I’m so happy that fairy tales are popular again. And I love when they are done well. I wrote about the ABC series Once Upon A Time briefly last year. I managed to watch the first 4 episodes when the series started but not having a TV and losing internet access soon after meant that my connection with the series was short lived.
Season 1 came out on DVD recently and I got a copy. And then went through the entire series in about a week. Because OHMYGOODNESS THIS SHOW IS AMAZING. I absolutely loved it. They take some liberties with the stories but it works out well.
In case you haven’t seen or heard of the series, all of the story book characters that we know and love have been cursed. They now live in the little town of Storybrooke, Maine where they remember nothing of their previous lives (with a few exceptions!). The Evil Queen Regina has placed a curse on them all to remove their happy endings to get revenge on Snow White for taking away hers. It’s now up to Emma Swan to try and save them all.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.
Like I said, they take some liberties with the stories they use. The Evil Queen is the evil queen for a number of stories, not just Snow White’s. Rumpelstiltskin does double duty as the Beast (as in Beauty and the Beast) as well as being the villain for a number of other stories. Little Red Riding Hood is actually a werewolf. And some characters, like Jefferson/the Mad Hatter aren’t in a fairy tale at all. But all of the major elements are there in the stories to make it clear which ones are being told.
And like any good fairy tale, there are lots of love stories. Snow White and Prince Charming get a lot of screen time as do their Storybrooke altar egos Mary Margaret Blanchard and David Nolan. But my favorite (introduced in the episode “Skin Deep”) is between Rumpelstiltskin and Belle. It is lovely beyond words and when they reunite in the season finale, I was definitely tearing up a bit. Of course, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale and Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold is my favorite character on the show so there’s not much competition there.
Season 2 just started a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to get started on it. I’ve seen a few hints about some new characters that are going to be introduced and I’m so curious to see what will happen now that the curse is broken. (Also, I really want to see more of Mr. Gold and Belle.)
Season 1 is available on DVD and Netflix, among other places. Season 2 is available on huluplus (which means you have to pay) or on the official Once Upon A Time ABC website (free but not sure how long the episodes stay on the site- as of today all 5 full episodes are available. A more direct link to the episodes here).