Kristin Chenoweth Is a Real Fairy Godmother

In case you haven't heard, yesterday was a big day for princess fans. Yes, it was the International Day of the Girl, but it was also announced that Broadway idol Kristin Chenoweth is going to star in an upcoming ABC series entitled The Real Fairy Godmother. Judging from the description, the show will be just as magical it sounds. Kristin is going to star as a "self-absorbed 'real housewife' who learns that she's descended from a secret order of Fairy Godmothers and has an inescapable destiny to use her powers to help those in need." Is anyone else getting True Blood faery princess vibes from this description? Just like Sookie, Kristin's character will learn that she is descended from a magical race and receive powers that she doesn't want but has a responsibility to use because of her birthright. However, this story appears to go much deeper than that. Kristin must not only deal with her unwanted powers, but she must also use them to better herself as a person and the lives of those around her. The episodic missions to help new people each week reminds me of a show I used to watch in the mid-'90s called Touched By an Angel.

Kristin Chenoweth is no stranger to princess and fantasy stories. She got her big break originating the role of the beautiful and popular Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, for the Broadway stage in Wicked. In the Disney Fairies movies, Kristin plays the prissy and pink garden fairy Rosetta, who is one of Tinker Bell's best friends. She also snagged a live-action role in Bryan Fuller's whimsical TV series Pushing Daisies as Olive Snook, the singing waitress. Most recently, Kristin lent her voice to the underwhelming role of Princess Skystar in My Little Pony: The Movie. She even appeared as a Fairy Godmother on the Ellen show, where she gave singing lessons to Ellen DeGeneres, pictured above. Known for her powerful voice, Kristin has released multiple solo albums in various musical styles. Unfortunately, The Real Fairy Godmother will not be a musical, but Kristin may burst into song when it is appropriate to the story. I know, I'm disappointed too. We could always use more TV musicals.

The Real Fairy Godmother will be a light-hearted comedy, following in the footsteps of ABC's Galavant, a musical that ran for two seasons in 2015 and 2016. As of right now, there are no fantasy sitcoms on TV, so it will be a welcome addition to ABC's lineup. Though we won't be treated to songs in every episode of The Real Fairy Godmother like we were in Galvant, the show's writers, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, are quite musically inclined. They penned the songs in the musical episode of Once Upon a Time last season. Hopefully, Kristin's character will have better luck than the Fairy Godmothers in Once Upon a Time and True Blood, who have an unfortunate track record of meeting an untimely demise. It is appropriate for the series to air on ABC since they are owned by Disney and have done several fantasy comedies in the past. Even the most popular magical sitcom from the '90s, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, started out on ABC. The Real Fairy Godmother was greenlit as a "put pilot," which means that they are required to at least air the pilot, even if the show does not get picked up for a series. There is no information yet about when it will premiere.

Stories that focus on Fairy Godmothers are rare in the media. The concept originated in Charles Perrault's version of "Cinderella" and was parodied in several of Gail Carson Levine's novels. In Ella Enchanted, the Fairy Godmother Lucinda foolishly "blessed" Ella with an obedience spell that forced her to do everything she was told. Another book that places the main focus on Fairy Godmothers is the Fairy Godmother Academy series by Jan Bozarth, which about girls who attend a special school that is similar to Hogwarts where they train to become Fairy Godmothers. At the Disney theme parks, the cast members who work at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are aptly referred to as Fairy Godmothers in Training since they transform little girls into princesses.

The themes presented in The Real Fairy Godmother seem to mesh well with concepts from popular princess tales. Kristin's character starts out as a modern-day spoiled princess archetype and must learn to become the kind-hearted inspirational princess archetype who puts others first and stands up for what she believes in. The pitch for the series also states that she encourages her dysfunctional friends and family to become better people in the process, just like Giselle from Enchanted and many other stories about magical characters who are placed in a realistic setting of cynical non-believers. It sounds extremely promising and could have a lot to offer if it's done right. I don't expect to hear much about this show again for at least a year, but I am very eager to see how it turns out.


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