Carnival Row Season 2, review: an announced flop?

Carnival Row Season 2, review: an announced flop?

Carnival Row Season 2, review

Fantasy is perhaps one of the most loved genres in cinematography and this is demonstrated by the incredible success of sagas such as The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. However, the small screen is certainly no less: The Witcher, The Sandman and Game of Thrones are just a few who have mastered the serial preferences of the public in recent years. Carnival Row , the Prime Video show , seemed to have all it takes to make its way and grab a place in the hearts of viewers: a neo-Victorian setting, mythological creatures such as centaurs and fairies, a good dose of romance and a series of solve. For this reason, perhaps the decision of the streaming platform to renew it for a second season, even a month before its airing in August 2019, was not so surprising. The response from the public was not long in coming and confirmed the anticipated interest in the title. However, the Pandemic that the world found itself facing the following year must not have played in favor of the series, given that in November 2022 Prime Video decreed Carnival Row Season 2 also as the last of the series.

Subscribe to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service by taking advantage of the 30-day trial: use this link Of course we can imagine that, among the reasons that may have prompted the giant to conclude the series, there were also the costs incurred by manufacturers to make it. After all, the cast made up of big names like Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne , the make-up department that gave life to all the magical creatures present and the substantial CGI that is well present in the second season, must have weighed considerably on Carnival's budget Row . Unfortunately though, after watching all ten episodes of the new season, we can say that there are some flaws that don't allow you to fully appreciate it.

Photo: ©Prime Video

Carnival Row Season 2: a lame conclusion

If the plot of the first season had laid the foundations for twists, plots and probable future twists, that of Carnival Row Season 2 doesn't seem to have quite managed to grasp the opportunities. Perhaps a little too much space is left for the romantic and poignant side that involves the protagonists, causing the mini narrative strands to end within it rather abruptly, even almost hastily. Venturing the hypothesis of the need to finish everything in just ten episodes, certain decisions made by the main characters seem excessively abrupt and unfriendly, making the repetitive changes seem annoying and at times merely for plot purposes, especially in the second half of the season.

Carnival Row therefore seems like a good idea but without adequate development, which fails by throwing too much iron on the fire and then finding itself having to resolve a long list of situations that have arisen. However, this does not mean that these problems are necessarily connected to the lack of a good screenplay: in fact, the writers tried to adapt the limited availability of screen time to the story they had already begun to trace, thus sacrificing what they considered less important than the give their fans a worthy conclusion.

Prime Video's decision to cancel the series after only two seasons would therefore be the main cause of the problems of Carnival Row Season 2 , having also sanctioned its lame success in this final season. To it, however, we must add some problems also in the "behind the scenes": Cara Delevingne, despite having social causes at heart like her character and sharing various aspects of them, fails to fully do justice to Vignette, who more than once she turns out to be the eternal undecided who only complicates things. While the prosthetic make-up on the fauns and fairies is exceptional and very well done, the CGI counterpart does not seem to have had the possibility to create every aspect in any way: the wings of the fairies, while moving according to moods, are slightly detached , not properly incorporated into the characters.

In the same way, even the disturbing enemy that the protagonists will have to face loses all the charm of the fantasy setting, thus becoming almost a speck, a sort of "I wish but I can't" by the Demogorgon from Stranger Things. We certainly didn't expect a total prosthetic suit like that of the Bloater in The Last of Us , which undoubtedly has a very different budget per episode from Carnival Row , but we can say that expectations have been largely disappointed.

In conclusion

Carnival Row is therefore a good idea with a poor realization, which tries to agglomerate different topics such as inclusion and racism, but fails on several fronts by losing the interest of the public by disappointing the high hopes created with the first season. Despite the bitter taste left by the vision, if you want to know the conclusion of the events of Philo (Orlando Bloom) and Vignette (Cara Delevingne) you can watch two new episodes every Friday starting February 17 on Prime Video.

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