This is not your everyday fairy tale. Imagine if you were watching a period piece about a London inspector trying to find Jack, the Ripper. Now, instead of Jack, the Ripper – make it a monster that rips out the insides of fairies and humans who live in the city. That is what Carnival Row is like. The town is called the Burgue but you can tell – it’s London. Substitute the Irish for the Fae folk, werewolves, and all sorts of magical creatures who now live among the Burgue citizens trying to make a living and dealing with racial slurs and prejudice after losing the war to “The Pact” and having to flee their homeland. I am sure there is a Brexit-political statement in there somewhere, but I just enjoyed the show. The writers have done a good job of creating this magical world and it is easy to pick up the slang. The special effects are very well done – tiny creatures, fairy wings, cloven hooves, and ram’s horns with a steam-punk quality will lend itself to many a Cosplay in the future. It is only 8 episodes and the mystery (well, mysteries – there is more than one going on) is intriguing. I did not really buy into the main love story between Vignette (a fairy) and Philo (the former soldier now Inspector). They just never convinced me that they fell in love in an “epic” way. The more compelling love story is between a snobby socialite and her rags-to-riches “Critch” (not a nice term) neighbor. Watching their love story happen is much more interesting in spite of his having ram’s horns on his head. Truth be told, I had more problems with his mustache than any of his other mythical attributes. There is beautiful, haunting music but also a bit of nudity and gory imagery in this fairy tale, so don’t include the kiddos but do watch. They set it up well for sequels and since we have yet to see the centaurs that are shown in the (way too long) opening credits, I want to know more about this world and see the Fae folk take back their homeland from The Pact!
Rate: Binge it on a rainy, Sunday afternoon!