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Tell Me A Story - Hope & Loss - Double Review: No Happy Endings

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TELL ME A STORY takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern-day New York City, the first season of this serialized drama interweaves “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” into an epic and subversive tale of love, loss, greed, revenge, and murder.

"One tiny thread pulled in the universe that triggers a cosmic hell of human suffering."

First of all, the presentation with the dark fairytale illustrations going even darker and more human is absolutely amazing, but it might be mainly a trick since even though one of the best parts of the first episode is figuring out who’s who, after that, the fairytale aspect of the show seems to disappear, still, it’s a pretty interesting drama and the characters are well developed given how few episodes we’ve seen so far. The stories of the main characters do intertwine but for the most part, they don’t clash, for now. In line with the dark theme, there’s nudity and quite a lot of political talk I was honestly not expecting.

Little red riding hood is Kayla, a teenager with an attitude, which sounds redundant, I know. She and her father have just moved in from California after her mother died and they now live with her grandmother, Collen, who’s played by the awesome Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) and is kind of a bitch to Kayla but might be the only one able to get through to her. Her new school where everyone appears to smell blood in the water is the source of all the teenage drama you could hope for.

She quickly makes a new friend, Laney, and Ethan, who can't really be called a friend. The first time she and Laney go out she hooks up with a guy named Nick, after which she starts opening up and freaked out by this runs away. When she gets home she and her father exchange a heartbreaking look and no words, they’re both clearly hurting from the death of her mom and none of them really know how to deal with it. The next day they're introduced to a new substitute for the English teacher, and guess who it is? Nick Sullivan, yeap, hookup guy, how very R-rated Pretty Little Liars.

Nick starts freaking out about her being underage and she tries to get him to calm down saying no one will know but we know things get trickier later on. After having a fight with her dad, Kayla shows up at Nick's door, he realizes she’s high so he gives her some coffee and gets her to open up about her mom’s death, she says she and her father are too messed up because all they see when they look at each other is the person they miss the most, and you can truly see the age difference here, Nick’s now behaving like an adult and she's acting like a dramatic teenager.

Now, Jordan, he's seemingly our wolf, we get to see his relationship with Beth, how he was trying to pressure her into getting married and getting pregnant, but she's reluctant since she says the world is too ugly right now to bring a new life into the world, and she can't seem to think about anything else. But then she changes her mind, they go to a protest against police brutality where everyone is wearing pig masks and she decides to say yes to Jordan, so they go together to buy an engagement ring and here's where the three piggies come in.

Apparently only Eddie (Paul Wesley - The Vampire Diaries), a drug addict with “fuck god” tattooed on his chest and Mitch (Michael Raymond - Once Upon a Time) are brothers, but Sam (Dorian Missick - Luke Cage) is not related to them and seems to be the only one with a higher criminal intent and the only black character on the show, you can draw your own conclusions. Other than him the good guys and the bad guys are fully in the grey, something that makes sense since they’re going the realistic route. So, the three piggies go into the jewelry store where Beth and Jordan are buying the ring and when the guard tries to be a hero, Sam shoots him and a bullet gets to Beth.

I do have to say Beth's characters was pretty much the only one in the cast I wasn’t feeling, so even though this will bring heartbreak for Jordan I’m not sad she won’t be around, this cast is just too good to be ruined by boring interactions. At first, we see the police investigation and they find Eddie but they don't have anything to hold him so Jordan who’s having some PTSD, follows him to work at the club and then home. And I really like the guy who plays Jordan, James Wolk (Zoo), but I can't say I'm impressed with his acting skills here.

We also have Dania Ramirez (Once Upon a Time) on yet another fairytale based show, but I have to say the dramatic theme might have inspired her since she's a lot better here. Hanna would be Gretel, she’s a badass veteran that now trains at a gym, and she's dragged into a mess by her brother Gabe who would be Hans. One night Gabe and his roommate Billy party with a sketchy guy named Dan and when Billy tries to steal from him the guy gets aggressive and ends up dead, Billy runs but Gabe is in shock and he calls Hannah, he helps him clean up and they both leave. Later they learn he was a pretty bad guy and someone moved his body and threw it in the river which really gets Hannah curious.

This show is intense, I was a little disappointed when I realizes there wasn't going to be a lot of references to the original fairy tales but when I got over that I realized I'm still eager to see where it all goes and I'm still curious what they would do with a second season and a second batch of characters. As it stands, and since they're not following the stories to the letter, obviously, I can't imagine they would go for a happy ending for either of these characters, but it should be very interesting to watch the descent into further darkness.

"The world has no place for that anymore."

Are you liking the show so far? Were you disappointed? Let me know in the comments.

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