Once Upon A Time…
We all grew up hearing about fairy tales and stories of charming princes, damsels in distress and evil queens. What if one beautiful day someone told you that you are related to one of them?
That is the general idea thrown around by Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz; a new fantasy-drama show brought to you by the team responsible for Lost and Tron: Legacy. This is, in the opinion of the DS Team, one of the best shows to grace our television airwaves as of late. The show is a production of Disney Owned ABC, and contrary to what some people might think – it is very forward thinking.
Channel 5 has recently shown a rerun of the first season, and Different Scene decided to hop on that magic carpet to introduce you to the plot and characters. If you already know the show and love it as much as we do – then we recommend that you read the comic Fables by Vertigo as it runs a similar plot and story.
During the first episode, the viewer is taken to “Fairy Tale Land”, where we see Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) get introduced to Prince Charming (Josh Dallas). Soon after, they get married and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) uses a powerful curse to send people from the Fairy Tale Land to a place where there are no happy endings – in this case modern day America. This is when the main character shows up – detective Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). Initially we see her as a hard and ruthless detective having been paid by a scorned wife she sets up a philandering husband by going on a date with him. Swann is portrayed as a a loner, a survivor and a fighter; after a brief display of strength – Emma returns home, tired, to find the son she gave to adoption a long time ago. The child, Henry, tells Emma that she needs to bring him back home to Storybrooke, Maine.
Reluctantly she accepts the request, and Henry reveals the main plot of the show – Emma Swan is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. The people living in Storybrooke are actually fairy tale characters who do not remember their past. Snow white is now Mary Margaret, a school teacher; the Evil Queen (Regina) is Storybrooke’s mayor. Through every episode, we are introduced to new characters, and in most of them we witness Emma unknowingly “wake them up”.
The charm of the show is through the reveal of each of these characters true identities, with good adaptations and updated stories for most of the characters. Some very interesting plot twists are used, Red Riding Hood being a great example – Different Scene will avoid giving the details so it does not ruin the surprise for those watching it for the first time.
As mentioned previously, the show is forward thinking. Emma Swan is not your typical character in search of romance. She is a woman in her late 20′s, headstrong and very good at defending her own rights, not unlike the actress who plays her Jennifer Morrison; when asked to wear a formal male outfit during one of the episodes; she responded with “A tie? You know, you don’t have to dress a woman like a man to give her authority.”
Once Upon a Time is a great show that uses clever storytelling techniques and strong characters to deliver a rich and compelling story about two parallel universes that seem to fit very well together. With very good writing (the brilliant Jane Espenson being one of the main writers – Torchwood, Gilmore Girls and Buffy The Vampire Slayer) it would be fitting to say that Emma Swan is a disciple of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer generation – in a world where a woman can be a hero or a villain, and her authority is not put into question.
Season Two of Once Upon A Time is scheduled to begin later this year on Channel 5.