Once Upon a Time

Well, I’ve gotten into a new show:  Once Upon a Time.  For anyone who has been living under a rock like me, the basic premise is that fairy tale characters have been cursed to live in our dimension in a small town in Maine with no memory of their original lives.  The only people who know the truth are the Evil Queen/Mayor and her adopted son, Henry, although everyone thinks he’s just delusional.  But he has a book of fairy tales and knows that the only person who can break the curse is his birth mother, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming in the fairy tale dimension.  Yes, as I type this out, I know how completely insane this sounds, but apparently a lot of people like this insanity because another 15 episodes are in the works.

After watching the first episode I did a little research and learned that the concept was developed by two former writers for Lost, and the format for Once Upon a Time is exactly the same as Lost.  Each episode follows the storyline in our dimension as well as a background story for one or more characters in the fairy tale dimension.  I’ve realized that this character-driven story-telling is what hooked people into watching Lost and had them sticking with Lost even when it became completely boggling.

However, Once Upon a Time is also under the influence of some of Joss Whedon’s proteges, namely Jane Espenson.  It’s opening explanation at the beginning of every episode is straight out of the first few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  And this is where Once Upon a Time avoids the Lost trap.  The story lines twist, combine, and expand classic fairy tales, but the creators are very clear that the fairy tale dimension is real.  They don’t lead the audience on to wonder if it is or isn’t.

The writers are having fun, though, throwing in Lost references and bringing in favorite actors and actresses from Lost and Buffy for small roles.  I’ve watched the first seven episodes through Hulu and On Demand, and I can’t wait until #8 airs in January.  I’ll actually have two shows to watch at the start of the year since Downton Abbey also returns for its second series.  This will have to hold me until the next season of Doctor Who starts.

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5 Comments on “Once Upon a Time”

  1. Cable Says:

    I also love the show!!

  2. Kelly Says:

    We have this recorded to watch after we finish the 2nd season of Rome. Glad to hear it was good. I also watched the first season of Downton but was disappointed by the kind of abrupt ending. I guess I had thought because of the leisurely pace that there were more than 7 episodes. Plus, they are all wearing WWI uniforms on the cover pic but that isn’t part of the 1st season??

    • barboo77 Says:

      Actually, WWI is declared at the very end of Series 1. The pictures of them in uniforms is the cover for Series 2. I’m kind of used to the British shows having such short seasons at this point. The upcoming season/series has 8 episodes; I don’t know if that includes the “Christmas Special” or not.

      • Kelly Says:

        I know they declare war at the end of the last episode, but no one was wearing a uniform by the end of the episode. That’s the cover it showed for the 1st season on Netflix, so no wonder I was confused.

  3. Melissa Says:

    I also am watching this show and loving it!

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