Discussion Post

;once upon a television series

bookworm things

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I love to fairytale adaptations. A lot. Like if you’re adapting a fairytale – and making it diverse! – I’m there. I’ll be shoving money into your hands eagerly for your work.

I really, really love fairytale adaptations.

So when there are adaptations for the big screen? For the small screen? You can bet I’m excited. Especially for the small screen. More chances of it being at least a little bit diverse.

once upon a television series

I remember being so excited when Once Upon A Time started. I slowly grew disillusioned with the show – sometime in season 3, I ragequit because my favourite character was killed off with little to no resolution to his story – but that does not mean the wonder and awe and magic of the fairytales diminished any.

There have been a few other shows that have been adaptations of fairytales. Some have been mini-series, and some were cancelled too soon, and all of them were wonderful and magical, and very, very aesthetically pleasing.


  • I may prefer fanfiction to where the canon took Once Upon A Time, but the spin-off one season of Once Upon A Time In Wonderland was actually really good, with a very talented cast, and sure, sometimes the CGI was a little wonky, but overall? Would watch again. One of the best things about it is that I don’t need to watch the main show to enjoy it!
  • Another Wonderland adaptation is SyFy’s Alice. Honestly, I rewatch this two-parter at least once every year. It is a little bit less magic and a little more science-fictiony in ways, and Alice is a lot more jaded and mistrustful, but it is so amazing. I love Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter so much. “Does this look like a kid’s story to you?”* Iconic.
*This quote was delivered so well, and this scene is so perfect. I want to make a bookmark for this but I don’t know if there’s a market for this show.

wish watch list

  • Another adaptation done a few times is The Wizard Of Oz. I’m still waiting on a Wicked TV show – music and all, please and thank you – but besides that, SyFy has done a magic meets science-fiction type show that is just a few episodes long. Tin Man was probably the first time I saw Zooey Deschanel in something, and she plays Dorothy so well. There are a few twists and turns in this story that I won’t spoil, but safe to say, it’s a little darker and a little more grim and a lot of fun.
  • Emerald City is more recent, but it was cancelled after one season. I’m still finishing this show up – I’ve got two more episodes – and I love it so much. It’s got a few twists I didn’t see coming, and a little more diversity than a lot of other shows. I’m still upset it’s been cancelled, because apparently there were some storylines left unfinished.

There are definitely more shows I could mention – The 10th Kingdom is pretty fun, though it probably could be updated, I guess? – but these are some of my favourites, and ones I like to rewatch often.

Do you like watching fairytale adaptations? Which fairytales do you think should be adapted more?


I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.


  • The Content Cr_Eater

    I don’t think the fairytale in Strowlers ep1 was real but it was a story about retelling. TBH I don’t watch western TV too often as the stuff I like tends to get the ax after one season. ? Though I might check out Alice and Tin Man, Syfy is all right.

  • Rayna

    I love fairytales so much! I remember when Once Upon A Time came out I was SO pumped! But I also stopped watching around season three because I felt like it wasn’t holding up to the previous seasons. Like… they were trying too hard? I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but all of these shows sound really cool!

    • Ara

      I stopped watching in s3 too! They definitely lost the plot around there – it became more about how many tales they could fit in instead of an organic tale about finding oneself and finding family and love. The other shows are a lot more compact and gritty, and I definitely recommend them.

  • Kristina

    Ah ! interesting!
    The only one I knew about was “once upon a time”, which I haven’t watched but got talked about. Idk, im just not a fan of the Wizard of Oz though, which I guess make sense as it’s not something i’ve watched alot (have I even watched it ?? idk ..)

    • Ara

      I’m not a huge fan of either Wizard Of Oz or Alice In Wonderland as they stand originally, but I’ve really enjoyed these takes on them! You can watch a bit for free if you want on YouTube, and see if you like them?

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I used to watch Once Upon a Time, but then I just sort of drifted away from it after a while. I need to get back to it on Netflix. And I definitely want to watch the Wonderland one now. Emerald City sounds good, but I’d hate to start a show that I know is going to end with loose ends.

    • Ara

      I think OUAT sort of lost what it was that made it so magical in the beginning, but Wonderland is GOOD. And Emerald City apparently wraps up most of its’ plots but sets up a larger arc that never got resolved? I’ve heard it’s still worth watching, which is why I started it.

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