Carnival Row: Season 1 Reviews

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August 3, 2020
All of the elements are there: top-notch acting, amazing set pieces, beautiful costumes, a well-known cast, and sex. Lots and lots of freaky, winged sex. Yet despite all that, there is something still lacking.
July 15, 2020
A lot of it is just Amazon going: 'Look we've got money. Look how much money we've spent.'
September 17, 2019
Carnival Row has faltered under the high expectations held, falling a little flat on the promising basis of a new magical world.
September 6, 2019
But the main problem with Carnival Row is that none of this grandly designed mythology is any fun; instead, the show is a bafflingly glum-faced trudge through pretty basic all-creatures-are-created-equal moralizing.
September 3, 2019
Despite those momentary bright spots in an ongoing bleak collection of fates, Carnival Row largely meanders through the world of its own making.
Full Review | Original Score: C
September 3, 2019
It tries to squeeze an overwhelming number of storylines into its eight-episode run, resulting in a bloated - albeit beautiful-looking - mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 30, 2019
Reanimates bits and pieces from different branches of the fantasy genre into a glum and lumbering beast that only occasionally sparks into life.
August 30, 2019
For now, Carnival Row is a big-idea Victoriana fantasy which could have done with a clearer idea of what it wants to be and a lot more heart (unlike its soul-stirring theme song). And that's not good enough to be a Game of Thrones replacement at all.
August 30, 2019
Rather than escalating to Jupiter Ascending levels of campy audacity, Carnival Row sticks to its story beats of not-especially-compelling political intrigue and rekindled romance.
August 30, 2019
While Carnival Row aims to be the next big thing in fantasy, the result, sadly, is a lot of whimsical empty gestures.
August 30, 2019
Too crass to care about, too serious to take seriously. Still, for all that, it is a solidly crafted creation with only the set designers working even harder than the leads.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 30, 2019
I wonder how wise it was for Amazon to invest so heavily in a show that is very clearly at risk of being cannibalised by its own parent. If The Boys doesn't chew it up, that $250 million Lord of the Rings surely will.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 29, 2019
What keeps the drama from flying completely true, in spite of all its beauty, is that it falls short of its obligation to utterly enthrall the audience with its stories as well as its glamour.
August 29, 2019
To say Carnival Row is overstuffed would be to declare Jeff Bezos "a bit wealthy."
August 29, 2019
World building is hard enough, but as circus acts go, Carnival Row is like a juggler on a unicycle. It's kind of interesting to watch, but nobody really needs it.
August 29, 2019
It's hard to get immersed when the show keeps making obtrusive parallels to everything from English rule in Ireland to American abuses at Guantanamo Bay.
August 28, 2019
Carnival Row is no Game of Thrones. It's not even close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5.0
August 28, 2019
The story never quite seems to trust, or frankly even believe, in its own magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
August 27, 2019
Carnival Row's biggest problem isn't that it's overtly political; it's that this political drama anchored in a fantasy setting uses allegories for racism without tackling the issue head on.
Full Review | Original Score: 60/100
August 24, 2019
'Carnival Row' is the television equivalent of word vomit. The intention is there, but the product is hasty, jumbled, and confusing.
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