Carnival Row – Season 1 Review

    In the beginning of the first episode we see a group of Fae running from another group known as the ‘Pact’ the Fae are seen cut down by gunfire from these men on foot meanwhile their wings are flapping to and fro on their backs.

    The first question that came to my mind was why weren’t these Fae, ahem…flying? Surely flying would give them more maneuverability not to mention distance between them and their pursuers. Everything else being equal, the human who can fly is going to have the advantage over the one that can’t. Not taking advantage of this in a life and death situation struck me as lunacy.

    Were these women not flying because script-wise it’s more dramatic to see them cut down? That’s bad writing. We were only three minutes in…not good.

    Then I remembered.

    When I saw the first trailer for this series I foretold the reason for this sort of thing. I foretold that this was a series that would be more interested in pushing across a particular message rather than fastidiously concerning itself with the mechanics of geekdom (like common sense). I was not only right, my prediction was grievously understated.

    On its face Amazon’s Carnival Row centers around a criminal investigation in the Republic of the Burgue where an Inspector Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) is trying to find out who is killing and harming Fae.

    At it’s core it is an exercise to present an allegory regarding immigration, class and race in the real world. Unfortunately, these allegories, (like many progressive arguments in the real world) are extremely poor and rooted in lies, distortions and falsehoods.

    This would be bad enough on its own but the effort to present these hamfisted revelations overshadows the need to tell an exciting story. The story that is presented is so mundane when it comes to plot and intrigue as to make one yawn in boredom or roll their eyes at the pedantism.

    “Ah, they are responsible for all this? But surely given their situation they could have come up with a better way to deal with the situation, one that would have completely rendered the series moot. Nevermind…contrive away.”

    So, coupled with a lackluster story we are inundated with cartoonishly racist police, politicians and aristocracy. We are to sympathize with the Critch (fantasy creatures) refugees who are flooding into the Burgue (anything else would of course be wholesale evil on our part). Critch, are of course, portrayed as the Nobelist of the noble. Pure-hearted creatures who wouldn’t harm a fly and who just want to live their little lives not bothering anyone.

    The series focuses most of its time showing the various ways the Critch are oppressed right down to the last episode which will remind some of scenes from Nazi Germany. It’s quite tiresome and lazy.

    There doesn’t seem to be any real effort to address the refugee situation in the series at all. None. Just stereotypical reactions from stilted straw-people.

    But I suppose if they actually solved the problem there wouldn’t be a show. Hmn, I suppose in that regard the allegory pertaining to real life, particularly ‘progressives’…is spot on.

    1 out of 5 stars.

    Propaganda Rating

    • Lot’s of miscegenation. If that’s not your bag definitely avoid this one.
    • Incest
    • Homosexuality and Lesbianism
    • Most of the rich people are portrayed as bad
    • Most of the poor and Critch (foreign creatures) are portrayed as ‘good’
    • Most of the ‘bad’ people have conservative values
    • Most of the ‘good’ people have ‘progressive’ values

    This series is saturated with propaganda. My recommendation…avoid.

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