Monday, December 12, 2011

Once Upon a Time

We have all read in scientific books, and indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is. . . . We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are.

Before I reach the main topic, I thought I'd remind the readers that this blog isn't just about the Whoniverse, but speculative fiction in general. And to fill the long gap between Sarah Jane Adventures and the Christmas special (not to mention the gap before season seven,)I started watching ABC's new drama "Once Upon a Time."
The premise is fairly simply. The Evil Queen, seeking revenge on Snow White and Prince Charming, cursed the whole fairy-tale land and exiled them to a place with no happy endings. But before the curse takes effect, Snow and Charming's newborn daughter Emma is placed in a wardrobe and sent away, with a prophecy that she'll return and save the kingdom on her 28th birthday.
The story opens in the modern day, with the bondsman Emma lighting a lonely cupcake on her 28th birthday. Her wish to not be alone comes true when Henry (8-10) shows up at her door, claiming two very important things. One, he's her son. Two, she's prophesied to end a curse. Henry claims all the people in his hometown are fairy tale characters under a spell that makes them forget who they really are.
The episodes shift between modern Storybrook and the fairy tale land, letting us learn about the fantasy world along with the characters. The scenes are beautiful, and the storylines are an intriging retelling of old fairy tales.
Since this is an ABC show, I was curious to see how the morals would be. Of the episodes aired to date, most of them show nothing worse than some cleavage and a few swordfights. The newest episode "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" has a main character in a one-night stand, to which another character replies that there's nothing wrong with that. Two indivuals engage in premartial sex, but the guy keeps his boxers on and the woman wears a tank top. Because of those elements, and the plots of the evil queen, I wouldn't recommend this show to anyone younger than 14, at the least.
Those elements aside, I like the show for several reasons. Henry is absolutely adorable, and the repeated theme of another life results in some great lines:
Emma: Just because you believe something doesn't make it true.
Henry: That's exactly what makes it true

Mary Margaret: What do you think stories are for? These stories--the classics. There's a reason we all know them. There a way for us to deal with our world. A world that doesn't always make sense.


  1. I've been meaning to start that series (and Neverland, which I think is Syfy), and now that I've finished Downton Abbey Season 2 I think I will. :)

  2. Downtown Abbey is British, isn't it? I think I'm messing it up with Upstairs Downstairs, cause Alexa Kingston's in that one?

  3. 'Kay, I watched the first episode, so now I've got to see more...
    Yes, Downton Abbey is British. (Be careful not to type "downtown"; you'll get the wrong results.) It doesn't have Alex Kingston in it, but it does have Harriet Jones, PM, and Maggie Smith, and altogether a really, really great cast of other people I'd never seen before.