A show that deals with the issues of our time, including racism and xenophobia, while bringing in the fantastical elements we all know and love? Sounds not just attractive, it sounds just like our thing. But our first look at Carnival Row leaves us asking: is it?
The cast, including Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, David Gyasi, and Tamzin Merchant participated in a lively panel during San Diego Comic Con, as well as held a press conference to introduce the show, which premieres August 30th on Amazon Prime.
Our verdict? Eh …we’re gonna need more to be convinced.
Not because the idea doesn’t sound good, it does. The panel was okay, the press conference was even better, with a lot of the cast saying the right things and sounding like they actually wanted to tell this story and they knew the responsibility they had in the telling.
And hey, Cara Delevigne talked about her character (Vignette) being pansexual, which is a representation we don’t rarely get – we actually never get, and that is sorely needed. Her existence will speak to a lot of people, and it will hopefully allow someone out there to feel seen.
But, and this is a huge but …there were just too many white people in this press conference and panel, and they’re gonna tell a story that’s basically an allegory for the treatment of immigrants, particularly in the United States?
Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little tone deaf? And if I am, why am I?
Just so we’re clear, this is the synopsis for the show:
Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) star in Carnival Row, a series set in a Victorian fantasy world filled with mythological immigrant creatures whose exotic homelands were invaded by the empires of man. This growing population struggles to coexist with humans — forbidden to live, love, or fly with freedom. But even in darkness, hope lives, as a human detective, Rycroft Philostrate (Bloom), and a refugee faerie named Vignette Stonemoss (Delevingne) rekindle a dangerous affair despite an increasingly intolerant society. Vignette harbors a secret that endangers Philo’s world during his most important case yet: a string of gruesome murders threatening the uneasy peace of the Row.
Is it just me or that sounds about white?
Still, visually, the show seems impressive, and the cast did go out of their way to talk about the cinematography, and just take a look at the poster at the top, or these character posters:
Pretty, yes. Important? Still to be determined.
For now, if you’re still thinking about giving this a chance, we’ll leave you with a little tease at the two main characters, starting with Vignette:
After you’re done watching, and marveling at how good it looks – come tell us what you think about the story this show is trying to tell, and the way it’s decided to tell it.
Do you think it’s the right one? Would you have rather seen more diversity in the cast? Are you happy with what you’re seeing?
Carnival Row premieres on Amazon Prime on August 30th.