Once Upon a Time Review: Pilot

I am a sucker for modern twists on the classic versions of fairy tales. Part of it is because I am a girl and I love seeing the girl get her happy ending-even though you never see what happens after happily ever after. But there is another part of me that loves the new versions for the exact same reason that elementary school teacher, Mary Margret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin) tells us: “these stories, classics, there’s a reason we all know them. They’re a way for us to deal with our world, a world that doesn’t make any sense.”  With the world we live in today it’s no wonder these new twists on fairy tales have taken storm in Hollywood.

I don’t have the best idea as to where Once Upon a Time is headed or what it is trying to achieve but I must say, this is one of the most beautiful, stunning, and magical pilots of the fall season and it has me hooked. It also doesn’t hurt that it is created by a couple of the writers from Lost. That alone gives it a free past for at least a half a season!

Once Upon a Time straddles two universes: the magical kingdom and modern day. In the magical kingdom, the Enchanted Forest, Snow White (Ginnfer Goodwin) and Prince Charming’s (Josh Dallas) wedding is interrupted by the Evil Queen (Lena Perilla.) Unhappy by their union she promises to curse the entire forest by making sure that there would never be another happy ending. A few months later, a very pregnant Snow White learns from the imprisoned Rumpelstiltskin that her newborn daughter, Emma, would, one-day, be the one to undo the evil curse.  In order to protect her daughter, Snow White and Prince Charming, arrange for an enchanted tree, created by Gepetto and Pinocchio, to safeguard her daughter from the curse. The Prince is later stabbed by the Evil Queens guards while rushing his newborn daughter into the tree. She disappears never to be seen again…

That is because their daughter, Emma, was transported to the modern day world in America. We meet Emma Swan, bail bondsman, in Modern-day Boston on her 28th birthday. That night she meets a little boy names Henry (the utterly adorable Jared Gilmore, who once played Bobby Draper on Mad Men), who carries around a book of fairy-tales and he tells her he is the son she gave up ten years ago. Shocked and confused, Emma brings Henry back to Stroybrooke, Maine, where the residents are all the characters from the Enchanted Forest and they have no memory or recollection of their previous lives because the town is frozen in time.

Henry’s adoptive mother, Regina, is Storybrooke’s mayor and also the evil queen. She has all the traits of her formal life and, according to Henry, has no real feelings for her son. When Henry runs away, we meet his elementary school teacher, Mary Margret Blanchard (Snow White) and who has a strange connection with Emma (because well, it’s her mother, duh!)Mary is not only a school teacher but she is also a volunteer at the local hospital where Prince Charming’s alter ego is in a coma. After telling Henry she’ll stay for a week to help him out, Emma goes to stay at the local bed and breakfast where we meet Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, who own the inn. Jiminy Cricket is the child psychiatrist, and Rumpelstiltskin is the owner of the town.

The story is completely ridiculous, that Emma has come to Storybrooke and will save these fairy tale characters from their non-existent happily ever after. I really don’t know how this series will go on past a full first season but there is something about it that has me sucked in. Maybe it’s the fact that voice of the show is all about hope. In these crazy times where everything seems out of control it’s nice to see a series that is about magic and hope.

I like both Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin in their respective roles. Lena Parrilla is positively wicked as the town mayor and the evil queen. I have a feeling there is a lot of potential in her character. And next week we finally get to meet Giancarlo Esposito’s character!!! I cannot wait for that, especially since (SPOILER ALERT) he feel to his terrible death in the season finale of Breaking Bad.  I absolutely CANNOT wait to see what they do with him! I hope his character is great! I also cannot wait to meet the other townsfolk. I have a feeling they can make this show pretty interesting, like the townsfolk of Pawnee did for Parks and Rec or like the townsfolk in Stars Hollow on Gilmore Girls. As I said it has a ton of potential and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Other Thoughts:

~I went and rewatched the entire pilot just to catch the Lost easter eggs. Regina’s street address is 108. The clock was frozen at 8:15 and there as a Geronimo Jackson sticker on Emma’s beetle. (thank you TV Line)

~ This show is filmed beautifully. It’s just so damn pretty.

~Emma: OK kid, what’s you address
Henry: 44 not telling you street.




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