24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Every prophet in his house...,
This review is from: Carnivale: Complete HBO Season 2 [DVD]  (DVD)
Season 1 of Carnivale totally blew me away, and I was eager to see how the show developed into it's second (and alas final) season. Needless to say from the five stars that lead this review, it delivers. And then some. Many questions are answered, the pace accelerates and the stakes are raised on all sides. Revelations seep out of the woodwork, and everything gets pretty darn tense. Obviously this was not where the show was meant to finish (the references to an atomic blast are never paid off, the fates of several characters are left in question etc) but there is enough closure of a kind to make this season satisfying and not simply infuriating.
As ever the show is, from a production standpoint, unequalled. Every element is used to maximum effect. From the painterly photography through to Jeff Beal's involving score. Television has NEVER looked this good. What has been less well articulated though are the performances involved. Clancy Brown in particular never fails to steal the show with his deeply unsettling portrayal of Brother Justin. Nick Stahl as Ben Hawkins has a far harder job to do and though his performance is subtle, it is spot-on. Strong support comes from Carla Gallo and Tim DeKay, especially in the episode "Lincoln Highway" - perhaps the show's finest episode other than it's shattering finale.
The DVDs are just as they were in the first season box; well packaged and presented, with the show's fantastic theme music again floating over the menu. Anyone hoping for all of the show's secrets to be revealed on the commentaries will be disappointed, but there is a helpful featurette Magic & Myth: The Meaning Of Carnivale that serves as an appraisal of the series and a guide to it's themes both apparent and unexplored.
If you have the first series, you shouldn't need convincing. If you haven't got the first series, buy both! Then coerce your friends into doing the same! Something of this quality is all too rare.