The Original Ravens of Wonderland: I Just Hate Everything’s Spin-off Face-off – Blog
A little while ago I was eagerly and warily anticipating the arrival of 3 spin-offs of some of my favourite shows:
- Ravenswood, a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars
- The Originals, a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries
- Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, a spin-off of Once Upon a Time
Well, the gang’s all here now. Which means it’s time to choose which one is the best.
Always be judgemental, baby.
Let’s start with 3rd place:
As of writing, Ravenswood has only aired 1 episode (2 if you count the half backdoor pilot from PLL’s Halloween episode this year), which is no small factor in my current apathy towards it.
I’m still frozen in fear at the thought of supernatural excuses violating its parent show. And by that same token, if every issue the Ravenswood characters encounter boils down to “curse did it,” that will suck, too. Unless they ship a Bonnie-esque witch in to help sort that shit out, what are our moody teens supposed to do?
Were my initial fears true? It remains to be seen. But the first episode and the PLL Halloween episode are hitting that supernatural element hard, so my hopes are not high, unfortunately.
But then again, I was not a huge fan of PLL’s first 10-ish episodes, and it got its act together. I’ll remain open, but not hopeful. Which is my approach to pretty much everything in my life.
Show life expectancy: 2 seasons. But they won’t be good.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
This one is the only one of the 3 not to have a backdoor pilot, and I think it deserves a little cred for that.
I’m marking it up because the Red Queen might just be even more fabulous than Queenie (and she’s blonde!), the CGI is not too glaring so far, and Jafar’s inclusion means we might see more Disney properties weaving their way in sometime soon.
What I’m not so keen on is the strong “love is everything” angle that’s already casting its rosy shadow over the proceedings. Its parent show also suffered from that, particularly on the Mary Margaret/David front, but had the luxury of using the Storybrooke setting to be less idealised. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland doesn’t have that to fall back on, and with Alice, the major offender in the love stakes, being the maing character, I’m worried.
Were my initial fears true? Kind of. The CGI wank is still there. Thanks to, I assume, budget contraints, it’s not as overwhelming as TIm Burton’s vision, so that’s something. Character-wise, though, it’s already miles ahead and miles deeper than that Johnny Depp ejaculation of an excuse for a movie.
Show life expectancy: 1 season. Unless the parent show crossovers become high-stakes, there’s no reason for this to survive. But hey, Revenge is on season fucking 3 right now, so ABC can’t be trusted.
And now, the winner:
This one has the greatest advantage of having the most episodes aired as of writing (4. Or 5, if you count the backdoor pilot). But it’s not just a numbers game.
My enduring love for Rebekah easily gives The Originals the edge. Throw in Tonko reprising her role as Hayley (looking fucking incredible, too), Elijah bringing some class, Marcel being hot as shit, and Leah Pipes getting play, and there was never really any contest, was there?
Were my initial fears true? Surprisingly, Klaus has become bearable as a protagonist. Maybe I’ve been conditioned to accept overwrought, bratty protagonists thanks to TVD (Elenaaaaa), but his Papa Wolf pride is on the brink of endearing. Is this real life? And he’s not even pining for Caroline. Wow.
Our little Klausy is all grown up and setting his sights on an even better blonde prize.
Show life expectancy: more than 2 seasons. This seems to be a show The CW actually cares about (unlike some others), and as long as TVD is around (and it seems goddamn immortal at this point), The Originals has the support to survive.