I am a pretty big sucker when it comes to watching fairy tales. Ever since the days of Faerie Tale Theatre and The Storyteller back when I was knee-high to a goose, pretty much every time I hear about a TV show or movie based on a fairy tale, my reaction is, “Oof, that’s probably going to be awkward! Still, I’m there.”

My taste in this arena is even more questionable than in most others. (See also: the competing Snow White remakes, Hansel and Gretel: Demon Hunters – oh, it’s real, and it’s happening – and SyFy’s abysmal Beauty and the Beast, among a dozen others.) Your adaptation can be a wonderfully costumed games of Actor Bingo (Hallmark’s Arabian Nights), a hidden gem (The Polar Bear King), a cheeseball epic (The 10th Kingdom), your college video project, or an absolutely unbelievably terrible miniseries (Hallmark’s Snow Queen, YOU PUT THAT FAIRY TALE DOWN RIGHT NOW). I will still watch it.

It is a testament to how strong this instinct is that I intend to watch this show:



…for at least the two episodes they give it before TV audiences get sick of Jennifer Morrison’s non-acting and/or having to think about vaguely literary things for even a moment and/or a child and his endlessly prophetic and pithy advice, and ratings tank, and they yank it. (If it lasts longer than two episodes, I’ll renegotiate with the show based on the levels of non-acting delivered by Jennifer Morrison.)

If nothing else, it will drive me to finish the last leg of Faerie Tale Theatre Episodes I am Willing to Sit Through, so, still helpful!


P.S. Completely not this show’s fault, but it is an indelible byproduct of my early adolescence that the very idea of acting in a fairy tale adaptation immediately makes me want to write a love letter to Lucy Punch, because of her unforgettable Sally Peep in The 10th Kingdom.

The thing about a miniseries as sweeping as The 10th Kingdom is that you really do end up with a cast of hundreds. Some of those people are playing it straight, some of those people are just excited to be there getting paychecks and yoinking free food from the catering cart, and some of those people are in that miniseries purely to mess with you (“Does he KNOW the camera’s on?”). Besides the leads, these actors come and go.

It’s remarkable that in a miniseries where Scott Cohen logged more than half a dozen Ham-Off hours, and Daniel Lapaine tried to top it by being the literal Human Golden Retriever, Lucy Punch looked at her script and said, “So I have four scenes? Can I win the Ham-Off of a ten-hour miniseries in four scenes? LET’S FIND OUT.”

And then SHE DID.