Once Upon a Time and Why it’s One of the Best Shows EVER, Well, on Network TV


Credited to teenskeepchick.org

Fairy tales. As children, we were enthralled by them. From the tales of princesses being rescued by princes fighting fire-breathing dragons, fairies, goblins to all sorts of talking animals, they represent the innate innocence of childhood. They were sometimes used to teach a moral lesson or passing down tales that may or may not have occurred yonder by.

The fact that there is still a fascination for fairy tales even in adulthood tells us that these stories are relevant even in our now grown life. Observe the many adaptations of fairy tales told in a more modern adaptation or presented just as it is. Movies such as the Disney animated movies represent a retelling of these tales to a more contemporary audience. Musicals and stage performances are constantly staging these timeless tales as material for their repertoire so guess what, it’s still relevant. Observe the newly released Disney’s Frozen, a retelling of, surprise, a fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

Nowadays, TV dramas have also got in on the act. TV series such as Game of Thrones (not a fairytale but based on a book series, so similar, no?), Grimm and the subject of discussion, Once Upon a Time.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time (OUAT) debuted on TV screens in 2011. As the title suggests, yeah everyone, it’s about fairy tales as almost every fairy tale starts with, well, Once Upon a Time. Look closer and you’ll realise it’s not all focused on Princess meets her Prince, falls madly in love and ride horseback into the sunset. Let’s face it, this is reality and nothing like that ever happens and ends well. In reality, after riding off into the sunset, said Princess will probably have fights with her Prince and go through trials and tribulations in her marriage. Oh, and raising their future children.

That’s what I like about Once Upon a Time. At the core of it, it’s very much steeped in reality. Yeah sure, you have your merry band of characters from various fairy tales such Snow White, Prince Charming, Little Red Riding Hood (used to until she moved shows), Red Riding Hood’s Granny, the Seven Dwarfs and the Evil Queen. This being from ABC (Disney), of course core Disney characters are a part of it such as Mulan (May or may not be a real person?), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Prince Phillip (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and many more.

In contrast, Grimm’s premise is such that the main character discovers that he’s descended from hunters who fight supernatural/fairytale characters. I admit, haven’t caught it yet but that’s kinda reality based being like a cop show featuring fairy tale characters.

Once Upon a Time is centered on the premise of Snow White and Prince Charming’s only daughter, Emma Swan being the savior of the fairy tale world who have been under a curse put on by the Evil Queen to forget their true selves as fairy tale characters and instead live their lives as their real-life alter egos in the real world.

Three seasons already in the States, but only concluding its second season here in Asia, a new episode every weekday by the way, I may be a little behind but thank you Internet for getting us up to speed on the going-ons in the third season. I prefer waiting it out for the third season to air here in its entirety instead of agonizing over waiting for a new episode per week and that dreaded half season break in the States.

Anyway, back up to speed here and why the show is just awesome. What initially attracted me to Once Upon a Time was, fairy tales being presented in a relevant modern way; ie. The 21st Century. How would fairy tale characters behave in our world? Would they be just like us or be a little bit more special because all they’re all fairy-tale-ly or something? Well, turns out that our poor Emma Swan is an orphan by word as she wasn’t raised by her fairy tale parents having been sent away as a baby to save her from the impending curse.

28 years passes by before she meets her real parents again, breaks the curse and reunites with her long-lost son whom she gave up in her teens. Wait, what? Snow White’s kid had a kid? Without marrying her Prince? To add to that, her parents and the residents of Storybrooke, the fictional town where the series is set haven’t aged a day? So Emma and her parents could totally pass off as buddies instead of parents and child. And they’ve got a grandson, so that makes it look like one really bizarre family reunion. Emma knows it and she’s the most real character on the show, as is her son Henry too. When I say ‘real’, I meant that they’re not actually creations of a fairy tale. So you could say, the series is real but just ignore the age gap mathematically and all the magic stuff and you’ll do just fine. It is still based in fairytale-dom after all.

Being a new character introduced to the fairytale, Emma Swan’s character is given leeway to be developed as there’s no template for Emma Swan in books. So I could say that Emma Swan is an awesome warrior princess who will somehow save the day and restore peace to Fairytale Land or something close.  This is quite true as she is the destined savior of the show.

To make things simpler; I will run through why OUAT is awesome by season and for Season 3 just give simple commentary based on recaps. So here goes:

Season 1

Once-Upon-A-Time-once-upon-a-time-28309802-1920-1080Credited to fanpop.com

1.       The season introduced us to Emma Swan & company and their respective real-life counterparts in Storybrooke. Due to being under a curse for 28 years, they don’t age. So, stay young forever!

2.       The flashbacks in Fairytale Land. Could be confusing for some, as one minute they’re all modern and stuff and next, dressed in really cool Fairytale costumes which are eons better than modern day clothes.

3.       Recognizing who’s who in Fairytale Land and if they resemble anything like their Disney cartoon counterparts is always fun. Snow White/Mary Margaret looks so much better with longer hair; take note Ginny Goodwin.

4.       Henry’s extremely cool storybook that tells the story of the tale of the inhabitants of Storybrooke.

5.       Realizing the complete awesomeness of the characters that stand out e.g. being Emma, Regina, Snow, Charming, and Rumplestiltskin. Other supporting characters like Ruby and Archie deserve mention too. Sorry Henry, you’re way too annoying to be credited.Credited to thenotoriousscuttlecliff.tumblr.com

 Season 2

Once Upon a Time S2 iTunesCredited to getvideoartwork.com

1.       The curse is broken. Hail Emma Swan! Now everyone remembers their true Fairy Tale selves again and can act like it.

2.       Emma and her mom Snow White landing in Fairytale Land and meeting up with Mom’s old pals like Lancelot. The introduction of Aurora, Prince Phillip, Mulan, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Giant.

3.       The rediscovery of Rumplestiltskin’s son, Baelfire/Neal, Henry’s dad and Emma’s baby daddy.

And of course;

4.       The introduction of Captain Hook/Killian Jones

5.       HOOK. Need I say more?


Credited to rebloggy.com

Premature awesomeness of Season 3 (Through recaps as the season ain’t over.)

OUATS3Credited to http://www.examiner.com

1.       Neverland. Granted, it’s to save Henry but it’s Neverland OMFG.

2.       Who else lives in Neverland but Peter Pan? So in with the introduction of Peter Pan. Yes, the Lost Boys too.

3.       Ariel and Eric from the Little Mermaid finally make an appearance.

4.       Captain Hook’s growing affection for Miss Swan.

5.       The twisted love triangle of said Captain Hook, Emma, and Neal/Baelfire.

Pan gif

Credited to f**kyesonceuponatime.tumblr.com