Monday, October 24, 2011

"Once Upon a Time": Didja watch?

Hmm. Think clothing color is significant?
If so, you weren't alone. "OUaT" slayed this weekend's ratings. I tuned it because it reminded me of a short-lived and loved apparently only by me 80s fantasy sitcom "The Charmings." And so far, I'm a bit underwhelmed.

My main problem with the pilot episode, "The Witch and the Wardrobe" was its exposition-heavy format. Rather than find out for ourselves gradually that fairy tale characters (mainly from Snow White, but Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, and Pinocchio were also represented) have been trapped in Storybrook (groan), Maine, and have forgotten their identities due to a curse from the Evil Queen, we are simply told. This flashback and dual universe format should be expected from the writers of Lost, but the way it played out last night, it would be like we met Sawyer, and learned during that same episode about why and how he became a con man. I expected a bit more mystery as to why and how these

Similarly, I would have preferred small clues as to the fairy tale-ers "real" selves to puzzle over.  Henry, the child adopted by the evil queen, brings his birth mother Emma, who also happens to be the characters' destined savior to Storybrook. He knows about the curse, and fills Emma, and us, in on the details. But to just be told that Henry's bespectacled and dalmatian-owning therapist was Jiminy Cricket was a bit anti-climactic. The more subtle introduction of Red and her grandmother was handled better.

But as for the plot itself--that the daughter of Snow White and Prince "might be charming but ain't all that good looking" was kept safe in a magic wardrobe and spirited to our world in order to come to Storybrook on her twenty-eighth birthday and defeat the evil queen--sounds promising enough. The costumes and sets are gorgeous and I like Emma well enough, though I find it hard to believe in a world with names like Snow and Rumpelstiltskin, that's the moniker her mother chose. Me? I would have gone with Apple.

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