Once Upon A Time ABC aired a fantasy show…
And now we come to the second fairy tale based show that has been offered up for our viewing pleasure, Once Upon a Time. The plot behind this offering is this: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is a bounty hunter in Boston. Late one night a 10-year-old boy, Henry (Jared S. Gilmore), comes calling and says “Hi Mom! I’m the son you gave up for adoption.”* Clearly Emma is a bit freaked and offers to take him home to Storybrooke, Maine. It turns out Henry has been reading a book of fairy tales which reads more like a history of the fairy tale word.
In the fairy tale world Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is getting married to Prince James Charming (Josh Dallas). As one would expect, the Evil Queen (Lana Parilla) is less than pleased with this. So the Evil Queen makes a threat about some great and powerful curse and then disappears. Snow White is understandably nervous about the said curse, so who does she go visit? Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) of course, because he knows all.
I interrupt this review of Once Upon A Time to get on my Stargate soap box. I’ll make it quick. The only good that came out of the cancellation of Stargate: Universe is that it freed Robert Carlyle to play Rumpelstiltskin. The man channels Gollum and chews scenery. In other words, it was an awesome choice for the role. And I’m done.
Rumpelstiltskin explains that the curse will send them all to a bad place (our world) and the only way to stop it is to place the child of Snow White (Emma, by the way) in a magic wardrobe so she can come back and save the land of fairy tales. Each fairy tale character now has a “real world” counterpart. As a result, the mayor of Storybrooke is actually the counterpart of the Evil Queen! Oh, she is also Henry’s adoptive mother. Awkward and tension filled meetings between Emma and the mayor ensue.
In short I really like this show. I might even say I like it a touch better than Grimm. I was a bit worried at first. ABC? Sunday nights? My fears were un-warranted. The tone is not as light as one would expect, nor is it as dark as it could be. The graphics at times were a little wanting, but overall they are not bad for a TV show. The two creators of the show spent time as writers on LOST so the writing is quite strong. I’ve cranked through the first three or so episodes thus far with my wife (who I think likes it more than I) and we are both looking forward to the continuation of this show. If you like fairy tales with a twist, this show is for you.
*I may have edited that.