October 3, 2012

Once Upon A Time: Something I should've written about months ago

Around the same time I was giving Grimm a chance was the same time that Once Upon a Time came out on the scene.  I was more excited about Grimm just because of how one friend had described the premises of both shows.  I was also afraid that it would be too close to Fable, the comic book series that I read a bit of when a friend lent it to me in college.  By the way, what I read was also pretty good if you're into non-superhero based comic series.

But then you may remember when I decided not to go back to Grimm, and at that point a different friend was telling me about how amazing Once Upon a Time is.  I went on hulu and I decided to catch up.

The first season is probably one of the best written dramas on television I have ever seen.  I sincerely mean that, as someone who appreciates a lot of great shows from the past and present.  Recently comedies have been getting a lot of the writing talent, with a few dramas surviving the test of time.  Lost and a couple others have been able to survive, but very few have been able to.  Oh my god, I don't  remember if I ever told you about the time I tried to keep up with The Event, but that was painful.  Very painful!

Once Upon a Time's first season revolves around the strange happenings in Storybrooke, which happen around the time Emma, our hero who is unaware of her fate, turns 28.  Henry, her son she gave up for adoption ten years before, finds her and lures her back.  He is convinced that the people of Storybrooke are fairy-tale characters that have been cursed to this little town, and that his adoptive mother, Regina, is the evil queen that sent them there.  Emma writes this off as a child who's very attached to this book he just read.

But Henry is right.  And as the child of Snow White and Prince Charming, Emma is the only way to break the curse.

Through season one you don't only see the fairy-tale characters coping with these new lives they don't realize they've been stuck in for the last 28 years, you see who they were before and the kinds of characters they were.  And because ABC is able to play with the Disney universe, you see references to  your favorite interpretations to the lore you grew up with.  Each episode shows the background of a character and their present situation.  I was so impressed that almost every episode had a twist that I did not see coming.  You get totally invested in the characters you love and the characters you hate.  Both are written with great depth and thought.  Hearkening back to Grimm, there was not a "Hitler is a Werewolf" moment. The cast is also fantastic.  They are definitely great at portraying their characters consistently through the show, which is vital.  My personal favorite is Rumpelstiltskin as played by Robert Carlyle.  He gets down the mischief concealing his power plays pretty well.   All around it was a great package.

Here is my suggestion to you if you haven't done so already: watch all of Season One.  Netflix has it now, and if you have hulu plus you may be able to get it there too.  Watch it IN ORDER because the season is soooo well written that you have to watch it in order to appreciate the universe in it's entirety.

I just saw the first episode of season two, and it has taken the show into some dark places pretty fast.  I am sure they've got an idea on how they want to do this, it's just not where I expected it to go.  After you're caught up on season one, watch season two.  Please feel free to let me know what you think of it.  Seriously, shoot me an email about it!  It's the kind of show that's great watching it on your own, but even better if you have someone to chat about.

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