Synopsis: A local morning show host has a simple fantasy: she wants to eat, until she realizes she’s hungry for much more than food. Ruby Akuda, who is afflicted with a terminal illness, arrives with her husband and is given a new lease on life.
A continuation of the original Fantasy Island from 1977. This new version operates as a soft reboot and sees Elena Roarke. The daughter of the original Mr. Roarke plays host to a number of guests who wish to live out their fantasies. In this opening episode, we meet a local news anchor who wants to eat, but not put on any weight and a lady called Ruby who is dying of a terminal illness and wants a few days of being really healthy again.
Much like in the original Fantasy Island. Our guests get their wishes and so much more because there is always a twist to the tail. For example, Christine who is the lady that wants to eat without consequence has deeper rooted psychological issues to do with her cruel stepfather. And the Island, which is very much more of a character in this show throws all of her insecurities around food and self-image at her.
The story concerning Ruby is a little more gentle and romantic. We learn that Ruby is Bisexual and prior to marrying her husband of many years. She had a special relationship with another woman that disappeared after she was married. But there is a bigger twist with her character. As we find out that Ruby is to become Elena Roarke’s new assistant.
Roselyn Sanchez does a pretty good job in her role as Elena Roarke. I enjoyed her interactions with the other characters and also enjoyed her referring to the powers of the island. Her scenes with Ruby were nicely played. As were the scenes she had with the island’s pilot when she was trying to figure out how she and the island could best help Ruby. Kiara Barnes was excellent as Ruby and I thought her scenes with her onscreen husband Mel (Adain Bradley) felt genuine. I got a little lump in my throat when I saw their final scene together. As the relationship was written so well.
I found this pilot episode of Fantasy Island quite enjoyable and liked the brief nod that we got to the 1970s original series. Roselyn Sanchez made it easy for me to accept her as a relation to the original Mr. Roarke as she managed to actually channel a similar type of that easy charisma that her predecessor Ricardo Montalban was known for.
All that said though. I felt the story about the news anchor was the weaker of the two stories within the episode. It kind of over-relied on pop psychology and needed to go a lot further than it did. On the other hand. Ruby’s story was much stronger and had an enjoyable if not somewhat predictable twist by the end.
Overall. Though. A pretty good start even though the episode felt a little bit uneven. But I am sure it will improve as the writers get a better grip on the format of the show.
Fantasy Island airs every Tuesday Night on Fox.
- CGI & Stunts8.5
- Incidental Music9.0