We’d been hearing about Carnival Row for what feels like forever at this point. We were relatively optimistic about the show because the premise sounds neat. How can you go wrong with steampunk fairies? Then we started hearing some of the character names and let’s just say we weren’t sure what to think. Rycroft Philostrate and Vignette Stonemoss are patently absurd names and they only get more weird from there.
Unfortunately, the first trailers made the show seem like it was going to be extremely dour and more along the lines of The Alienist, but somehow even less fun and also not as good. Luckily the show landed somewhere in the middle of our initial expectations and potential disappointment and delivered a serviceable fantasy story with, honestly, a lot of real world resonance. It was a little uneven at times and seemed to be juggling a few too many storylines, but in the end a lot of them distilled into a more manageable assortment of plots.
Following Vignette and “Philo” through the world of The Burgue while he tries to solve a series of murders and she tries to find her place in an unfamiliar city we get to discover all the secrets of the world for better or worse.
Ultimately we ended up really enjoying it though Kristin was quicker to accept a lot of the nonsense than Wil was. Since Carnival Row already been greenlit for a season two we’re pretty interested to see where it goes, especially after the intense final episode. Fingers crossed that it either gets extremely more bonkers or it pulls back just enough to feel a little more cohesive.