The Atlantic

Disenchantment Subverts the Cartoon Fairy Tale

Matt Groening’s new Netflix series pushes the envelope, but not far enough.
Source: Netflix

’s biggest middle finger to fairy-tale tropes comes midway through the first episode, when Princess “Bean” Tiabeanie (Abbi Jacobson) refuses to marry the prince she’s been contracted to by her father. But the subtler subversions are more satisfying. Bean’s getting-ready routine involves not bluebirds and singing mice, but leeches, one for each cheek to give her a healthy glow (“Whores rouge, ladies leech,” Bean’s maid says, cheerily). Hansel and Gretel aren’t innocent orphans, but sadistic wretches who do much worse than eat an old lady’s dream house. Bean’s magical companion isn’t a

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