Carnivale Season 1

A sweeping epic that is both challenging and highly accessible, this one-hour HBO drama series focuses on the primordial conflict of good vs. evil, as played out against a pair of vivid and unusual backdrops: a traveling carnival working the American Dustbowl circuit, and an evangelical ministry in California. When a young fugitive named Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) is taken on by the carnival’s diminutive yet strong-willed manager (Michael J. Anderson), his undeniable yet unexplainable spiritual powers jolt members of the troupe, including a tarot-card reader (Clea Duvall), a bearded lady (Debra Christofferson), a blind mystic (Patrick Bauchau) and a head rigger (Tim DeKay). Across the country, in a small California town, preacher Brother Justin (Clancy Brown), who lives with his sister Iris (Amy Madigan), is being visited by visions that demonstrate his own burgeoning powers. As Ben tries to understand his special gifts, and as Brother Justin maps out an ambitious future, the two men are set on a cataclysmic collision course that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.