Carnival Row is the sexy new fantasy drama you absolutely need to watch this weekend.

I’m not sure if our hearts were crying out for a new TV series starring It Girl Cara Delevingne as a deadly refugee fairy, but that’s exactly what we’ve been given.

The epic new fantasy series Carnival Row launched in Australia today and it’s already been touted as a show that might just fill that Game of Thrones shaped hole in your heart.

But once you start watching the series, you’ll see it’s more than just a pale comparison of a past hit.

Delevingne, who has not exactly proven herself to be a strong actress in past projects such as Suicide Squad, is actually perfectly cast here as a broken yet determined fairy named Vignette Stonemoss who is forced to flee from her war-torn country and seek refuge in a capital city called the Burgue.

The Spill is Mamamia’s Daily entertainment podcast, in this episode hosts Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece discuss the new fantasy drama Carnival Row (with no spoilers) along with the top pop culture stories of the day. 

In the Burgue, the magical fairy folk are forbidden from using their powers and are treated as second class citizens by humans who permit them to share their city. So when a barely conscious Vignette finally makes it to the safety of the city after a perilous journey across the sea she is sent to be a servant in a wealthy family’s home, permitted to move about the house only if her luscious wings remain strapped beneath her uniform.

The setting of Carnival Row is very much Victorian-era meets steampunk, and the whole caper also dips its toe into neo-noir territory with the introduction of Orlando Bloom’s character Rycroft Philostrate, a detective who is on the hunt for a mysterious, Jack the Ripper–type figure who is committing murder and acts of brutality throughout the city.

The kicker here is Vignette and Rycroft had met and fallen in love many years ago, and after being torn apart by the war, she arrives in the Burgue to find him surprisingly alive and well which leads to a volatile reunion between the star-crossed lovers.


Since Carnival Row is filled with steamy sex scenes, brutal battles, and supernatural elements it has, of course, already been compared to the ratings juggernaut that was Game of Thrones.

Take a look at the trailer for Carnival Row. Post continues after. 

In some cases, it cannot be denied that the two show’s bear some striking similarities as they both attempt to unravel current political concerns and social issues through the lens of fantasy and magical realism, which in some cases leads to storytelling gold.

But where Game of Thrones was sweeping, complex and multifaceted, Carnival Row is actually trying to tell a much smaller story between two characters who live in a dangerous world that does not want them to be together.

It’s a solid TV watch that does tend to drag in some scenes, then in the very next frame has you on the edge of your seat by inviting you into a darkly mesmerising and richly created new world.

Carnival Row is best summed up as a dark, slow-burn drama with plenty of fairy sex scenes thrown in for good measure.

Carnival Row is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. 

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