Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The 10th Kingdom

It isn't that I need everything to be brilliant, stellar, and perfect. It's just that I like a little more depth when one story interacts with others stories. So while there appears to be a dedicated fan base for the 2000 miniseries The 10th Kingdom, I can't quite put myself in their midst.

Most people seem to agree that the five part series starts a bit slow; I in fact didn't even feel like watching the first episode through to the end. But it does get better as you keep moving along, finishing off with a satisfying happy ending.

What continues to confuse me is the intro sequence: it has very little to do with the actual plot of the series. It applies constant moving back and forth between New York/our world and the fairy tale dimension and some sort of mirroring between the two places. In fact, there is very little moving through worlds (especially after the beginning), and we never got the implication I was expecting that New York was somehow part of these fairy tale kingdoms. But you could call this a minor detail.

What most bothers me is the surface-level of most of the plot and theme elements. Perhaps I've just been watching too many Nick Willing productions, but the interaction with fairy tales here just didn't seem enough. Snow White is the story most alluded to, but most of the allusions to it and other stories are blatant, not appearing as carefully thought out. Virginia randomly is cursed so that her hair keeps growing and growing--okay, we can all recognize Rapunzel in that, but where's the art in that recognition? The themes of "be careful what you wish for" and "be careful who you trust" are definitely brought in throughout the series, but fairy tales offer more than that--they're not actually simplistic: they're very symbolic. A little more symbolism would have lifted this series higher in my mind.

As it was, I came to enjoy watching as a light diversion, but my interest ends there.

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