Monday, June 24, 2013

Television Review: Once Upon a Time…, Season 2

The first season of Once Upon a Time…[1] was intriguing because it took the LOST formula of developing characters through flashbacks and applied them to fairy tale characters before and after they were cursed into our world (and simultaneously had their memories wiped). In this season the curse has been partially lifted and the characters all remember who they are. However, there are still some fairy tales that the show hasn't tapped.

My verdict: Regina's and Rumplestiltskin's constant flip-flopping on the matter of being good or evil is tiresome and reminiscent of Sylar's equally meaningless to-and-fro on the matter in the second season of Heroes. The main characters repeatedly make poor decisions (like sparing the life of the evil queen and the dark one, who are both mass murderers) and naïvely chalk it up to "doing the right thing" or even "the hard way instead of the easy way". But in reality they are responsible for the suffering and deaths of many people. Thus their way is the "stupid way", the "blind way", and even the "destructive way".

Now that the fairy tale characters all have their memories back, it weakens the impact of the flashbacks. Hook is the most interesting character (new or old). And there are some nice plot twists around the character of Balefire. Surprisingly, instead of marginalizing Henry as a character so they can quietly write him out of the show before the actor gets too old, they actually have the audacity to give him an even more central role. I'm skeptical that they can pull it off, but I won't disparage their trying. However, sending him to a place where his character won't age was probably the wrong way to go. The season finale was a little disappointing because they introduce a new villain, but don't actually show him. It would've been a much better cliffhanger if they had. Overall there were some interesting new developments but the second season didn't live up to the first.


[1] Read my review of the first season here.

Image attributions:

Queen of Hearts Playing Card is in the public domain and is available at of Hearts (Elizabeth of York).png.

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