The 10th Kingdom

Part of my job involves selecting new A/V materials for the library system I work for. I’m part of the committee that chooses new CDs, audiobooks, DVDs, etc. and I love that it gives me a heads up about new things coming out and specifically what’s coming to our library. As I was looking through one of our supplier’s catalogs, I happened to notice this one: The 10th Kingdom.

Oh my goodness. Guys. I love The 10th Kingdom. I’ve been thinking a lot about it for the past year or two, probably due to the influence of watching Once Upon A Time, but I’ve been unable to find it. Netflix was not carrying it, copies on Amazon were exorbitantly expensive, and our old VHS copies from home were not even an option (I don’t own a TV, much less a VCR!). But it has recently been re-released on DVD and Amazon copies are now an entirely affordable $6. Or check your local Target! They’re not selling it online but they do have some copies available in store for a dollar less and the benefit of immediate gratification! (Or if you’re super cheap and lazy, apparently the whole thing is available on youtube. Did I know this before? Maybe. But somehow the idea of sitting in front of a computer to watch a 7 hour miniseries seems horribly unappealing.)

Basically, here’s the story: Virginia and her father Tony share an apartment in the building he takes care of. Virginia’s mother left them some years before and they have not heard from her since. They discover a magic mirror that transports them to the fairy tale kingdoms we have all heard so much about. We meet all kinds of fairy tale characters like trolls, charming princes, the Big Bad Wolf, Little Bo-Peep, Snow White, and so on. It’s probably been 10 years since I last saw the show but I still remember how much fun it was and what a good story it had to tell. So tonight? I’m heading to the store. I’ve got a long (rainy) weekend coming up and this seems like a pretty good way to spend it.

Happy Independence Day, American friends!

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17 thoughts on “The 10th Kingdom

  1. jubilare says:

    Huh, interesting! I’ve never heard of this before.

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  2. jubilare says:

    “They just split up, Ok?! Doesn’t that ever happen where you come from?”
    “Of course not. We either live happily ever after or we get killed by horrible curses.”

    Favorite line so far. This is… among the weirder things I have ever encountered. Weird, trippy, addictive and hilarious.

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    • Mary says:

      I’m glad you like it!

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      • jubilare says:

        I’m not exactly sure, yet, if I like it. I don’t dislike it, but there are elements I really like and elements that are quite disturbing, especially if taken metaphorically. Still, I am glad I am watching it. It’s engaging and interesting… and frenetic!

        One thing I really like, though, which may end up trumping the things that bother me, is the presentation of the 9 kingdoms. Fairy-tale-land is a harsh and really scary place, which is backed up by the old fairy-tales. This really is a “what if the world of the Brothers Grimm was real?” Brrr…

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      • Mary says:

        Ah, gotcha.

        I always love when fairy tales are shown to be the incredibly grim (no pun intended) things they are. We get so used to the pastel Disney versions where the villain dies, the lovely and delicate (or tough and spunky- depends on the era I suppose) princess gets her man, and everything ends happily. But some of those original tales- that is some terrifying stuff. Like Snow White, who had an active hand in the punishment of her stepmother and had her dance in red hot iron shoes til her death at Snow’s wedding(!). How’s that for a party??

        Do you watch Once Upon a Time? I like that they add in some of the darker bits of the original tales. Although they tend to be more Disney-ish than perhaps I would choose.

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  3. jubilare says:

    I’m hovering a bit today. I had a very strange explosion of views on my blog.

    Yes, exactly! I was very impressed when they didn’t pull the punch about the red-hot shoes. They seemed to say to themselves “wow, this is really dark stuff! Let’s explore that.” Fortunately, so far, they haven’t explored it so deeply that I couldn’t handle it. Whether from time-constraints or something more intentional, they never hover over anything disturbing long enough for it to really sink in, but thinking about the implications of this stuff crosses the line into nightmare fuel.

    Then there are the darker elements that are more implied and explored sometimes in humorous terms (funny and disturbing all at once) such as the parallel between Wolf’s predatory language and that of sexual predators.

    Then there are disturbing things like the singing ring, which falls into the worst of my possible categories for things and characters: Kill It With Fire! …and in this case, when I say “fire” I’m thinking Mount Doom, where it can return from whence it came with its less disturbing cousin.

    I think a lot of my problem (why I can’t say if I “like” it yet) is the tone. It jars on me sometimes. And yet, I find it hilarious and interesting and addictive. Oh the internal conflict!

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    • Mary says:

      That strange explosion of views might have been me. I was looking for your post on contrariness (sp?) and ended up just tracking back til I found it. I somehow missed a lot of your posts like the pictures of your masks. Gorgeous! And it is glad to see you back online. I’ve been praying for your health!

      And oh yes, that ring. I’m right there with you on that one. While I enjoy a good love story, that whole town gives me cold sweats. I’ve never really done “romantic”.

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      • jubilare says:

        Ahhh! Yes, it was you, then. It looked like someone going systematically through my posts (which do to other people on occasion, but it’s never happened to me!) I’m glad you enjoyed the masks! Health-wise, the news is good, but I have started Chemo, so I may feel pretty ick for the next few months. Thank you, so much, for the prayers!

        *nod nod nod* I am the same way. I’m good with Jane Austen (when it’s true Austen and not the overly-romanticized-under-saterized adaptations) or Faramir and Eowyn, but gooey romancey things make my skin crawl.

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  4. jubilare says:

    Oh, and yes, I do watch Once Upon a Time. It has pleasantly impressed me, though I agree, it borders closely on the Disney at times. Not as much as I was afraid it was going to, though. I think they are going on the assumption that most of their audience is more familiar with the sanitized versions of the stories rather than the good old brutal ones.
    I also appreciate that they are exploring what it means to be a “good guy.” I like that Regina and Gold are complex, though with the possibility that Regina’s mum isn’t as bad as she seems, I am wondering if we are really going to have any true fairy-tale villains at all.

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  5. jubilare says:

    Aiiiugh! The ring came back. *shudders* KILLITWITHFIRE!

    Well, I’ve finished it, and still no verdict on whether or not I “like” it, exactly. I think I will have to digest it awhile. I’m more than a bit disturbed that Wolf thought he “deserved” Virginia and she didn’t tell him that that isn’t how relationships ought to work. Also, I never really came to like Tony. The ending of Virginia and her mother, though, was so well done and I actually came to like the trolls, which surprised me. I kind of want to watch the show again after I’ve let it sink in, so that probably means I liked it more than I didn’t. 😉

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    • Mary says:

      Ah, oops! Guess I should have warned you about that! Although having a thinking, speaking ring…seems very interesting. That ring and Virginia will probably have a more intimate relationship than even Virginia and Wolf!

      No, Tony’s not somebody you really like. He seems like he would be that one family member everyone seems to have, that you love because you have to but you would never choose to spend time with otherwise. So I suppose that makes him very human!

      I think it’s a good sign you want to watch it again! Sometimes things just need to stew in our brains for awhile…

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  6. jubilare says:

    Not making it better! A thinking ring is one thing. This one… sings…

    Yeah, very human. Having him one of the main focuses of the story, though, made him grate on me a bit more, though.
    Indeed. Yay for stewing! I may try and watch Labyrinth tonight. It has been too long since I enjoyed the strangeness of that one. Gotta love fantasy-stories involving that many puppets and that much glitter.

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