Who the hell is Virginia Lewis, you ask? She's the heroine of one of my favorite fairytale stories.
Unlike your typical through-the-wardrobe wish fulfillment fantasy, this one's a fractured fairytale that deconstructs and subverts plenty of tired genre tropes. At the same time, it follows through on classic folk story elements, has a truly likeable cast, and manages to be pretty good fun for an 8 hour epic.
I can't say why this miniseries didn't do well upon the initial broadcast. Maybe it had bad timing coming out just after the 90s, wasn't advertised widely, or didn't fit into a clearly-defined enough genre for people. I remember reading some complaints that the jokes were too cheesy for adults, but the story too mature for kids. Funny how today's reverse formula of infantile stories + totally inappropriate jokes is a-okay, though. (Not really knocking it. I watched plenty of shows that fit this description as a kid, but then, no one was praising them for it, either.)
The screwball humor and general lightheartedness of The 10th Kingdom keeps the story enjoyable. I've seen plenty of relentlessly dull "grown up" versions of fairytales, which the forgettable characters, patchy plots, and mindless gore couldn't save. Nice to have ones that don't take themselves so mercilessly seriously, but aren't complete fluff either.