Carnival Row is an Amazon Prime TV series and like most other Amazon Prime TV series, it looks phenomenal. Seriously, anything that Amazon themselves foot the bill for always looks incredible and Carnival Row stays true t that. I know some people that love this show and others that just could not get into it, for me… it was ok.
How to Download Carnival Row
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like fantasy TV shows set in the Victorian era, be sure to also check out Penny Dreadful.
The Movie Review
I think the premise is actually way better than the show itself. It takes place in what looks like a Victorian-era city. This is a world with magical creatures, but many have lost their homes thanks to man and war and now have to try and coexist with humans which is easier said than done.
The various creatures that call the “Row” home pretty much have zero rights and are treated really badly by the humans. I am sure that this is some kind of metaphor for the way many countries around the world treat refugees and immigrants and some of the stuff here can be hard to watch.
Our two main characters are played by the very talented duo of Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. We have a “human” detective called Philo that is played by Bloom and a fairy called Vignette Stonemoss that is played by Delevingne. I think as leads, these two are great and they have fantastic chemistry.
These two were once lovers which of course adds some tension and drama to things. The main plot revolves around a series of grisly murders that are happening on the Row and Philo is trying to get to the bottom of it. He is under real pressure from the creatures as well as the humans who do not like how he empathizes with the creatures.
I think that if they just focused on Carnival Row being a murder mystery in this fantasy city, it would have been fantastic. I feel that they try to cram way too much stuff in here. The social commentary stuff was not lost on me, but sometimes it can be a bit in your face and at the expense of the show in my opinion. Yet, I have a friend who says that is exactly what they loved about the show.
By the time the second season ended, I was well and truly tapped out of Carnival Row and I have to be honest and say that I do not think I would have come back for a third. The show was not bad, but it just started to drag and this happened about ¾ of the way through the first season for me. I was interested in getting to the bottom of what was going on, but it just felt like the show had too much stuff happening at once.
I will say that this show looks amazing! I love this Victorian-style city that has a bit of Tolkien and Lovecraft style about it. The different creatures that call this place home are also really well designed too. It is a show that I think is great to look at and I do not doubt that this cost a lot of money to make.
Look, Carnival Row is not a bad show and some people do love it and I can see why. For me, it just never lived up to the premise or those first few episodes. I love the setting, the characters, and the lore, but the execution was lacking for me. Still, give it a try, as I said, I do know more than a few people who love this show.
- This show looks amazing
- The two lead characters and their history is interesting
- I liked the murder mystery aspect of the show
- There are some people that love this
- The show really starts to lose its steam quite quickly
- There is too much going on so it makes it hard to follow and be invested in everything