Sofie : You know, the people in these towns, they’re asleep. All day, at work, at home. They’re sleepwalkers. We wake them up.
Enter the world of Carnivale. A down trodden melancholy look at life for a group of mysterious outsiders belonging to no other but the travelling circus in the dust bowl era. They are hardened hustlers that support one another through the events and strange encounters they’re faced with while on the road.
Ben Hawkins is the newcomer who is swooped up after being caught in the middle of an economic dispute dealing with his family’s land and the banks that want it. His last known kin being his abusive mother suddenly passes away and he’s left with no one. The Carnivale troop is reluctant at first to pick him up because they notice the chains around his ankle signifying he’s an escaped convict. But they take the chance and hide him while on their way to their next show. Thus the story of Ben Hawkins and the characters of Carnivale unravels.
I believe that Carnivale is one of the most important shows HBO has ever produced as far as amazing storytelling goes. Daniel Knauf had the gift of weaving old Americana folklore with the realism of a generations need for escapism during the depression. I was a fan of the shows slow pace which isn’t something many people can appreciate now a days. A mere 2 seasons didn’t grant the show enough justice.
For we are the carnivale audience left shrouded in mystery. Our questions are looming as we’re strangely drawn to the freak shows, waiting in line to see the world’s strongest man, and drifting past the eerie backdrops of props and stages.
Is it possible for the world of Carnivale to be revisited? If Chris Carter can successfully revive the X-Files, then I have hope for Daniel Knauff. I remember the web rumours going around about there being a Carnivale movie to give fans some kind of closure, but nothing came about. Although it’s been a lifetime since the show last aired I still believe that the cult of Carnivale will never die and will continue to grow. It will be revived in one form or another and there will be new tales wrapped in mysticism waiting to envelop us.