the show is set in a richly developed world that took fourteen years to bring to life and has nothing to do with the circus (insert sigh of relief here).

Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) wrote a ten page script seventeen years ago when he was in film school in North Carolina. Inspired by tales from Celtic mythology and stories of Jack the Ripper, Beacham created a short film called A Murder in Carnival Row, which would eventually be picked up by Amazon Prime as a series, allowing the world and characters to blossom into a garden of life.

Beacham would become the executive producer and Rene Echevarria (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) would expand the script into the series we see today.

In the opening credits, we are greeted by eerie cryptozoological displays of fantastic creatures in a museum, until we eventually zoom out to see a city, reminiscent of 19th century London.

It is a true steampunk setting, complete with horse drawn carriages, tea, and dirigible airships, but with centaurs, kobolds, pixies (pix), fauns (pucks), and trolls (trows) littering the streets of a ghetto called Carnival Row; separated from the wealthy human society of the Burgue by a single river.

The first season is a tragedy and a triumph and I hope that fans of fantasy, steampunk, and urban fantasy will give this series a try. I highly recommend it and cannot wait for the second season.

Carnival Row is available to stream on Amazon Prime. If you don’t have an account with Amazon Prime, I highly recommend one. Not only do I get free shipping on Amazon purchases, but I get to binge amazing shows like Carnival Row, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Boys (super dark humor and not for everyone). I think it’s pretty awesome that I am getting a streaming service and free shipping, but if you’re looking to just check the show out, you can sign up for a Free Trial with Amazon Prime and then cancel before the month is up 😀 Plenty of time to binge the first season and a couple of other shows before you need to cancel 😉

If you already have Amazon Prime, I sincerely hope you give this show a try! If you have seen it already, I’d love to hear what you think about Carnival Row in the comments 😀


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