Thursday, October 18, 2012

Once Upon A Time: A revelation

After hearing good rumblings for the past year online, and learning there was a new season about to start up, this past September I finally decided to watch Once Upon A Time. Thanks to Hulu, I saw the first and last episodes of the first season, plus a handful of other episodes, gained a basic understanding of the plot, and was intrigued. Even while on vacation, I hurried home to my hotel on a Sunday night in Washington DC to make sure I caught the first episode of the new season.

But it was after the second episode of season two, when I discovered my sister was a big fan and we were chatting things over, that I truly became hooked. Because my sister had some theory about how this one character was secretly The Queen of Hearts. And I was all, "What? Who's the Queen of Hearts?" I realized I was missing a lot of cool details (and characters).

So now, a few weeks later, I'm ravenously watching all of season one on Netflix, and I am totally and utterly hooked.

For those of you who don't know Once Upon A Time, it stars a woman named Emma, who is invited to Storybrooke, Maine by her biological son, who she gave up for adoption ten years ago. Her son believes everyone in the town is a fairy tale character, cursed to forget their true home and identities, and that only Emma can break the curse.  I'm honestly surprised it's not getting more buzz. It's got these gut-wrenching themes of destiny and identity, and whether or not life can ever really be like a fairy tale. It's also totally over the top, but the cheese is mostly fun, especially when it's tongue in cheek (like the thug in jail who is revealed to be a dwarf, and is mindlessly whistling Whistle While You Work). Plus, not to get too political about it, but the cast and story is unusually female-centric.

But my favorite part about it, especially now that I'm watching every episode, is all the revelations. If you think about it, a plot where every character has a doppelganger with an unknown past life is ripe for revelations. But true gasp-inducing, sit up on the couch, email your sister type revelations are hard to craft. You have to make sure the audience understands enough to get the revelation without anyone needing to explain it, but they don't understand too much and figure out the twist early. And everything needs to be revealed in a single visual moment. Once Upon A Time has me thinking about my own revelations, and how I can parse them back to create the same shocked gasp.

Once Upon A Time is definitely worth a watch. And for those of you who are already hooked--what's been your favorite revelation thus far?


  1. I've been hooked in the past, and resolved not to be again... So thanks for the inadvertent warning :)- your current passion would definitely be habit forming for me...
    It's lovely that you get to share it with your sister. Now that could make me change my mind about following a series.

    1. hehehe. Yeah, someone (again!) was telling me recently how good Homeland was, and likewise I thought to myself, "I'm not sure I need another show to be hooked to."

      But yeah, sharing it with my sister is a definite plus!

  2. I was late to this party too. I need to catch up too because I only know enough to be dangerous. Ha, ha. But out of the episodes I've seen, my favorite episode/story line was the Little Red Riding Hood character -- totally loved the twist!

    1. Oh... haven't seen that one yet, but totally looking forward to it now!


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