• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 14, 2003
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Carnivale Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Starring: John Savage, Patrick Bauchau, Clancy Brown
  • Summary: Carnivale. The credits alone were the most costly and timely to make. The show does not lack in the quality that the credits bring. Set in the 1930s Dust Bowl, 18-year old Ben Hawkins finds himself all alone in this world when his mother passes on. But a travelling Carnivale takes him in. We also see the story of Brother Justin, a priest who is trying to find his way in the world. Little do Ben and Justin know, but they are to fight in a biblical battle. With help on the side (Ben with the carnie folk (Sofie, Libby, Apollonia, Ruthie, Samson, Lila, Lodz, Management) and Justin with his sister, Iris) they find out which side each are on and try to battle with the other for what they believe. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Aug 2, 2013
    Everything's been kicked up a notch, and now we know for sure that something big will finally happen. [8 Jan 2005]
  2. 70
    Whatever problems you may have had with "Carnivale" last season, give it a pass for, let's say, five episodes. That's more than enough time to figure out if the magic has returned. [7 Jan 2005]
  3. Until "Carnivale" fulfills more of its promise, my enthusiasm is restrained. [3 Jan 2005]
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Aug 2, 2013
    It's still as detailed, opaque and confusing as ever. [8 Jan 2005]
  5. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    Aug 2, 2013
    Judging from the first two episodes, the series remains both visually compelling and dramatically impenetrable, likely to attract ongoing fans but too confusing at this stage to attract new ones. [7 Jan 2005]
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Aug 2, 2013
    The new season of "Carnivale" continues to showcase the series' potential, but it still doesn't live up to the show's enormous promise. It's a cryptic series full of mysteries and that should suck viewers in. But I've yet to feel the full effects of its gravitational pull, which is disappointing because, as they said so often on "The X-Files," I want to believe. [7 Jan 2005]
  7. Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    Jun 18, 2013
    Carnivàle distracts with dusty riddles and tarot cards, nightmare clichés, mutilated dolls, and twitchy Baby Jesus statues — hoping we'll forget to demand what we came for: answers or a story that makes sense.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of