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TV Review: Once Upon A Time

As children, we all knew our fairy tales.  Disney’s adaptations are usually the most familiar to us. But I also have vivid memories of my Grandmother reading stories of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, and many more fair tales.

The show takes place in our time but had several flash backs to the Fair Tale past. In the past, Snow White is saved by Prince Charming by his kiss. They soon are getting married. At the wedding, the Evil Queen/Witch makes an appearance. She threatens to bring a curse to the land. Thanks to an imprisoned Rumpelstiltskin,  Prince Charming and a pregnant Snow White discover an enchanted wardrobe/cupboard that can take one of them safely to another land (Narina=current U.S.A.).  As they decide to send Snow White to this not so magical land, Snow goes into labor and has a baby girl.  They send the baby to safety in this land.  But the Evil Witch has other plans.  She sends their whole realm to modern day where they are regular but eccentric members of the small community of Storybrooke.

The modern piece focuses around Emma Swan,a bail bondswoman. Her ten year old son Henry, whom she gave up for adoption, finds her. She agrees to take him back home to Storybrooke.  He tries to convince her that she has a bigger role than she understands as one that can save those in Storybrooke. Henry explains all the citizens of Storybrooke are from the Fairy Tales but no one realizes it but him. When she tells him she was left alone along the highway and was in and out of foster homes, he reveals that she is the daughter of Snow White. Of course, who will believe a ten year old kid who thinks his town is from Fairy Tale land?

Henry does not want to go home.  He is convinced his adopted mom is really evil. Emma does not believe him at first but becomes more convinced things are not right by the end of the episode.

What I Liked:
I enjoyed the the flash back sequences. It had a bit of a LOST feel to them.  Seeing the history of how these characters found their way to the modern world was a lot of fun. Rumpelstiltskin was creepy.

I loved the scene near the end with Granny’s Inn. We see Granny, Red Riding Hood/ Ruby, and Mr Gold who might be the Big Bad Wolf. The interactions of these characters with Emma was a fun thing to view.

I really liked the Evil Witch in this show. I liked her character both in the past and the current time.  She is pure evil in the past. In the present, she is just as evil but much more stealthy.  I loved the ending when takes the storybook Henry had and walks to the Mirror and conveys that she does know exactly what is going on in Storybrooke.

What I did not Like:
There are times with the story in the present day drags. The pacing is slow. I wondered when certain scenes would end.

Henry seems like a nice kid but I am not interested in watching a weekly show about him. If they focused on him to bring Emma Swan to Storybrooke, then it will be fine. But if the show starts to revolve around him, they will lose viewers.

Overall, I am not a big fan of out of “their time” stories.  The movie Enchanted did this very well because it was a comedy. But for every movie or show that pulls this off, there are dozens that fall flat with this concept. A drama has some limitations because of it.  It might not be a be issue since most of the characters do not realize who they are.

My Review
The first episode was somewhat fun. I could see a lot of potential. But there is an equal amount of potential for this series to tank.

I love the LOST type of flashbacks. I hope this is a main stay to develop characters and to reveal who these people truly are.

If you play the town of Storybrooke correctly, it can be its own character. The interaction of the various story book characters in this town is a great idea.  

I will be watching at least through the first half of the season. I am hopeful that I will like this more as the season develops.  

My Grade: B-

Other Reviews
IMDB: 7.8/10
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