Carnival Row has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of blending neo-noir and fairy folklore to tell an original story. The reason everything works together so seamlessly is because Carnival Row is using fantasy as an esthetic as opposed to a genre.
The plot at its core is a noir crime story and all the fantasy elements have real world counterparts. In Carnival Row humans take elixirs as opposed to drugs and fae are treated like the immigrant class. It’s this allegorical method of world building that makes the drama feel real and sells the emotion of every scene.
This gaslamp fantasy world is a wonderful change of pace from the stock “middle earth” settings of most other fantasy stories. With a unique blend of ideas and a killer cast of characters brought to life with cinematic quality, Carnival Row has quickly become my latest obsession.
Carnival row is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.