The premiere of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” aired on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. This long awaited and much ballyhooed spinoff offered a promising storyline. Alice was a mission to be reunited with her lost love, the genie of the bottle, Cyrus.
The storylines were good and who would expect less from Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the show creators who broke their teeth on “Lost” and then the hit show “Once Upon a Time.”
Alice, now an adult committed to a psychiatric hospital is trying to convince a panel of doctors that she made up the stories about the magical land with a talking white rabbit. Just as they are about to drill out her brain to relieve her pain and wipe out her memories, the Knave of Hearts appears and busts her out.
Together they return to Wonderland with the help of the aforementioned rabbit. Alice is told Cyrus, whom she believed dead at the hands of the Red Queen, may still be alive and the quest begins.
Jafar, the genie’s nemesis actually is holding him captive and he wants the three wishes the genie gave to Alice. It was he who made a deal with the queen to get Alice to return to the magical land. It seems the alliance between Jafar and the Red Queen is a tenuous one.
So why did the show fall short of the mark? The special effects were less than special. They were hokey and served only to distract the viewer from the unfolding story. Obviously a place like Wonderland must rely heavily on CGI as actual sets would be impractical. This episode lacked the polish of its forerunner and was very disconcerting. Specifically the Cheshire Cat and the rabbit holes used to transport the characters were cartoonish and lame.
Hopefully the next episode is better. It airs Thursday, Oct. 17 on ABC at 7 p.m.
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