Created by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis
Fairy Tales. That is the new hype I believe. After vampires and werewolves, television writers and producers needed another supernatural idea to come to life on the small screens. Why not use the most classic supernatural idea of all times then? That is exactly what they did. Not only did ABC choose for a classic and original television series, but NBC also brought Grimm to life. Both shows are about fairy tale characters. While in Grimm it is about a police detective in modern-day Portland, Oregon, who has the ability to see supernatural characters like the Big Bad Wolf, Once Upon A Time has a somewhat milder tone as it focuses on a woman who is destined to break the curse of the Evil Queen. Yes, the one from Snow White. Apparently, OUAT sounds more unrealistic but that makes it more original and magical as well. Bear with me.
In season 1 we are introduced to Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). She is your typical female character in need, had several relationships that didn’t work out, has a boring life, and has even the ability to separate truth from lies. One evening she finds out she has a son who has come to visit her in town, she takes his son Henry (Jared Gilmore) back to where he lives: a small town in Maine called Storybrooke. That’s a lovely name for a town in Maine, right? This is where the tale begins.
If you are looking for a serious TV show, then I would not recommend you to watch Once Upon A Time. The screenwriting is sometimes very vague as it requires your imagination to fill in the gaps. Also, many storylines run on top of each other in different chronological sequences. There is the world of Storybrooke (which is basically our world mixed with supernatural powers) and there is the magical world. The show continuously switches from both worlds, because it wants to show parallels. On the one hand, this is a new and exciting technique but on the other hand it will become obvious to the audience very soon. If an episode were to be about Snow White and Prince Charming then you will expect some kind of story to play out in the magical world. Instead we get alternate characters in the real world as they have forgotten their true identities thanks to the Evil Queen’s curse. It’s a good thing the producers don’t always stick to the traditional tales and give their own twist to the story. It makes it all the more fun to watch OUAT.
Once Upon A Time has a great cast. I just love Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of Rumpelstiltskin and Mr. Gold. The big variety of guest stars makes it impossible not to fall in love with season 1.
There is however little character development thrpughout the episodes. That is not a bad thing for this show, because it is not essential in clarifying events. Every character sticks to their well-known motifs. We all know that the Evil Queen is a bitch and that Snow White is the fairest of them all. So while there isn’t a character development in the present, the producers have instead chosen to thoroughly explain each character’s motives.
ABC’s Once Upon A Time season 1 is surprising and fresh. It has no logic, so be prepared to think beyond your typical boundaries.