TV Review: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'

ABC debuts fairytale spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, on Thursday at8 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“In a way, the darkened take on fairy tales employed here almost immediately takes OUATIW (as ABC not so helpfully abbreviates it) into treacherous waters, closer to the movie Sucker Punch than anyone should willingly venture.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

Once Upon a Time, now entering its third season, is a decent hit for ABC so it made sense to build on the brand (this is a Disney company, after all). If you dislike that over-the-top fairy-tale stuff of Once Upon a Time, there’s a chance that Wonderland will be a little more grounded with the acting while considerably more odd with the visuals, which just might be a good combination.”
—Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“Compared with the original, Wonderland boasts a more streamlined story (at least for now) that’s built upon an easier-to-understand quest: Save the boy; go back home. It also benefits from having a plucky heroine, well-played by Lowe, who doesn’t rely on men or magic to fight her battles or solve her problems.”
Robert BiancoUSA Today (opens in new tab)

“Ms. Lowe is a callow Alice, though she does exhibit hand-to-hand combat skills. The one cast member who brings some life to the proceedings is Mr. Socha as the sarcastic Knave of Hearts. ”
—Mike Hale, The New York Times

“In tone and execution, Wonderland strongly mimics the network’s Snow White-derived Once Upon a Time, now in its third season. Both shows shape their imaginary worlds and characters into a modern riff on the pulpy adventure/romance; even the computer-generated mountain vistas and pastel sunsets tend to evoke the painterly schmaltz of Harlequin novels. ”
—Hank Stuever,The Washington Post