We're reviewing six new 2013 pilots this Fall TV season! We'll be dishing about the good, the bad, and the hotties on the small screen. Twin Takedown style, of course ;)
Krista: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is a spin-off of ABC's Once Upon a Time, but you really don't need to watch the latter show to enjoy the former. I'm not the biggest fan of OUAT but I still tune in for the show (call it a guilty pleasure).
Becca: Same, same. The characters on OUAT aren't all that compelling to me (except the Peter Pan lore), but Wonderland, I love. And I was hoping the characters would be a lot better than OUAT. So let's see how the pilot panned out!
Krista: The basic plot is this: Alice returns to Wonderland when the rabbit and Knave show up telling her that her true-love (Cyrus - the genie) is still alive. She searches for them, but it's clear that there is something sinister going on in Wonderland. And most of the villains are after Alice's three wishes. Out of the pilots this season, this is one of the few that I literally was interested from start to finish. The plot hooked me, and it's really not even because it takes place in Wonderland. It's interesting on its own accord.
Becca: Totally agree! I love the idea that you have to be "granted" the three wishes (which look like gems). You can't steal them. I think the plot has lots of promise, especially Alice trying to find her true love. Even if it was more of an insta-love connection, I feel so badly for Alice that I want her to find Cyrus as quickly as possible!
Krista: Yes! You definitely feel for Alice from the beginning. All the normal people in England thinks she's crazy, but you know it isn't true. You want something good to go her way.
Krista: We're going to start with our lead: Alice.
I love fresh faces on TV, and this cast is littered with them. Alice's character is badass and daring, and romantic. I loved her from start to finish.
Becca: Her badass scene in the asylum was awesome. She used her boots to knock out her opponents. And I agree 100% the fresh face is refreshing and I love that she's not stereotypically pretty. On comment boards, people have been kind of mean towards the actress because they think she's not beautiful enough. To all of those people, I give you a big fat side glare.
Krista: Ugh. I hate how cruel comment boards (on TV recaps) can become. I also side glare all those people.
Now to the fan-favorite: Knave aka The Knave of Hearts.
He's the heart and humor of the show, and will be the reason why I'm going to keep watching. He's a brilliant actor, and I'm wondering why I've never seen him before Wonderland.
Becca: I ALREADY SHIP HIM AND ALICE! I know Alice loves Cyrus and all, but please, he's magnetic on screen, and Alice has such great friendship chemistry. The pair of them together seriously upstage every single cast member on the original OUAT. Case in point: the marshmallow scene. Somehow Knave makes every corny line brilliant and hilarious. And Alice is just so genuine and lovely. Together, they are perfection. (Can you tell I'm obsessed already?)
Also: Knave is a lot like Hook in OUAT in that both are slightly evil. You never know if Knave is going to choose the moral road or the immoral one, and that's always fun to watch.
Krista: Yes! Hook and Knave are both a lot a like, which is maybe why I've already fallen for Knave as well :)
And then there's Cyrus. The genie.
His character is basically introduced with insta-love, but I'm curious to see how his character develops without centering around loving Alice.
Becca: I like him as a plot device -- he's the reason that Alice is on this journey and completely empathize with her broken heart. As far as Cyrus as a standalone character, we need to see more of him. Right now, his personality is just Alice's love interest, and that's not enough to connect to him.
Krista: And now to the villain. The Queen of Hearts.
She's pretty chilly and has a new blonde look for the Queen. If you're a Once Upon a Time fan then you know the Queen of Hearts was introduced as Regina's mother last season, so I'm curious about this change in terms of consistency in the OUAT world. Other than that, I think she could prove to be pretty evil.
Becca: And her voice? How cool is her voice? Can she narrate my life? She has this silky, "I will cut you will doing my nails and sipping a martini" tone that is just so casual evilness. I love it!
Krista: I so agree! Her voice is pure silk. Again, why have I never seen this actress anywhere else before?
The second villain is from the Aladdin mash-up of the show. Jafar.
I find him much creepier than the Queen of Hearts, but I love that OUATIW chose to go with two villains. It makes things way more complicated and interesting.
Becca: I'm not the biggest fan of Jafar. He seems like a villain that would be in OUAT (the original) because he's super corny. And I like that Wonderland has nailed down the fairytales without turning them into a joke. Jafar missed the mark a little.
