Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1x02 "Trust Me"

Original Air date: Oct. 17, 2013

As much as I want to like this show, I think it still has a few kinks to iron out before I can truly love it.

In this second episode Alice and Knave set out to retrieve Cyrus’ bottle from where Alice and Cyrus buried it long ago. Alice tells everyone they meet exactly where they are headed knowing that in Wonderland word of their destination is sure to find the ears of whomever is holding Cyrus hostage.

While on their trek Alice thinks back on when she and Cyrus first fell in love, his gift of three wishes, her learning to swordfight and their first kiss. We also get a brief glimpse at Knave’s sordid past (he gets the bejesus slapped out of him by a very angry fairy). This is where I’m going to try to keep my overactive shipper heart at bay… I find the AlicexCyrus love story while sweet not enough to carry an entire show. Which is kind of how this show is set up. Alice loves him so much that she is willing to tear Wonderland apart to get to him – that’s a story I should love, but I don’t. I find Cyrus a little boring. I want to hear about Knave and Anastasia. I want to see how he and Alice met and what else he’s gotten up to that there’s a bounty on his head (which full disclosure: I’m a fan of Michael Socha’s after Being Human UK. So there’s that).

I’m trying not to harp too much on this episode/show but there’s so much that I don’t find very interesting. The Red Queen, for example, she’s a push over and she doesn’t have the prescience to play opposite of Naveen Andrews’ Jafar. It’s not a partnership, it’s an internship for the Red Queen and while she did get lucky with discovering the true destination of Cyrus’ bottle, I don’t foresee her as being a credible threat to Jafar much less Alice. Which is disappointing because what’s better than one villain? Two villains.

Another little bit that was apparent in this episode. What makes this very different from Once Upon a Time (this spinoff is using the former’s name for an audience so it’s only natural it gets compared from time to time) is that it doesn’t have the gravity of the “real world” to tie it down. In Once Upon a Time we get the fairytale story paralleled to its real world counterpart in a non-magical place like Storybrooke. Wonderland doesn’t have that break. Everything takes place in the Fairytale world of Wonderland where ponds are made of marshmallow and dandelions are flower-lions. There’s no break from the magic no reality to ground it and I think its missing that.
In conclusion: Alice is rude to turtles and Knave can’t swim and enjoys one night stands with fairies. An entire hour and I feel like only two things really happened. The Red Queen has Cyrus’ bottle and Alice finally got her proof that Cyrus is alive and still loves her.

Hoping this show picks up next week or it’s going on the back burner for me.

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