Syfy spins fairy tales for Saturday night specials


What do you get when you cross classic fairy tales with edgy, updated writing?

If you guessed Fables, the terrific graphic novel by Bill Willingham, you’re absolutely right. Which is why I’m a tad skeptical about a new project by the Syfy network to release a series of original TV movies that put a dark spin on several of the familiar stories.

Starting Feb. 27, the network will air five titles that Syfy VP of programming Thomas Vitale promises will be “an entertaining new genre for our popular Saturday night movie franchise.”

Popular Saturday night movie franchise? Who knew? But in 2009, Syfy Saturday Original Movies averaged almost 2 millions viewers — not bad for a cable network on a Saturday night.

First on the schedule is Beauty and the Beast, starring Estella Warren.

In this version, the Beauty (Warren) has a gift of healing that she uses to help a deformed prince/Beast (Rhett Giles) regain his throne — and then defeat a power-hungry witch.

Here’s the trailer:


Better stock up on wine before Feb. 27, because it looks like you’re in for an evening of cheese.

The rest of the lineup includes retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, now a werewolf tale; Hansel and Gretel, in which Hansel discovers that Gretel is now a protégée of the witch who supposedly killed her; and Aladdin, who apparently didn’t learn to keep a lid on the genie shenanigans.

As much as I’d love for this series to be in the vein of Syfy’s Tin Man and Alice, the preview doesn’t give me much reason to be optimistic. Unless, of course, silhouettes of a Mike Nelson, Tom Servo and Crow show up at the bottom of the screen.

What do you think of Syfy’s fairy tale remakes? Do any of the stories spark your interest?

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