|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Monday, March 28, 2005 |
( 3/28/2005 05:24:00 PM ) Bill S.
"LIFE IS A CARNIVÁLE, TWO BITS A SHOT" – First "volume" of the HBO Carnivále trilogy saw its conclusion last night, and, if it didn't deliver the full-impact climactic battle many viewers were hoping for (our heroes' original plan to take down Clancy Brown's increasingly demonic Brother Justin had so many ways it could go wrong that it was only a matter of trying to second-guess which one it'd be), it still had its moments: tragically misdirected Sofie's (Clea Duvall) visions and imprisonment; sister Iris' (Amy Madigan) slightly crazed expression of regret for her psycho acts of murder; evil underling Varlyn Stroud (John Carroll Lynch) singing to himself as he prepares to do his murderous work (a neat villain, but he was way too easily dispatched); even Samson's (Michael J. Anderson) act of generosity for the uncharacteristically subdued hooch dancer mama Rita Sue (the wonderfully blowsy Cynthia Ettinger). Gotta admit, though, that the instant two of the regulars were given an extended moment of love and respite, you just knew one of 'em probably wasn't going to make it out of the episode alive.
Still no word on whether HBO is renewing this moody series for a third season – which is consistent with the way that the cable net handled the show after Season One. (Same with The Wire, which didn't get its fourth season approved until months after the third ended.) I'm still attached enough to this motley crew to be keeping my fingers crossed.