I was too busy watching Walking Dead Sunday nights to dive into Once Upon a Time. I am happy to say that after finally getting to watch it, I was mostly entertained and thrilled to see something so fantasy-driven and charming. As a young girl, I was obsessed with fairy tales and have seen all the Disney films (I’m sure I’m not alone on this). I always enjoyed reading the stories when I was younger, and now, as an adult, I love modern, twisted takes on the fairy tales (although the original Grimm’s Tales were no fluffy Disney movie). Once Upon a Time tells the real story of the fairy tale characters we all know and love. Unfortunately, all the characters are the Evil Queen’s spell and are trapped in a tiny Maine town, Storybrooke. All the characters, except the Queen, are unable to remember their true identities, making them doomed I guess like the rest of us to lead normal lives that won’t end in “happily ever after.” Their only hope is a stranger that is destined to make the characters remember.
There are some great things about the story and some wonderful characters, but at times, the show feels like an unabridged Joyce novel. There are so many characters, plots, flashbacks, and tie-ins that it is hard to keep track and hard to really feel compassion for some of the characters. The focus of the plot is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, but there are all the princesses, monsters, fairies, and villains that you can remember (and some you probably forgot), too. All of these fairy tales being told simultaneously means that some of the stories don’t get given the same attention as others. That would be my number one issue with Once Upon a Time: some stories are not as interesting or fun as others. However, it’s hard not to feel excited about getting to see your favorite childhood characters in completely new settings. I think that is the main reason why this show works‑there’s a certain nostalgia and magic that the show taps into and embellishes on throughout the different episodes. In the end, like any fairy tale, you want to see good overcome evil, love overcome adversity, and everything end in happily ever after. So, I’ll keep tuning in to see what happens in Storybrooke and wishing that it won’t turn into an enchanted version of Days of Our Lives.