Thursday, October 17, 2013

Once Upon A Time in Wonderland 1.02 Review: Love is About Faith, but Proof is Nice

Anyone that has yet to watch tonight’s episode of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, titled ‘Trust Me’, I suggest you do so now. This is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
While I like how spunky Alice is, and how witty the Knave is, this is not a great series. The terrible CGI work is distracting, and I don’t have as strong a pull to this character as I did Emma in the mother show. For the life of me I don’t see how this series could possibly do well without Once Upon A Time as a lead in. When Betrayal is cancelled – and it will be cancelled eventually – Revenge should be moved to the 10 o’clock spot, and this series should move into the 9 o’clock slot. Not as great as the 8 pm slot, but it really will need Once Upon A Time as a lead in if it hopes to do well.
Jafar and the Red Queen’s costumes are always so ridiculous and too over done. They look like they’re kids dressing up in costumes, rather than characters trying to show off how bad or powerful they are. There’s always bits jutting out, mostly from shoulders, and the very costume red they’ve given the Queen is just terrible. The writers are supposed to make these characters feel like actually people that could exist in the fantastical world of Wonderland, but half the time I just expect them to poof into little children playing dress up. The Knave and Alice’s outfits on the other hand feel like just that, outfits. They fit the situations and suit the characters.
Despite how badly the CGI is for Wonderland, when the scenes were set in Agrabbah they actually looked realistic. That setting actually looked like it could exist somewhere. Wonderland’s does not. Again, let me implore the showrunners to actually put a bit more money into the tacky CGI work they’ve been doing so far, make it a little more believable. About the only scenes that were believable were the forest ones, where CGI isn’t needed.
The way Emma Rigby plays the Red Queen is mostly not working. The woman looks like a baby faced model, yet another thing that fits my theory of these characters just being children we’ll eventually learn just have a decent imagination and are playing with each other. Poof, these are actually just kids behind the curtain (and, yes, that was a Wizard of Oz reference). Naveen Andrews is also not playing his character as believably as he should. Sure, kids are supposed to be able to watch this series and not get super frightened, but kids aren’t as stupid as people make them out to be. Besides, I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was eight, and those villains were at least believably evil.
And one final note before I get too worked up about the stupidity of parts of this series, I don’t care what the showrunners are saying, the Knave has some serious chemistry with Alice. Sure, every scene she spends with the Genie has a love feeling to it, but it’s more like puppy love, the thing young kids or teenagers have. With the Knave it’s like they can actually work together. I know they’re writing it so that there is no love triangle involved, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t look that way every time the actors are on screen together. Besides, why would he go to save her from the asylum if he didn’t have some kind of feelings for her?
My rating: 6 out of 10 (and that’s being generous).

Best Lines:
“With a name like that, why would they? Unless they were a care bear.” – the Knave tells Alice.
“Oh, bloody hell.” – Alice says, before she forces herself to drop from the fairy’s magic to save the Knave from drowning.

All right, I’m off to go watch The Vampire Diaries, then either Grey’s Anatomy or The Crazy Ones, not sure which will come next just yet. Stay tuned.

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