Now that we know that Syfy has turned to fairy tales for new Saturday Night Original Movies fodder, one question springs to mind: How can you make fairy tales more suitable for a Syfy audience? Here're three suggestions.
Okay, we'll be honest, that wasn't the only question that sprang to mind; "Why don't they just make the Fables TV show we've been hearing about for years?" was also in there. But we shouldn't really be surprised that Syfy is moving in this direction, especially after the success of miniseries like Tin Man and Alice... After all, there are only so many ways you can cross-pollinate two animals in order to make them sound scary. But fairy tales? They're a whole new world (Excuse the unintentional Beauty And The Beast pun)! Here are three important tips Syfy should remember to make sure we get our money's worth:
Don't Go Disney
Sure, there's a lot of sense in tackling the most famous fairy tales first, and with Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty & The Beast being listed as upcoming movies, the name recognition is definitely there. But hopefully this doesn't mean that the fairy tales themselves are going to be given the sanitized, cleaned-up treatment that they've suffered in their most famous incarnations. Almost every fairy tale already has a dark undercurrent to it, in its original form; instead of coming up with "gritty" sequels and reworkings, just use what's already there. It'll be much better.
Learn From Past Attempts
In similar "Don't Reinvent The Wheel" directions: This isn't the first time someone has tried to do this kind of thing, and Syfy shouldn't pretend it is. Why not use Fables, the countless "What if Snow White was older and it's all fetishy?" revamps, Pinocchio Vampire Slayer and all of the other earlier attempts - including their own Tin Man and Alice - as prototypes and see what works and what doesn't, and build from there.
Don't Get Cute
Of course, these are Syfy Saturday Movies, so "not cute" is fairly unlikely. But fairy tales already have their fair share of twee and sentiment, so any and all attempts to cut down on stunt casting (Look! It's [former 1980s popstar] and [failed teen heartthrob to whom the years haven't been too kind in either looks or career]!) and corny "ironic" humor would be very much appreciated. As soon as we see a Pinocchio being sold as "Everyone needs a little wood," it's time to bail, thank you very much.
We're not asking for the greatest fairy tale-inspired movies in the world - That would take Tim Burton and a bigger budget, we're fairly convinced - but here's hoping that these movies, when they appear are at least slightly better than Mansquito... Please?