Carnival Row (Amazon)
When it became clear that none of us would be allowed to return to our offices anytime soon, I immediately made a list of all the TV I ought to catch up on, needed to finish, or had always wanted to start watching but had never gotten around to it. I finally finished Breaking Bad! I did it! Nearly seven years late, but I did it. This weekend, though, I used as an opportunity to finish watching the first season of Amazon Prime's Carnival Row, which, full disclosure, I did not watch all of before adding it to my list of the best sci-fi and fantasy TV shows of last year. I know now that I was right to put it on the list, and maybe should have ranked it a little higher -- but maybe that's the stir-craziness talking.
For those who don't know, or maybe had forgotten since it premiered last August, Carnival Row stars Orlando Bloom as Rycroft Philostrate, a former soldier fighting for the Burgue who now works as a detective trawling the dingy, dangerous streets of Carnival Row, the city district that now houses the "Critch" survivors of the war between the Burgue and the Pact: pixies, fauns, centaurs, you name it. He and his former lover Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) must work together to unravel a mystery behind a series of supernatural murders plaguing the Row, while a second war brews between humans and magical creatures. Yes, clumsy racism metaphors abound. The show is NUTS, and even more nuts when you take into account that it was renewed for a second season even before the first one had premiered. But if you're like me and are jonesing for more episodes of The Witcher, Carnival Row is a pretty good alternative. -- Emma Stefansky, staff writer