I recently started watching a new American TV series titled “Once Upon A Time,” brought to us by the creators of one of our generation’s best TV shows: Lost.
The premise of the show is highly interesting and, even though it starts off weirdly, picks up right at the middle of the first episode and enthralls you. A testament to that is the show catching my brother’s attention as he was engaged with multiple Facebook chats with his friends. You know teenagers and their chats can go on forever. He stopped them to watch.
The show is a modern twist on the fairytales we’ve heard over and over again as we grew up: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, etc…. On the day of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming’s (Joshua Dallas) wedding, the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) barges in and threatens them with a curse where no one would have a happy ending, except her. Months later, a pregnant Snow White goes to Rumplestiltskin who tells her that the curse can only be broken by her unborn daughter, as she turns 28.
As the events in that alternate world take place, we are introduced to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) who lives in our world, on the day of her birthday. She was turning 28. It is then that her biological son finds her and tells her that he lives in a town in Maine called Storybrooke where people are the characters of those fairytales, brought to our world by the Evil Queen’s curse without them knowing who they are or where they come from. None of them can leave the town and none of them have an inkling of their past.
Emma, who gave up her son Henry for adoption ten years prior, drives him back to Storybrooke to give him back to his adopted mother and, without intending to, finds herself wanting to help her son out of his “crazy” fantasies, not knowing that her presence there is changing everything.
The overall story might look childish for many (the foundation is a fairytale after all) but the execution is captivating, which is expected from the creators of Lost. They managed to continue the stories of those fairytale characters that we all know and add another dimension to them – one that transcends the magic in which they live, making them look raw and real.
The performances, mainly that of House‘s Jennifer Morrison, are great as well. Morrison portrays the cynical Emma but keeps her character sharp enough as to not repel viewers. She makes the transition to a caring “mother” and makes it look fluidly easy.
All in all, with three episodes in (the fourth one set to air this Sunday November 13th), Once Upon A Time is definitely one of the better new shows to be introduced. It’s a must watch that will surely spark the imagination of million, just as I’m sure its creators intended. Even the fairytales we thought we knew keep surprising us by having links between all the different stories. And if you’re attentive enough, you’ll notice allusions from Lost, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and other Disney movies there.