A shrewd FBI agent with a lost past who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine, to solve the murder of a local ex-con only to discover that the curious enclave is a longtime refuge for ... See full summary »
Rod Serling's seminal anthology series focused on ordinary folks who suddenly found themselves in extraordinary, usually supernatural, situations. The stories would typically end with an ironic twist that would see the guilty punished.
1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced by his dreams he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand. Written by
Carnivale is absolutely brilliant. I am amazed at every episode. The story unfolds with wonderfully colorful layers that constantly change the way you look at it. At times, the acting seems a little forced. With a cast of such talented actors I have to believe that that is the fault of the production itself. Nick Stahl, however, gives an absolutely flawless performance every time. He's really grown into his talent (and looks!). I am most impressed by the writing, the way the human aspect of the characters is so well interwoven with the macabre imagery. A production with this kind of theme and these kind of characters could easily turn campy and yet it doesn't. There's no way a show like this should be believable, but it is.
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