If there is one thing that many can agree upon right now, it is that “Once Upon a Time” is a phenomenon on ABC. While the recent ratings have not necessarily hit any home runs, there is still so very much in the way of good that the show has brought the network over the past year, whether it be DVR numbers, DVD sales, online streams, merchandising, and even exposure for some of their older classics in a modern-day setting.
It is thanks to all of these things that it is no surprise that the spin-off “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” was picked up, and while we hate the timing of it (coming on during the fall instead of during a hiatus for the flagship show (especially on Thursday nights against “The Big Bang Theory”), the show looks genuinely pretty exciting based on the first trailer.
For one, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis do not appear to be completely obsessed with trying to recreate the feeling of the original franchise. Instead, their fixation lies more in trying to create an interesting story that takes a look at the traditional tale from a different angle. This Alice reminds us a little bit of the American McGee version, at least in that there are questions of mental stability thrown about (and we already miss her blue and white dress). It has a little bit of the darkness that this Alice encapsulates, but also still keeps that fairy-tale feeling of the “Once Upon a Time” world. Is it a little strange to see a genie not played by Giancarlo Esposito? Sure, but he wouldn’t have been right for this part, anyway.
We’re still not completely sold on the visuals here, mostly in that these were also weak during the flagship show, and could be an even larger part of this. While this is one of the reasons for our trepidation right now, “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” still feels like something worth watching, especially if there are some crossovers built in.
This article is just one of many in our Fall TV Preview series. If you click here, you can watch trailers for many new shows, see schedules, and also view analysis.