Thursday, March 31, 2005

I don't know many people who watch HBO's creepy-but-compelling religio-occult soap opera Carnivale, which just completed its second season. Rumor has it that this was the end for Carnivale, but that HBO has signed up for two seasons of Carnivale II which, presumably, will pick up where Carnivale left off.

The first season of Carnivale was entertaining primarily in its look. The production designers have done a fantastic job of evoking hardscrabble life on the road in the depression-era Southwest. But nothing much ever happened - it was all atmosphere and portent.

Season two retained the look, although "hero" Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) looked marginally cleaner than in the fist season. But where season one was all glacially paced, the one just completed has been so jam-packed with action that it seemed impossible for them to tie up all the story threads. And so it was. They left us with a bunch of confused, dying, or (apparently) dead protagonists, a lot of questions, and a feeling that nothing at all is what it seems.

At the end of the first season of Carnivale, I wasn't sure I was up for a second. But as season two concludes, I find myself yearning for some answers, and anxious for Carnivale II to make its appearance. As soon as possible.

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