Review: Once Upon a Time (Pilot episode)

 I don’t watch a lot of television.  I like television, but it’s not something I have much time for between writing, teaching, wife-ing, and mom-ing. However, I saw the previews for the new ABC show, Once Upon a Time, a few weeks ago, and I was intrigued.

The show is from the writers of Lost, so I expected a complex storyline and something different.  I also liked the idea of a fairytale world gone wrong.  The premise of the show is that “once upon a time” there was a fantasy realm cursed by an evil queen (apparently the one from the Snow White fairytale, who’s a very respectable baddie, in my opinion). The characters from classic fairytales are thrown into the modern world with no memory of their own “happily ever after” or who they really are.

Now, while the premise may seem a bit precious at first, I was impressed by the casting (Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, and Robert Carlyle all star) and I wanted to see what the writers of a show like Lost could do with the setup, so I thought I’d give the series a chance.

So far, I’m impressed!  The main character, Emma Swann (Morrison looking cool, but not overly glamorous) is a tough bail recovery agent with a complicated past.  She gets drawn into the small town of Storybrooke by an unusual ten-year-old boy named Henry.  I like elusive main characters and interesting kids on my television, so the first few minutes of the show caught me.  It was fun to see the fantasy back story gradually unfold through the episode, and not have one big story-dump at the beginning. Also, if you tend to get confused between Goodwin and Morrison because they have similar looks…yeah, that’s intentional. (Side note: Goodwin’s hair is amazingly cute in a pixie cut, which makes this curly haired writer very jealous.) Carlyle steals every scene he’s in, and I can’t wait to see what they do with his character.

I loved seeing the modern versions of the fairytale characters.  From hints in a mysterious book (you know I love my mysterious books!), viewers can expect to see characters from the classic tales, along with some more modern fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz.  I’m looking forward to playing “spot-the-character” in the next few episodes.  (This might necessitate a drinking game…I’ll keep you posted.)

In summary, Once Upon a Time has impressed me enough that I’ll be tuning in next Sunday to watch.  It’s on ABC at 8/7C (so moms might have to set the DVR to work around bedtime) so if you like a little intrigue with your happily ever after, you might want to take a look.

Here’s the trailer:

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  1. I was intrigued by the previews for it too, and I will definitely be watching this regularly. Great recap. Love the idea of the drinking game, hadn’t even thought of that! I just may have to try that out myself. Cheers!

  2. I loved this pilot!
    Kristin Bauer van Straten will be playing Maleficent (the baddie in my Disney fave, Sleeping Beauty) in episode 2!

    • I saw that! 😀 And I saw a picture of her in costume, she looks amazing. I can’t wait.

      P.S. Sleeping Beauty is also my favorite Disney “princess” movie. And (random trivia) the first where the prince has a name!

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