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Thursday, November 10, 2011

NEW TV SERIES Part 2: Once Upon a Time Review (E01-03)

Once Upon a Time is a new TV series that plays on Sunday nights at 8pm on ABC. The premise of the live-action show is that your beloved fairy tale characters are living in the modern day city of "Storybrooke" but have no memories of who they really are. The show alternates between flashbacks of the characters in their fairy tale world before the Evil Queen placed a curse that brought them to a land with "no happy endings", conveniently our present day reality. The Evil Queen seems to have some uber-powers when she interrupts Snow White's and Prince Charming's wedding. She throws guards from a distance and vanishes when PC throws a sword at her.

The Evil Queen crashes Snow White & PC's wedding. She has the Jedi push powers...

However, before the curse takes effect, the "War Council" in the fairy tale world (made up of the Seven Dwarves, Red Riding Hood & her grandma, The Blue Fairy, Geppetto, Pinocchio, Snow White and Prince Charming) decide to create a wardrobe from a magical tree to protect whoever is in it from the curse. Snow White and PC place their newborn child, Emma, into a wardrobe made by Geppetto and Pinocchio in hopes that the prophecy that Emma will be the savior in 28 years comes true.

The War Council (Left) & Pinocchio and Geppetto making the wardrobe (Right)

In the present day, Emma, is unaware of her fairy tale connection until a 10 year old kid, Henry, shows up on her 28th birthday. He explains that he is her son and that her destiny is to save all the fairy tale characters in Storybrooke from the Evil Queen's curse. Of course she thinks that Henry is crazy and drives off to give him back to his parents in Storybrooke.

Kid: "You're my mom" / Emma: "ummmmmmmmmm riiiiight".

What I find interesting is how some of the characters are portrayed in Storybrooke. I'm a fan of when worlds collide and I like how Emma isn't the most stubborn person in the world. The story, at least for now is moving at a nice pace (I thought it would take a long time before Emma believed Henry, which would definitely slow down the pace and become an annoyance).

The Characters:
Here are the names of the fairy tale characters and who they become in the modern world at Storybrooke.

Emma Swan is...Emma Swan, she is unaffected by the curse and led a normal life as a bailbonds collector who gave up Henry for adoption ten years ago. She decides to stay in Storybrooke after a few incidences impeded her flight from the city.

Snow White is Mary Margaret Blanchard, (word play woohoo) a teacher in the modern world. Her first scene involves her releasing a blue bird into the sky, a nod to the Disney movie. Her flashbacks in episode three about being a thief and a tough-as-nails gal was surprising in a good way.

Prince Charming is James Nolan, a "John Doe" comatose patient who wakes up with no memories of anything. He was a valiant Prince in the fairy tale land but obviously hasn't done much yet at Storybrooke.

Blanchard reading fairy tales to PC
The Evil Queen is Regina Mills, the mayor of Storybrooke and Henry's adoptive mother. It's kind of funny that her "happy ending" is being the mayor of the city. She always gives people apples or apple cider, again a nod to the Disney movie. In order to get the curse, she had to kill her father who she actually cared for. Her character is actually convincing and not too campy as one could imagine it being. 

The Evil Queen and her Mirror (who is a journalist in the modern world) before and after 
Jiminy Cricket is Archie Hopper, Storybrooke's psychiatrist who carries an unbrella. I bet the writers had a field day coming up with his name.

From Cricket to psychiatrist

Rumpelstiltskin is Mr. Gold, the guy who created the curse in the first place for the Evil Queen in return for her cooperation whenever he says "please". He seems to have his memories from the fairy tale world even though he isn't supposed to. He also "owns" Storybrooke in a mafioso kind of way. He looks like a creepy kind of guy in the modern world and should prove to be an interesting character.

Pretty please
Collecting cash from Red Riding Hood and Granny, mobster style.
Grumpy and Sleepy are Leroy and Walter, janitor and security guard respectively in the modern world. Someone has to get the short end of the stick right?

The Seven Dwarves (Left) and Leroy (holding broomstick) and Walter (in the chair)
So far the show has been interesting enough with inside jokes here and there and some unexpected events to keep the viewer interested. I hope that there will be enough in the coming episodes and that the show won't fizzle out like another new TV Series, Terra Nova. So that's my recap of the first three episodes, feel free to let me know what you think of the show.


  1. Thanks for the character review I wasn't sure who everyone was!

  2. My pleasure. Hope the show stays interesting.

  3. So you'd say that this is better than Terra Nova?

  4. So far yes, but it's only been three episodes vs seven for Terra Nova.