Krista: You're right that he is a little cheesier than the rest of the cast, but I'm hoping that's because there wasn't much time for characterization in the pilot.
And lastly...THE RABBIT!
I was really surprised that the creators chose to go a CGI route for the rabbit. Even though the rabbit is a animal (obviously) they've had humans play animal roles (like the Wolf in OUAT). John Lithgow voices the rabbit and I think it's an okay character. Not really that interesting but not terrible either.
Becca: I'm interested to see whether or not the rabbit is evil. I do think they should have went with an actual person to cut down on the CGI usage, but I got used to it over time.
Krista: The whole series centers around the love between Alice and Cyrus. Like I mentioned before, it's insta-love. But that's okay because fans have already started shipping a new couple: Alice and Knave. Seriously, if these two don't hook up by the end of show I'll be shocked.
I mean, it's only been one episode and I am already starting to ship them. The leads are definitely great actors and their chemistry on screen (even if it's only friendly right now) is amazing.
Becca: Yes, Yes, Yes! One episode in and these two are the reason to watch. Swoon worthy boy (who used to be a bad boy and may still be) and a girl that you can relate too. So much love here.
Krista: This is where the show might seriously tank. I've said it before and I will continue to say it again. The less CGI on television, the better. Are you listening Once Upon a Time? I can tell when your living room sets are CGI. Seriously, how hard is it to build a living room set for the Queen of Hearts?
Becca: I know! Build a dang living room. Throw in some couches and a table and do some close-ups. Cut back on the CGI, please. It's a huge reason why fans of OUAT hate Wonderland after the pilot. They thought the CGI was hokey, even though we all knew it was coming. I think they should minimize as much as possible.
Krista: And if Star Wars was able to make mini-models that look f*cking amazing, you can do better with your wide-shots of Wonderland. There is no need for this to look even cheaper than a SyFy show.
I will give props to the Cheshire Cat, which you could tell wasn't all done with CGI. It was what I hoped the sets looked like.
Becca: The Cheshire Cat was probably the best thing. But they just don't have time (because it's a TV show) to do great CGI. So they really do need to build some sets to use repeatedly. But unless more people tune in next week, I don't know if ABC is going to invest in anything Wonderland related.
Krista: The ending wasn't too big of a shocker, but it was cool enough to have me excited for the next episode.
Becca: Yeah, it was predictable, but unlike the OUAT, I'll be returning to Wonderland for the characters not necessarily because of the plot. And for me, characters are literally everything.
WHO SHOULD WATCH IT?
Krista: Obviously, any fans of Once Upon a Time should tune into the Wonderland spin-off. If you like romance and English accents, then this will also be your cup of tea.
Becca: Yes, fans of English accents will fall in love with Knave. I'd also say anyone who likes CW shows. We're big fans of the CW, and we both went giddy over Wonderland.
WILL WE WATCH IT?
Krista: I enjoyed it a thousand times more than Once Upon a Time. It has better acting and an overall better plot. The only problem I really had with the pilot was the awful CGI. If the execs can somehow rectify that without making every episode look cheesy than this will be a great season. A-
Becca: One of the best pilots I've seen yet. I'm curious to see what lovers of OUAT think of Wonderland. So far, I haven't been hearing good things, which makes me nervous. I concur, this is by far better acted and has better scripts than OUAT. And so far the only downside I can spot is the CGI too. Get on that ABC. I give Wonderland an A-
Krista: It premiered incredibly low in its time-slot, and so I think this one may be on the bubble. While it has a fanbase since it's a spin-off, it may not help it in the end. It's going to have to be cult-ish to remain around. I'll be really upset if this show doesn't get a full-season pick up, since it's one of my favorite pilots this year.
Becca: Definitely has the most promise out of all the shows I've watched, including The Originals. But the ratings did not reflect how great of a pilot it was. This better not be like Last Resort from last year. That brilliant show was in the same bad time-slot and met a grim fate. Wonderland will only stay around if it draws in a bigger crowd and garners a higher rating. So people, start watching! I have to know what happens to Knave and Alice!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
It's time for your voices to be heard! Have you watched the episode? Are you planning on seeing it? Sound off below!