Recap: Tell Me a Story – Hope

This show, which airs on CBS All Access, is supposed to be a re-imagining of classic fairy tales set in modern day NYC. This is not Once Upon a Time or even Fables, this is much more of a thriller. That’s where it lost me.

We meet Four groups of characters and there stories are intertwined:

  1. Kayla, her Dad (Tim) and her paternal Grandmother (Colleen) – After the death of her Mother, Kayla moves from California to NYC with her Dad, who gets a job at a restaurant at the hotel that his friend, Jordan, owns. They live at her Grandmother, who is trying to reconcile and formulate a new relationship with her granddaughter. As expected she feels out of sorts in a new city. But, she meets Ethan and Laney, and the latter likes to walk on the wild side. Convincing Kayla to get her fake id and sneaking out to go to the Rapture, the club of the moment. They do molly thanks to Eddie and she captures the eye of a tall blond named Nick. His apartment is very sterile, but she schtups him anyways. She eventually goes home because she does not want to be caught by her Dad, but she does caught. When she goes to school the next day, after a quick chat with Colleen, she ends up finding out that her new teacher is the man she bedded the night before.
  2. Jordan and Beth – He wants to marry Beth and have a baby with her, but she balks due to the state of the world. It’s scary and she is beside herself about putting an innocent child in harms way. But, fearing losing Jordan…she pops the question and he says yes. Just as they were about to buy wedding bands, three men barrel their way in, wearing pigs masks so they can escape during a social activism march. Heists never go well. Predictably, in the frenzy of it all,  Beth is shot and killed, leaving Jordan distraught as he holds his dying fiancee.
  3. Gabe and Hannah – Gabe is a dancer at Rapture and he tags along with his roommate to meet up with a guy at Jordan’s hotel. The man in question is named Dan and he has catered with coke and whiskey, after a few moments of passion, Gabe’s bff attempts to steal from Dan, but Dan catches him and all hell breaks loose. In trying to save his friend, Gabe pushes Dan and Dan falls and hits his head on the corner of the table. He dies, of course, and Gabe’s bff leaves him to deal with the mess. In desperation, Gabe calls Hannah, who is ex-military and presently working at a gym as a trainer. When she shows up, she regrets it. However, she does help him by advising him to wipe down everything and then they head out into the night hoping that they do not get caught.
  4. Mitch and Eddie –  Mitch a ne’er-do-well and Eddie works as a drug pushing bartender at the Rapture. Mitch gets Eddie a job to do a jewelry heist that goes horribly wrong.

Where are the fairy tales? Well, there are these hints of who is who.

  1. Mitch and Eddie wear pig masks and they are two of the three pigs that end up doing the jewelry heist.
  2. Kayla has a wolf tattoo that is her spirit animal, her grandma tried to give her a red hooded rain slicker and her friend Laney was described as, “She bites.”

That is all I caught.

While Kayla’s story may have caught my attention. The other stories were not as intriguing, if anything…they came across as predictable. Now, if they just focused on Kayla for episode one and then slowly brought in the rest of the characters as the episodes progressed to fully-realize this universe over the first season..then I possibly would have been much more excited by this show. Or if the characters revolved around one focal point, like the Rapture…then maybe. I am not sure, but it definitely is missing the hook, line, and sinker moment. Beth’s death does not have the same emotional pull as the moment as Henry and Emma watch the clock tower in Once Upon a Time. Nor does it have the ‘I cannot believe that just happened’ feeling like the first episode of Scandal.

Also, if this is placed in NYC, use the city. In a couple of scenes it looked like NYC, in other scenes it reminded me of Canada. Is it being filmed in Canada?

The most fascinating bit of the show so far is that so many of the actors in the first episode have been in other very popular sci-fi/fantasy shows:

  • Paul Wesley – The Vampire Diaries
  • Michael Raymond-James – True Blood
  • Danielle Campbell – The Originals
  • Dania Ramirez – Once Upon a Time
  • James Wolk – Zoo

Kim Cattrall and Bill Magnussen were in fantastical movies. Big Trouble in Little China and Into the Woods, respectively.

Is that not odd?

Let’s see what episode 2 holds. Hopefully, it will save this show.


Photo by Enrico Mantegazza on Unsplash

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