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March 20 2013

Jane Espenson joins the "Once Upon a Time" spinoff. Should it go to series it will take place in Wonderland.

I wish Jane well and will certainly watch, but I'm ambivalent about OUaT. It's such a wonderful concept that I keep tuning in, but with the exception of the brilliant Robert Carlyle, the cliched dialog and wooden acting makes me keep wishing it was better than it is.
Oh, I find OUAT fun. But I do love Robert Carlyle too, especially on Jane Espenson's scripts. The combo is killer.

I generally enjoy everything she does so I'll be adding this to my list.
Since it aired OUAT has been the only show I've followed without losing interest in some way. People can say what they want but in my opinion it's an amazing show! Amazing acting, and story. I haven't been this invested in a show since Btvs, and I'm not big on the sappy. Jane's episodes especially! I'm very excited about the spinoff.

[ edited by OneGirlInAllTheWorld on 2013-03-20 21:15 ]

[ edited by OneGirlInAllTheWorld on 2013-03-20 21:20 ]
I haven't seen much of the second season yet, but I really wound up enjoying the first season as I got into it (I think you have to watch them in batches). I get what Amrita dislikes about the series, but I think there also have been a few very clever narrative twists and a lot of fun moments.

Like hann23 I'll at least try anything Jane is involved with and this spin-off sounds very interesting. Hope it gets made!

I've been encountering quite a lot of interesting meta-fictional stories that draw from and subvert fairy tales lately, and I like the trend. If you like the series for its treatment of fairy tales, you might also like Bill Willingham's Fables (I've fallen a bit behind on recently but it remains a great comic), or Jasper Fforde's fantastic Nursery Crime Series of books. Finally fairy tales (along Eastern European folklore) also pop up in interesting ways in Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher novels.
I guess I like Once Upon A Time. But it's fair to say that half the time I'm singing its praises and for the other half I'm screaming in frustration. Here's hoping the spin off will only make me do the former.
Is it worth a DVD marathon as I've never seen the show. The fact that it's getting a spinoff makes me thinks that something must be going right for it.
I don't know, really, Simon. It certainly may play into your trashy TV watching habits, but re: things going right for it - that's what I find most curious about this spinoff. Once has really struggled in the ratings lately. It's an expensive show, and I don't know if ABC could justify it falling much more.
@Simon, It is honestly my favorite show behind Buffy and Angel. It takes a few episodes for the cheesiness to wear off, but then the writers and actors find ther stride and I haven't watched a show that I have liked this much since a Whedon show. Great, great writing. It does feature Jane and Andrew Chambliss after all, not to mention several Whedon-y actor alums.
I find Once to be a frustratingly inconsistent show. A couple of recent scenes reminded me of Lost in all the best ways. But most weeks it has a lot of soap-style plotting, which bores me. I keep watching though, because I love fairy tales and the ocassional trope they get ridiculously right.
Guess that eliminates my hope that she would leave for S.H.I.E.L.D. then. Oh well.
I watched the show for more than a season and eventually gave up on it once I realized that the show was directionless. It suffers from the same problem as Lost in that it is more interested in posing questions than giving the show narrative clarity. Jane Espenson's Red Riding Hood episode was a hit of the series but other than that I find most of the characterization dull and uninteresting.
It is my favorite show on TV right now. The writing is amazing, and so is the acting.

The only thing with this is, I hope Jane keeps writing for OUAT, and not JUST for the spinoff.
Simon- I like this but it suffers from dragging things out a lot. I recommend Lost Girl instead, since it is so heavily Jsss influenced.
I love this show but I have to agree that that the dialogue can be cheesy (you can tell when an episode is written by Jane by the lack of cheese). Still, I think the stories are worth watching as are the new takes on classic fairy tales.

FangedFourLover, according to the article, Jane will likely stay with OUAT even if the spinoff gets picked up.
I'll definitely watch it!

Funnily, both CW and NBC are also developing Alice in Wonderland series. I'd love to see all three version.
Stopped watching early in the first season. Is the little kid still in it? He was one of the most grating characters I've ever seen.
I like Once Upon a Time and have never missed an episode. Have to say, though, I much prefer the present-day scenes to the fairytale flashbacks. They're a little too Disney-fied for my tastes, and the whole "medieval fairytale folk talking and acting like 21st century Americans" is a little bit grating to me, even though I've mostly gotten used to it.

I realize that Disney is the lens through which most people know fairytales today, but I think it would be a much better (though maybe less marketable) show if they stuck closer to the original stories.

I can't say I'm very interested in an Alice in Wonderland series. I'm too attached to the original. Besides, it seems like Alice is the latest flavor of the month... a public-domain property that entertainment corporations can beat to death with one tiresome "re-imagining" after another.

I'll stick with Lewis Carroll.

Good luck to Jane & Co., though. More scripted TV is always a good thing.
@ Simon:

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold totally steals the show. The show has other compelling characters, but none of them get as much screen time as they deserve. Carlyle is the exception because his role is so...encompassing? Versatile?

Like the second season of Lost, the writers drown the main cast with more characters. (The spinoff may or may not solve this problem. But since it focuses on an entirely different world, I don't think it will.) The problem is that instead of choosing a few fairytale characters to focus on, they attempt to include every single fairytale character in existence. And now they've branched off into different worlds, so the cast can now include people that aren't technically fairy tales. And we mustn't forget that there is also characters from our world - "the real world" - to consider!

Sure, it all sounds great in theory. In fact, I'd love to read a few novels set in the OUaT universe. But at some point you're going rip out your hair and scream, "Stop showing me cool things and GET ON WITH IT!" My opinion? When you watch the show in a marathon, you'll be happy. Waiting for the next episode from week to week? You'll be a lot less happy.
I was also kind of hoping that Jane would get pulled into S.H.I.E.L.D.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who sees the difference between Jane!eps and NotJane!Eps.
I read somewhere they intended the mini-series to be one short (13 episodes I guess) season to fill OuaT's winter hiatus. I don't know if that's the producers idea, some random critic guessing or plain fan speculation, but it sounded like something worth doing, especially giving OuaT's schedule issues this season.

I'd rather have a (short) season of Espenson-plotted and written awesomeness than a long-standing spin-off. Besides, if it works out, they should totally do Oz as well the next year!

Edited: I just remembered I read that on another site, from another fan... just before actually reading deadline's article in which he states the spinoff would work like "American Horror Story"'s anthology model, so... AWESOME!

I think AHS makes great television by constantly changing their rules while keeping a similar vibe each season, so count me in on Wonderland! Heh... Willow cross-over as well?

[ edited by Uete on 2013-03-21 19:18 ]
The first thing I thought when I saw this was now it looks less likely that Jane Espenson will be able to write for SHIELD. Isn't she the only writer other than Joss to have written episodes for all of his shows?

She's written many of the best episodes of Once Upon a Time. I agree with others here about the inconsistency, which is largely due to how slowly the season-long plots play out. But I watch it because I'm too attached to fairytales and the idea behind this show. I love fairytales, but too often it feels like the show uses them for the iconic characters, when it could get a lot out of drawing from the themes and variations of the original stories.
""Stop showing me cool things and GET ON WITH IT!" My opinion? When you watch the show in a marathon, you'll be happy. Waiting for the next episode from week to week? You'll be a lot less happy."

Egghead

Also, the Dwarves aren't all that... yanno, short.
\Heh.

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