Faerie Tale Theatre: “Hansel and Gretel” (1983)

Just as its previous episode “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Faerie Tale Theatre” seems to be tackling some of the harder-edged fairy tales, and it’s fascinating to watch. Here, with the dark themes of “Hansel and Gretel,” I somewhat expected some glossing over but instead I was impressed to see that the episode is both faithful and occasionally macabre. Joan Collins is perfectly cast as both the stepmother and the witch, and she plays to the camera delightfully every time she’s on screen. The writing in this episode is snappy and crisp, and the adapted parts of the fairy tale are wonderfully integrated into a wider narrative.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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