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Carnivale: 1.02 - 1.04

I continue to watch Carnivale (very slowly, because the episodes only come two on a disk, and I only get to pick every other disk).

So I'm really getting interested in this now. I had trouble with the pilot because we laid out the pieces but I couldn't see what any of them are for, but now it's a lot clearer, I think. As per Samson's prologue to the pilot, we have Ben Perkins and Justin the pastor (whose last name escapes me), the dark and the light - although it is maybe not entirely certain which is which. On one hand, Justin is a pastor and also clearly a good and sincere man, but his miracles often end badly for people around him. And Ben, who has a pedigree to strike fear in the hearts of Samson and Lodz, has so far expressed his powers - healing, visions - in ways that are if not always benevolent, at least mostly neutral.

Then again, maybe the point is that it doesn't matter which is which.

This talk of Babylon fascinates me. The roommate has been watching with me (which, yay!), and she and I were talking about how this show makes the familiar alien landscape seem alien, built on exotic foundations of magic and stranger things. The sense of apocalypse with which the show treats the Depression only adds to this. And square in the center of it are the carnies, who know to varying degrees that the world is not what we think, but for the most part they just don't care; they're understandably more worried about ensuring their next meal.

And then we have Samson, who may or may not have made Management up out of whole cloth. I'm inclined to doubt this. Honestly, the show never did a great job of suggesting to me that there was actually a person called Management who lived in that car all the time. What about food and bathroom visits and such? So I wasn't surprised when Jonesy pulled that curtain away and found nothing there. I figure Management is the kind of person who only makes occasional appearances from behind that curtain. The other option is that Samson's been feigning his frustration all this time over Management's decisions, which seems kind of pointless.

I'm curious to see what the story is behind Scudder, aside from clearly being Ben's father. Just his memory seems to alarm a lot of the circus folk, though.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
The apocalyptic vibe to it is pretty cool, for sure. The Dustbowl/Depression stuff all tied up together makes for some very world-ending feelings, and that it's set in the 30s with WW2 on the way (even if the US wasn't so much involved in that for a while) adds to the sense of massive things building.

Actually, the whole dustbowl thing kind of blows my mind. Hard to imagine. It really must have seemed like game over for a lot of people. The show's made some good use of dust storms and those desolate spaces to add to the sense of magic and apocalypse, too.
Nov. 5th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
that it's set in the 30s with WW2 on the way (even if the US wasn't so much involved in that for a while) adds to the sense of massive things building.

Yes, very true. And even when that isn't mentioned much in the show itself, we see glimmerings of it in the historical footage that's part of the opening credits.

Man, I love shows/books/movies with atmosphere, and this has it in spades.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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