Wednesday, April 28, 2021

TV Show Review: Tell Me a Story - Season 2

Stars
: 5 out of 5
Pros: Creative and addicting take on three familiar tales
Cons: Dark and twisted, so know that going in
The Bottom Line:
Three more fairy tales
Fresh take.  Twisted together
Dark.  Enjoyable




“Been Nice Fighting with You.”

I really did debate about watching season 2 of Tell Me a Story.  Considering how dark and twisted season 1 had been, I wasn’t sure I was ready for season 2.  Curiosity won out, and I’m glad it did since I really enjoyed season 2.

This season, the theme is princesses as the show puts a modern-day twist on fairy tale stories.  You will definitely recognize elements of the stories, but they take on dark and sinister tones here, even considering how dark fairy tales were when first created.  The show was designed as an anthology series, so only two of the actors from season 1 are back, and they are both playing different characters.  (Ironically enough, they are scene partners for quite a bit of the season.)

Unlike the first season, the connection between all of these stories is obvious right away, and not superficial.  The stories revolve around the Pruitt siblings.

The first story is their take on Beauty and the Beast.  Ashley Rose Pruitt (Natalie Alyn Lind) is about to launch a career as a country singer.  However, leaving a release day concert for her first CD, her car explodes.  While the bomb doesn’t kill her, she does suffer massive burns.  Months later, she is still recuperating.  The bomber is still out there, so her mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) hires private security for her, including suspended cop Beau Morris (Eka Darville).  As feelings between Ashley Rose and Beau develop, Ashley has to decide how to move forward with her career, or even if she should with the bomber still at large.

Sleeping Beauty is the inspiration for the second tale.  This one follows Maddie Pruitt (Odetta Annable), who is thrilled to be engaged to Tucker Reed (Paul Wesley).  Tucker is an author who is under tremendous pressure to finish his second book by the deadline.  So he does what any author would do under those circumstances – he retreats to his family’s cabin.  That’s just cover for something much darker, however – he’s kidnapped Olivia Moon (Danielle Campbell).  He believes she can help him finish his book on time.

The third story focuses on Simone Garland (Ashley Madekwe), who has returned to town briefly for the death of her father.  Unfortunately, that means dealing with her step-mother and two step-brothers.  If you are sensing Cinderella, you’d be right.  However, rumors that her father didn’t die of natural causes and a will that surprises her cause her to stick around town.  What will that mean for her fledgling romance with Jackson Pruitt (Matt Lauria).

At times, the relationship to the underlying fairy tale is obvious and at others it is easy to forget the show involves fairy tales in any way, shape, or form.  But that’s okay because all three of these stories are compelling.  And suspenseful.  We can’t leave out suspenseful.  There are lots of twists and plenty of danger for all of the characters.

These scripts put the actors through their paces, and all of them rise to the occasion each week.  They helped draw me into the show, and I didn’t want each episode to end.  And it was because they made their characters so real that I cared so much about them.

One reason that I got so engrossed in this season is that I found the characters so much more likeable.  Oh, there were the villains, but even they were complex enough that we could feel for them at times.  But it was easy to tell who the heroes were, and we could root for them.  That’s not to say they didn’t do something bad occasionally, but their actions were understandable given their circumstances.

This is a dark and twisted show.  This isn’t a Disney fairy tale, and it isn’t my normal light, cozy fare.  Since I watched this on The CW, I’m sure some things were edited out, but even so, this is a dark show.  Keep that in mind when you go to watch it.

But if you get a chance, I do recommend that you watch season 2 of Tell Me a Story.  You can jump in here and enjoy this dark twist on three familiar stories.

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