Why Once Upon a Time in Wonderland SHOULDN'T be cancelled: ABC on the decline

The spin-off of the popular and compelling series "Once Upon a Time," focuses on the story of Alice (no surprise there) and her boyfriend Cyrus, a genie, as well as the Queen of Hearts and her eternal love Will Scarlett, aka Knave of Hearts. The villain is none other than Jafar, of Aladdin fame, who wishes to use the power of all three genies to change the rules of magic. This is where the show demonstrates it's true depth and reverence to these stories we know so well, and paying even more attention to the fables that inspired them. Walt Disney was not the first person to envision Cinderella or Alice or Robin Hood or even Peter Pan and this show brings the original inspiration, combined with some of Disney's more gratifying changes, to a visually and emotionally captivating television experience. If there is anything the recent Tim Burton adaption has proved, it is that Lewis Carrol's story of Alice and the fabulous world of Wonderland are just as compelling as ever.

Here is where the bad news commences:


Essentially ABC has been stuggling since 2009, when Ugly Betty dominated the slot, to fill the Thursday night 8PM primetime opening. Originally planned as a coinciding show to be aired between seasons of Once Upon a Time in an effort to continue the story and expand the universe, while off the air, it was pushed up to fill the vacant spot left by shows like Charlie's Angels, Last Resort, and FlashForward that all bombed and were cancelled from that same time-slot.

More than anything it seems ABC simply has difficulty filling the thursday time-slot, given the competition is the likes of Glee, Marvel: Agents of Shield, The Mindy Project, and Justified, not to mention the countless talk shows that also air that day, like Chelsea Handler and Conan. The producers and writers did always guarantee the series would have a beginning, middle, and end, and now it seems they need to make all that come to a satisfying conclusion in only one last episode. Given the depth and cliffhangers this show has presented this task is a difficult one for the writers, but also much more available and straight-forward than many of the cancelled shows that predate "In Wonderland."

Most notably abscent from this fantasy show, and probably the downfall of the series, is all but Robin Hood being left out of this story. Had this been a mid-season event, the opportunity to expand on the original Once Upon a Time universe, and connect the two stories would have given the writers more chance to make this a hit show, just like it's predeccessor. If Rumplestilskin or Snow White had graced the scene of this show, rather than Robin Hood, I have no doubt it would have been a huge success.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is not the only ABC casualty either, the show Mind Games starring big names Steve Zahn and Christian Slater was also cancelled representing more of a migration away from ABC as a main channel more than anything. With competition coming from AMC and FX, ABC is no longer one of the dominant forces in primetime television. Their half-a$$ed attempt to remedy the situation is replacing "In Wonderland" with Shark Tank and then Grey's Anatomy, two of it's longest running shows. They are also trying to follow this slot with new episodes of Scandal, one of the best performing drama shows on the network, creating a wholly uninspired and boring ABC thursday.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was a much better adaption that Tim Burton's recent attempt, and a great spin-off to one of the best shows of the 2010's. The fact that we will be limited to one season is more of a travesty than the end of Firefly or even Freaks and Geeks.... This is one of the best adaptions of Lewis Carrol's brilliant writing, combined with a stellar cast (including John Lithgow and Naveen Andrews), with a twist inspired by all the fairy-tales we have come to know and love. Honestly who doesn't want a LIVE-ACTION JAFAR????????


I do like Wonderland, but I personally don't agree it's more of a travesty than Firefly's cancellation!

To me, it comes down to the choices the network made. They should have used it as planned, to fill the break in the original Once's season. Also, they should have used Sebastian Stan as the Mad Hatter as a central character.

Since it's theoretically possible that they can have some of the characters cross over into the main series, that's what they should do going forward.
tmcmeekin;bt1841 said:
I do like Wonderland, but I personally don't agree it's more of a travesty than Firefly's cancellation!

I have always had a certain disdain for Firefly. I watched this show during the original run and honestly it is the weakest of Joss Whedon's creations. Doll House was far more compelling and the quality of acting far exceeded that of Firefly, or Serenity for that matter... Joss Whedon has created masterpieces with Nathan Fillion like Dr Horribble's and Much Ado About Nothing, but his portrayal of a space captain was half-assed left a negative mark on his acting profile