If the characters from our fairy tales came to life, and had to live day to day side-by-side us, who would they be? How would Snow White or Geppetto make a living? What would Little Red Riding Hood be doing? What would Jiminy Cricket look like? Well to find out, why not check out the new show on ABC, Once Upon A Time. From the creators of Lost, the show brings classic fairy tales into the modern day- to- day world.
The story begins with the waking of Snow White by Prince Charming, the end of the tale as we know it, and carries over to their wedding. Unfortunately, the wedding is interrupted by the evil queen who swears to destroy Snow White’s happiness, and the happiness of all who attended the wedding. Naturally there is a bit of an uproar at this news and Snow White is concerned for the future of her child. She asks to speak with Rumpelstiltskin, who is something of a prophet in this show, one with ‘the sight’, and he tells her that the kingdom is doomed, and only her unborn child can save them.
In another time and place, we meet a young woman named Emma whose job is to find people, and the day we meet her just so happens to be her birthday. Just as she’s about to dig into a lone celebratory cupcake, there’s a knock at her door and in comes a kid named Henry. Henry is the product of a teen pregnancy Emma had long since forgot about, and he’s come to take her back to the town he’s from, Storybrooke. He tells her that time has stopped in this town, and the inhabitants may never leave without something bad happening. He also tells her that all of the citizens of this town are fairy tale characters, but they can’t remember who they are. And craziest of all, he tells her that she’s Snow White’s daughter. Of course she thinks this kid is crazy, but after returning him to his home, she decides to stay for a spell. And here begins the story.
The series has just begun, so I feel like I can’t really say whether or not it’s good… but so far it’s good. The show aired a few weeks ago, and to be honest I avoided it. I have loved fairy tales all of my life, and know several of them very well. I read countless adaptations, seen various different representations on film, have more than one copy of the originals in compilation books I have been and continue to collect over the years. Needless to say there is a huge margin for error here… but so far I’m really enjoying it!
The plot thus far is as was previously stated: a curse by the evil witch has uprooted the characters of our favourite fairy tales from their happily ever afters and has deposited them in small town America. The characters apparently have not aged prior to Emma’s arrival and are living out their lives unhappily, oblivious of their true identity and what will bring them true happiness. The only one who seems to know everything from the outset is Henry, though we aren’t told what role, if any, he played in the fairy tale world. Mr. Gold may also be aware, but we aren’t given much information on him yet, aside from the fact that he owns the town. The plot switches back and forth from past events in the fairy tale world to the events happening in Storybrooke and together the two tales tell a story.
I’ve only seen 4 of the supposed 22 episodes in the first season, but I can already see the buds of some of the potential intricacies in play. I also like how they interpreted the characters they’ve presented so far. Snow White is a school teacher, the evil queen is the mayor, Jiminy Cricket is a shrink, Red Riding Hood is a suggestively clad waitress, etc. I thought they really made the characters come to life by placing them in a position that might allow people who don’t understand fairy tales to understand the story, and for those who do to gain a new perspective (without loosing the old of course). When I initially heard of the series I thought it would be more of a Faerie Tale Theater idea with each episode featuring a different fairy tale. It is that, but all of the fairy tales tie into a greater story, and some of the stories have been blended together, as well as set in the modern day. One of the things I feared the most was that it would take on a false, sexy/ romantic, overly dramatic without any substance, twilight spin that seems to be so popular as of late. The creators have thankfully refrained. These fairies do not sparkle. … well they do, but fairies are supposed to sparkle 😉 You get what I mean. I think that, so far, this show has done a really good job creating a serious drama about fairy tales.
Here is a trailer for the show
And here is an interview with the actors with clips from the pilot
And finally here’s the page on ABC. There is a fairy tale quiz on there, see how you do! http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/once-upon-a-time