After deconstructing the horror genre with the seminal franchise Scream, Kevin Williamson adds his own twisted spin to classic tales from your childhood with the fairy-tale drama Tell Me a Story. This exciting new series brings the familiar stories of The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel to life with a subversive tale of love, loss, greed, revenge and murder set in New York City. The thrilling anthology debuted on Halloween with an episode titled "Hope," which felt like a foreign concept for the show's embattled characters.
The series opener kicked off by introducing two of the three little pigs and giving us some eye candy in the process. We first meet a strung-out Eddie (Paul Wesley) in his tighty-whiteys as he's awakened by his brother Mitch (Michael Raymond-James)'s frantic pounding on the front door. As Mitch explains, they've got a very important mission on their hands and if Eddie falls through, their boss Sam (Dorian Missick) won't be happy. Judging by the palpable fear in Mitch's eyes, he's not the kind of guy you want to anger. And judging by the terrifying pig masks in Mitch's duffle bag, this mission likely isn't of the legal variety.
Elsewhere, Jordan (James Wolk) and his fiancé Beth paint a picture of the world in which Tell Me a Story is set. It's as close to our reality as you can get, down to media frenzy surrounding a mass shooting in Trump's America. A pregnancy scare has Jordan excited about the prospect of expanding their family but Beth isn't so keen on bringing a child into this current world. Given the bleak state of everything, who could blame her?
Things are no better for Kayla (Danielle Campbell), who's just moved to the Big Apple following the tragic death of her mother. Still reeling from that major loss, she takes her anger out on her father who just wants to be in his daughter's life. And in case you any doubt about which fairy tale she's tied to, her grandmother Colleen (Kim Cattrall) offering her a red hooded coat clears things up pretty easily.
At school, Kayla makes a new friend in the suspiciously friendly Laney (Paulina Singer) who quickly invites her to party at a club despite being underage. Grabbing her best sparkly dress and a fake ID, Kayla hits the town with her new bestie at Rapture, where Eddie happens to be a bartender and under-the-table drug dealer. With mischief on the mind, she ditches Laney and ends up at the apartment of a mysterious hunk named Nick (Billy Magnussen). Their hot and heavy hookup leaves Nick begging for Kayla's digits but she makes it clear this was a one-time thing... or so she thought. The next day at school, she's stunned to realize that her one-night stand happens to be the new substitute teacher. Awkward.
Meanwhile, Jordan and Beth find themselves at a crossroads during an explosive argument over finally tying the knot and having children. Jordan pushes to move forward on all fronts, but Beth crushes his hopes by admitting that she might never want to bring a kid into a world where terrorism drills are the norm. Unable to come to an agreement, they end their argument on unhappy terms. The big fight doesn't break them up, though, and the couple attends a political protest the next day. When things start to get violent, Beth and Jordan ditch the rally for somewhere quieter - a jewelry store. It's there that Beth reaffirms her commitment to Jordan, apologizing for their fight and proposing to him. Jordan, of course, accepts and it initially looks like the happy couple is on their way to a life of bless together. If only they knew what was to come.
While Jordan and Beth are hashing out their relationship, roommates Gabe (Davi Santos) and Billy (Austin Butler) are struggling to pay the rent. After their shift as dancers at Club Rapture — hey, this place is pretty popular — the pair hit up a private party in a hotel room with Billy's shady hookup partner Dan. Things quickly escalate when Dan catches Billy stealing money from his wallet and the two get into a scuffle that ends with Dan bleeding to death on the floor. After Billy flees from the scene, a terrified Gabe calls in special backup: his big sister Hannah (Dania Ramirez). Though the two - who are the show's stand-ins for Hansel and Gretel — haven't spoken in months, she comes to his aid and helps Gabe cover his tracks before leaving the scene together. Either she watches a lot of crime shows are she's been in this situation before. Fess up, Hannah!
As if your nerves weren't already on edge, Jordan and Beth's sweet shopping trip is interrupted by three men in pig masks holding the store up at gunpoint. (Hmm... we wonder who THAT could be.) Things go from bad to worse when a security guard takes matters into his own hands and holds one of the burglars hostage. Big mistake. Huge.
The guard is promptly shot to death and at first it looks like that would be the end of the carnage. However, Jordan soon realizes that Beth was caught in the crossfire and the episode ends with him cradling his dead fiancé in his arms, screaming in horror. Raise your hand if you needed to watch some cute puppy videos after this!
The first episode of Tell Me a Story is now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes drop every Thursday.
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