2.) Once Upon A Time
Okay, this show took a lot of convincing to watch. When I first heard of this show, I thought that this was another attempt to imitate the popular concept of the graphic novel Fables: Legendary Exiles. Once Upon A Time bears the same concept as Fables wherein fairy tale characters are transported into the real world. Actually, I was more skeptical of the fact that it looked like it was going to be cheese served to young women instead of the gritty realism treatment it deserved. I didn’t expect this to do well but after the first season ended, people on Twitter were going crazy about the show. Since I always indulge my curiosity, I gave in and popped the pilot up on my Netflix queue.
Let me start by saying that yes, the show is cheesy at times but it has the right to be since it revolves around the fairy tales. There are times when I go like: “Really? That line?” but then that’s just one complaint among a stack of things I love about this show. I think the real life conter parts of each fairy tale character suits their past lives really well. It’s not the typical counterparts you’d expect, since the writers found a way to seamlessly integrate these characters into a modern setting. The narrative is great simply because the fairy tales don’t stand as their own. They’re all connected to each other like for example, the story of Snow White interweaves with Cinderella or how Mulan’s story is related to Sleeping Beauty’s. It shows that the story was well-crafted from the very beginning. Robert Carlyle is brilliant as Rumplestiltskin. He definitely redefines and adds depth to the villain. Sometimes it’s hard to hate him, especially when you unravel key information about his character throughout the story. Another evidence of great writing and acting at work.
I admit, I’ve shed a lot of tears and bellowed a couple of laughs watching the first season. It’s refreshing and funny to see how fairy tale characters behave in their day-to-day lives since Disney usually portrays them as ideal characters. You see them react to everyday problems in their fantasy world, and even to the problems we face in our world. Yet, I’ve cried because the characters are really fleshed out. It’s not just the heroes but the villains as well. From the ideal pedestal of perfection, these characters have become people you can sympathize with. You feel their joys and pains as they journey to return to their home where they truly belong.
Once Upon A Time is on ABC and the second season just started so there’s not much catching up to do. You can watch the first season on Netflix. So, if you’re looking for a gritty take on fairy tales then this isn’t for you. However, if you’re a fan of fairy tale adaptations in general then you will find Once Upon A Time quite enjoyable.