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10 October 2012 @ 04:13 pm
Once Upon a Time TV Series  
Once Upon a Time...

After giving her son up for adoption ten years ago, Emma Swan is shocked when the boy tracks her down. She takes him back to his home in Storybrooke, but as they drive he tells her that everyone in the town is a fairy tale character. These men and women have had a terrible curse cast upon them that forced them out of their fairy tale world and into ours, and they no longer remember who they are. His mother is the wicked Queen who cast the curse, but Emma has the power to set the town free. She doesn't quite believe him, but she's worried about the kid, so Emma decides to stick around and observe the strange little town.

Seanie and I started watching Once Upon a Time earlier this week, after I spotted it on Netflix Streaming. It's times like this I wish we had cable - then I wouldn't have to wait months after a season has ended to finally see the show that everyone else saw ages ago and considers old news.

This reminds me a lot of the Fables comics, although in that series the fairy tale characters retain their memories and powers in the mundane world. But that strange mix of fairy tale magic and real-world drudgery is here, and the contrast between the worlds is party of what makes the story so compelling.

One oddity of the story is that Snow White - according to Henry, the kid, she and Prince 'Charming' James are the parents of Emma Swan - looks the same age, if not younger, than her daughter. Is that a touch of the fairy immortality keeping her youthful? Does this also explain how characters who appeared to be killed/magicked off in the fairy tale world (Charming, Cinderella's prince) survive into their human selves? Quirky. I have to remind myself that I've barely started the series, and they're bound to explain things more as it unfolds.

I had heard that the tv show was "Disney characters brought together into one show," but it isn't like that. Not really. I mean, some characters have a resemblance to their Disney counterpart. Cinderella's ballgown is very similar to the Disney version. But others are very different. Maleficent looks and acts nothing like the villain in Sleeping Beauty. Considering she's usually one of the biggest baddies in Disney canon, Once Upon a Time's Maleficent is dreadfully weak - and I'm not happy about her being blonde, either. Several of the fairy tale characters don't have a Disney movie, either - Red Riding Hood and Rumpelstiltskin come to mind. I'm actually really excited that Rumpelstiltskin is shaping up to be the major villain, or at least a trickster figure guiding the story along. He's a character that I think has been greatly underutilized in fairy tale re-tellings.

Those villains really love greenscreens.
jeanniejeannietran on October 13th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Since the clock never worked until Emma got to Storybrook, I assume that time stood still and that meant none of the fairytale characters aged. Leads to a lot of other questions - do the kids just repeat the same grade every year and no one notices they don't get any older? I don't know if they'll explain it later, feels like they just gloss over details to get to the interesting bits. I think with Charming, he was wounded and wasn't fully dead yet at the time the curse hit so that put him in a coma in cursed land.

It's not so much the mashing up of Disney characters, it's the reworking of classic fairytales and folk stories but since it's ABC they use the Disney version of the fairytales and throw in other Disney specific movie characters (like Jiminy Cricket). I like the alternate version of the stories, Red Riding Hood especially, and how they weave together.

And Rumpelstilskin is pretty awesome. You can't ever really tell what's going on with him and what side he's on.
Suzi: piranha - perfect renn. profilek00kaburra on October 13th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Jiminy Cricket's not a Disney-specific character. Well, I guess he is. There's a talking cricket in Pinocchio (which Pinocchio kills, so he's haunted by its ghost - don't know why Disney left that out!) but he doesn't have a name. Anyway, having seen the show now I know it's definitely not a Disney mash-up, but I think some of the early press reviews must have described the show that way because I picked up the impression somewhere.

Storybrooke must be like the Simpsons' Springfield - everything happens, and characters remember it, but the world somehow resets and time doesn't actually move forward, so Bart is always 10 and Lisa is always 8.

I know Mulan shows up in Season 2, so that's terribly exciting, but right now I'm only five episodes in so that's a long way off!
kerokerotab on October 13th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
Oh man I finished the first season in one week it's really good. Season 2 started two weeks ago. I have mixed feelings of this season and its only 2 episodes in.
メリッサ: Beauty and the Beast-Tale as old as timesailormgm on October 14th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
This is such a good series, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it! Rumpelstiltskin is the best; he definitely steals the show.

I like that they take elements from the Disney fairy tales but add their own twists to them. I imagine that annoys some fans, but I'm loving every moment of it.
Nechtan Albaflameelf on October 15th, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
Trust me, there's some angst over "the parents" being basically younger than Emma. She's pretty angry about it.

I believe it's both because of the time shifts between Fairyland and the town, and Emma's coming from outside the town.

Grey :)