Top 5: Reasons Once Upon A Time is Deeply Awesome.
My favorite television show, Once Upon a Time, has come to a close on it’s season two on ABC’s Season two came with twists and turns as well as a mixed bag of great and lackluster episodes. Different from it’s first season, this season focused in on the characters that we already know and somehow binding them all together. Don’t get me wrong, there were some new characters and some fabulous guest appearances, but overall this show, which started off in crazyville, took some serious turns this year and ended in a completely different world, figuratively and literally. With all of that said, the show seems to carry a cult following as the show really isn’t deemed for an audience that can just jump right in and get it. The people that have stuck around since the Pilot Episode or those who spend the time backtracking to catch up with everyone else seem to be greatly rewarded because this is a show that has delved deep into it’s roots and it’s story. At times it’s fast paced and heart pounding, other times is slow and developing, but Once Upon A Time overall is what I would call deeply awesome. What makes it deeply awesome? Here are my top 5 reasons.
5-Story overlaps. Some shows settle on a single story, some have minor themes that get dragged in and out of episodes throughout the series course, but nothing compares to the multidimensional layerings of stories and characters in Once Upon a Time. The writing team truly excels at not showing us that “big reveal” and coming up with moments that tie things together all the time. The even trickier part here is that we are dealing with changes in space and time. Throughout an episode we could find ourselves following how Rumpelstiltskin turns into a dark lord in the fairy tale world past while focusing on how he strives for power and magic in the real world current time. It’s spectacular and I’ve found myself, several times this season, wondering where the writing team was taking me but by the end of the episode I always felt like I got it. Of course, then they would leave me with a cliffhanger and I’d be in anticipation for the following week’s episode.
4-World Jumping. Does anyone remember the science fiction show Sliders? Yeah, Once Upon a Time is kind of like that. At any given time, there are parallel worlds where things we can’t even imagine are going on and where the fairy tales we read about come from. The great thing about Once is that it doesn’t use a wormhole or vortex, but the one thing that fairy tales can give us as a weapon and we can accept: Magic. Magic is what brings us to different worlds, the problem is that magic can only work with the right tools and as Rumpelstiltskin does say, “Magic always comes with a price.” To travel we need the Mad Hatter’s hat, beans from giants, or sorcerers so powerful they can create spells to destroy everyone. It’s a wonderful plot device and a reasoning to keep fans of the show looking for the next magical tool or character on the show.
3-Minor Storylines. As much as I like the main cast of Once Upon a Time, I really find myself connecting with the minor storylines and characters of the town. One of my favorite stories from Season 2 involved the reveal of who Dr. Whale was and how he handled himself in Storybrooke, Maine instead of the Gothic world from which he came. He also found a friend in Ruby (better known as Little Red Riding Hood) because of their connections to other worlds and Ruby’s vicious side. Small stories like this really keep the show fresh and exciting. It adds layers to a town full of people that are very complex, each with their own origin from a different world and each with their own life in the real world. I’m glad these characters are just cookie cutter people in a series that is developed around so many long loved classic characters.
2-Edgy and Dark. Because most people in the real world know me as “The Disney guy” I get asked by people about Once Upon a Time. Is it any good? Is it just like the movies? Should my kids watch it? Is it for adults? The list keeps going, but the main thing I tell people about Once is that it isn’t the writing team trying to retell the stories in the Disney classic animated films. They take liberties. They change characters. Most importantly, this show is a bit darker and edgier than your typical Disney film. Granted, I think NBC’s Grimm is even darker and delves into horror at times, but Once is that perfect blend of edgy adult entertainment and family storytelling that draws everyone in. Once takes some of the Disney versions of fairy tales and brings them back to their original tellings. You know, the ones where not everyone is so happy and friendly. The Lost Boys look more like evil Druids than cheerful singing raccoon skin wearing boys. This show gets dark and I like that. If you’re an adult that enjoys the Disney versions but might be a bit too “grown up” to watch Snow White over and over again, this show is for you.
1-The Craziest Family Tree Ever! Seriously, I’ve been watching this show for two seasons now and Henry’s family tree is a mess of a Bonsai tree. As stories are unraveled we see who relates to who and now there are step-grandfather figures from other worlds. Long story short without giving away too much, everyone is tied to each other and along with the liberations I pointed out earlier, you could walk into this show having never seen it before and wonder why The Evil Queen from Snow White and Captain Hook from Peter Pan are somehow related in a giant family tree. It all comes together if you watch the show, but it’s deep roots (tree reference…get it!) are with this family and as time passes with each season, I think we will only see it grow further. Could Henry be related to the Caterpillar from Wonderland? Probably! It doesn’t matter though. I’m interested.
Are you a fan of Once Upon a Time? What draws you to the show? What is your favorite moment from Season 2? Leave your thoughts and comments!
Posted on May 17, 2013, in Articles and tagged ABC, Captain Hook, Disney, Dr. Whale, Josh Taylor, List, Modern Mouse Radio, Once, Once Upon a Time, Review, Rumpelstiltskin, Season 2, Top 5, tv. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.