10th Kingdom Doesn't Need 10 Hours
Reviewed by Beth Hannan Rimmels
The 10th Kingdom would be perfect if someone hadnít decided to also make it 10 hours.
An original adventure, Kingdom claims that the Brothers Grimm didnít make up their fairy tales. Instead, they ended up with a book of history from the fairy realms. This NBC miniseries takes place 200 years later and shows that happily ever after didnít last as long as everyone hoped.
An Evil Queen (Dianne Wiest) escapes from prison and enchants Prince Wendell (Daniel Lapaine), turning him into a dog. The dog/prince then evades his troll pursuers via a magic mirror that transports him to modern day New York where he meets Virginia (Kimberly Williams) and her father Tony (John Larroquette). These average, put-upon New Yorkers end up following the dog/prince back into the world of the nine kingdoms where they try to break his enchantment and recover the mirror so they can return home. Accompanying them is Wolf (Scott Cohen), who is struggling with his animal nature as he romantically pursues Virginia with the aid of various self-help books he obtained in our world.
The cast, which includes Rutger Hauer as the Huntsman, Ed OíNeill as Relish the Troll King, Camryn Manheim as Snow White and Ann-Margret as Cinderella, is stellar. Cohen in particular grows on you. While his acting seems a little heavy handed at first, by the time the full moonís PMS-like influence kicks in, Cohen has woven his own spell over the audience.
But the miniseries is just too long. The story has some great layers to it, such as Virginiaís suppressed rage over her motherís abandonment of her, but way too many subplots and tangents for todayís click-happy viewing audience. Two hours minimum could have been trimmed from it easily leaving behind a story as juicy as the sheep Wolf is always craving.
The 10th Kingdom airs 9 p.m. ET Sunday, February 27; 8 p.m. Monday, February 28; 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 1; 9 p.m. Sunday, March 5; 8 p.m. Monday, March 6, on NBC.