Carnival Row is a Sci-Fi Fantasy show that touches on everything from racism to social acceptance with a mix of political ambition and a touch of blind religious dogma. The Acting was outstanding but the story itself gave the impression that the directors were trying to present multiple social issues and some possible solutions without enough time to do so.
Orlando Bloom plays Detective Rycroft Philostrate aka Philo(a half-human half-faerie) who’s investigating multiple murders by what seems to be a mythical monster that no one believes exists. Intertwine that with a long lost love interest, Actress Cara Delevigne playing Vignette Stonemoss(a faerie) who accidentally comes back into Philo’s life after thinking he had died 7 years prior.
While Philo is trying to conduct his investigation into the murders he goes on a journey of self-discovery recognizing that he shouldn’t need to hide his half-faerie side. Although by letting everyone know he’s a half-blood he gets jailed because his boss and friend of many years would rather respond to pre-conceived racist beliefs about faerie’s then recognize a hard working employee.
As Philo stands against the political machine he comes to realize that it’s ok to express his feelings towards Vignette(which he seemed to have suppressed when he left her years before). At the same time, he discovers the Chancellor(played by Jared Harris) is his father(a human) he’s been looking for all these years and his mother(a faerie) was one of the murder victims he’s been investigating.
One would think the Orlando story would have been enough to keep viewers occupied but there’s another side story, intertwined very lightly with the main one, which could have been introduced in the next season. A wealthy Faun(Puck) named Agreus Astrayon played by David Gyasi is developing a love connection with Imogen Spurnrose played by Tamzin Merchant. Imogen and her brother Ezra have lost all their money because Ezra had made some poor business decisions. Imogen suggested befriending the wealthy Puck to see if he would be interested in a mutual agreement where the Imogen’s would introduce Agreus to the town’s prominent and elite and in turn Agreus would bail the Imogen’s out of falling into a life of poverty.
The acting is outstanding and the directing is as well but while watching it you(the viewer) are being presented with too many problems, too many storylines and not enough time to properly process and understand all the information that’s being introduced. Hopefully, next season will be long enough for the writers and directors to communicate all the societal and philosophical messages they were trying to communicate in the first season. It’s a great show but the season needs to be longer(at least 12 episodes long) to do what the show is trying to do.
Season 1 of Carnival Row is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime. In July 2019 Amazon renewed the show for a second season.