Thursday, October 4, 2012

Television Review: Once Upon a Time…, Season 1

Once Upon a Time… was created by two former writers for the television series LOST.[1] Thus there are several homages to LOST, including use of the numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42, as well as their sum, 108). The way the story plays out is similar to LOST, too, where episodes deal with one character and their moral or personal struggles in two different timelines. What makes this show different is that the flashbacks show you to their lives as fairy tale characters. But since the show airs on ABC (which is owned by Disney), several of the fairy tales reference the Disney version of those tales rather than the historical ones (e.g. in character names, dress, etc.).[2]

My verdict: Despite its LOST origins, the story, acting, and production value of Once Upon a Time… aren't on par with LOST. But they're still generally acceptable or better. The actress for Mary Margaret/Snow White tends to gasp her lines, but everyone else does a fair job. They made the same mistake as LOST by casting a child in a major role. The actor is going to age faster than the character does—particularly during the summer hiatus. His character is so central, though, that I'm not sure how they'll handle his aging. Thankfully (being Disney-derived) they keep profanity to a minimum, the violence is bloodless, and illicit behavior is only implied. There are a few nice twists (e.g. Red Riding Hood's secret) and the finale was satisfying without feeling contrived. I will definitely keep watching this show.


[1] A few of the LOST cast has also appeared: Claire and Mr. Widmore.

[2] Not all of the references are to fairy tales or LOST, though. The episode "Skin Deep" (i.e. the 'Beauty and the Beast' episode) distinctly pays homage to Nurse Ratched and Chief Broom from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in the final scene.

Image attributions:

Forest Canopy is by Bernd Meiseberg, available at

No comments:

Post a Comment