TV Review: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

ABC's fairy-tale mishmash Once Upon a Time can be exciting and fun and sexy and a little badass. It can also be breathtakingly stupid and so corny it makes after-school specials look like Edward Albee plays. So too for its spinoff, Once Upon and Time in Wonderland (ABC, 8 p.m.), which has similar virtues and vices. Some scenes are soaringly, beautifully romantic, while others threaten to give viewers spiritual diabetes.


Wonderland takes its predecessor's approach of combining characters from different stories into one general fantasy world; here, it's some of the characters you'd recognize from Lewis Carroll (Alice, the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat), plus some from Disney's Aladdin (a genie, Jafar). Alice (Sophie Lowe, a sort Saoirse Ronan–lite) begins the pilot in a mental hospital, where she's being "treated" for standing by her story of having visited Wonderland. While in Wonderland, she had fallen in love with a handsome genie named Cyrus (Peter Gadiot), but the Red Queen (Emma Rigby) seemingly killed him, and thus we find Alice heartbroken, despondent, and incarcerated in a Victorian asylum. But! Just before undergoing an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind love-erasing procedure, Alice is visited by the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (a CGI creature voiced by John Lithgow), who convince her that Cyrus is still alive, and that she'd better come back to Wonderland to find him. And we're off to the races.  Read More...


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