I just finished watching the entire series, Carnivale. As usual, I'm annoyed it's over and canceled and that the story will never be finished. I don't know why I continue to subject myself to the faulty medium of TV (even in old series on DVD when I already know their fate beforehand).
Carnivale captivates my imagination, with its grittiness, richly detailed settings and realismo magical. I can't get enough of things that are set in the '30s, the Depression or the Dust Bowl. Examples: O Brother Where Art Thou, Miller's Crossing (both of which are Coen Brothers films, must be a favorite era of theirs too). I want to see the clothes, shoes, curtains, wallpaper, furniture and radios. And in Carnivale, the tents, trailers and gypsy caravans.
The truth is, I wasn't very interested in the great Good-vs-Evil storyline in Carnivale, just the characters and the situation: Carnies, living outside society's rules. But I was intrigued by the twist of having the evangelists and churchgoers represent Evil and the collection of misfits, outcasts and thieves represent Good.
My Swedish immigrant grandpa was a migrant oil field worker during the Great Depression. You didn't have to speak much English to do that kind of work. He got his left thumb sliced off in an oil derrick. I can only imagine what the medical care was like.
My husband is the grandchild of "okies," migrants who were chased west by poverty and hardship during the '30s. That Southern-sounding dialect you hear in Northern California, always among the working class or a "good old boy" who has risen in the ranks, is a living artifact of the migrations of the '30s.
If you can recommend any more movies or TV set in this era, please let me know.