Carnivale - Series One 2003

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All 12 episodes from the first season of HBO's surreal, sepia-toned drama series, which follows a travelling carnival troupe around the American Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Episodes are: 'Milfay', 'After the Ball is Over', 'Tipton', 'Black Blizzard', 'Babylon', 'Pick a Number', 'The River', 'Lonnigan, Texas', 'Insomnia', 'Hot and Bothered', 'The Day of the Dead' and 'The Day That Was the Day'.

Starring:
Michael J. Anderson, Clancy Brown
Rental Formats:
DVD

Carnivale - Season 1

Product Details

Discs
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 1and 2 ages_15_and_over
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 3 and 4 ages_15_and_over
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 5 and 6 ages_15_and_over
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 7 and 8 ages_15_and_over
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 9 and 10 ages_15_and_over
  • Carnivale - Series One - Episodes 11 and 12 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 12 hours 0 minutes
Starring Michael J. Anderson, Clancy Brown, Clea DuVall, Nick Stahl, Amy Madigan
Director Jeremy Podeswa, Rodrigo Garcia
Genres Drama
Studio WARNER HOME VIDEO
Rental release 7 March 2005
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By David Stewart Mckee on 19 April 2005
Format: DVD
Carnivale, part depression-era drama, part paranormal mystery and all told at a pace that will drive some mad with frustration. In these modern times of fast cut, action orientated tv where you are rarely given time to breathe or think (just as well in the cases of some modern genre shows) along came Carnivale. This is a story that will not be rushed, building up towards an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. This isn't your 2-3 apocalypses per season as in Buffy or Angel, this is one for the whole series. The look of the show is unique in terms of it's colour and stark landscapes and the DVD picture is clear and crisp. Such episodes as Black Blizzard will throw you into the storm with the cast. Some will be frustrated that the two "main" characters never meet, or that the first season closes with no real answers given but I found this to be refreshing and bold storytelling for a mainstream network to be behind. Even as the pace slows in the midsection the characters are believable and the relationships between them are as important, if not more, than the main plot arc. This is one of those plot devices almost lost in modern sci-fi television and to remind you all it is called "character development". This story is dark and disturbing too with some imagery that many will find disturbing and sickening, no bones about. Dead children and paedophilia feature in the first half alone and while not graphic it is still going to upset some viewers. But stick with it. This show deserves to be given time to tell the story properly and I am looking forward to the second season.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By "xcalibrate" on 22 Mar 2005
Format: DVD
Very occasionally a series is developed that breaks the mold with regard to production values, acting and storytelling. Carnivale is just such a series.
It's an epic tale of Good versus Evil set against the backdrop of the 30's depression and revolves around superbly crafted characters that work and live within one of the few remaining Carnivale's of the era. The story is a tangled web of intrigue, mystery and the supernatural which doesn't pander to it's audience with 'episodes of the week' and dumbed down explainations of plot but rather weaves this web with aplomb and skill, leaving the viewer to dig within it's depths to find the subtle clues contained within.
The first season sets up the characters and plot ready for the impending battle to come. Each character has a part to play, some more than others, but each is crafted so beautifully that the viewer engages with them on a level rarely achieved in a television series before.
The transfer to DVD is quite exceptional, 6 discs each containing two episodes which are simply stunning to look at. Audio commentaries are available on three episodes and an, albeit short, featurette is found on the last disc.
I rarely post reviews but this series, this box set, deserves some attention. If you like well written, intelligent drama, which doesn't dumb itself down then I certainly would recommend Carnivale. A simply stunning piece of television. Roll on Season Two.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Dec 2004
Format: DVD
I cannot give enough praise to this series. In 2004 many new shows have come and gone but Carnivàle definately has the power to stick around for a good few seasons.
Carnivàle follows the travels of a roving carnival during the 1930's Dust Bowl. This group of odd characters pick up a mysterious young man who becomes the focus in a battle between good and evil.
It revolves around aa very large cast but there are two characters in particular that are the focus of this series. Ben Hawkins, a young criminal that appears to have the power to give life to things while taking it from others and Brother Justin, a priest that will do whatever it takes to see that things are done the way he believes they should be.
The first season is a battle between good and evil, I'm still not sure who is in which side, and there is also a heavy feel of the supernatural. If you liked programmes such as Twin Peaks or you just fancy trying out something new and very different from other series', this is the one for you.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lucy C on 23 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
Carnivale is truly a one-of-a-kind gem. Disturbing and sublime in equal measures.

The first season is a little slow, but the visual style, top-notch acting and building sense of mystery and suspense will keep you hanging in till the end. You'll be desperate to get your hands on season two.

Nick Stahl and Clancy Brown head a cast that excels from the first scene and give the kind of subtle and real performances you'd expect from a HBO show. And the look of the show, from the landscape, the costumes, the sets, and of course the carnival itself, is absolutely breath-taking.

This is one of the best and most original American programmes of recent years.

And, after all that gushing, I have to say, I think season 2 is ten times better!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Carl Patrick on 10 Nov 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched the first season with my partner and we were mesmerised from the start. The tension builds from the first scene right to the very last, 12 episodes later, with tremendous acting, characterisation and story-line. We knew that Ben, the lead character, was special in some way and boy, is he special, but he's not the only one with strange powers. Of course, we had to get hold of the second series and watched all 12 episodes, night after night. How sad are we? We're only sad that there is no more! Come on HBO, you have got to commission a third series!
Absolutely brilliant. There's nothing else like it on the box.
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