Season Of 'Carnivale' Could Be Quite A Ride
by Terry Morrow, Scripps Howard News Service
(January 5, 2005)
"Carnivale" is now boiling.
The HBO supernatural
drama spent most of its freshman season merely
brimming, almost a little too slowly. Season
Two, which begins 9 p.m. Sunday, stirs up the
storyline, which has promised eerie dramatics
from the beginning but has failed to fully deliver
up until this point.
The show, set in the
Dust Bowl era, has split its attention between
two forces -- a wayward but kindhearted drifter
who takes up with a carnival, and a small-town
minister in California with dirty secrets. The
two have yet to meet, and their actions are
We're told the two represent
the continual struggle between good and bad.
With the new season,
their destinies appear to be folding into one
Brother Justin (Clancy
Brown) -- who is emerging as one of cable TV's
best and strongest villains -- is taking his
fire-and- brimstone message to the radio waves.
His demonic visions intensify and his evil grows.
Meanwhile, kindly carnival
worker Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) has a meeting
with the traveling company's shadowy "Management,"
who instructs him to seek out his father and
do something about him.
Both Hawkins and Brother
Justin are commanded to find a man named Scudder.
If they do not, the world will come to a swift
and fiery end.
This new development
gives "Carnivale" a stronger purpose.
"Carnivale" has always been one of
television's smartest shows, but it's usually
too timid in proving it.
is coming into its own. Not since the prime
days of "The X-Files," which went
on three seasons too long, has television had
this kind of intrigue and chills.
more gruesome and darker, has the makings of
this winter's most addictive returning series.
The mystery is deepening,
and the first two episodes of the new season
move quicker with a bent toward action, at least
more than most of the episodes of last season.
In other words, "Carnivale"
is finally doing something, and it's well worth
The story is as scary
as anything showing now in theaters. Here is
a bit of payoff for fans who have been patient