Media Monday: Once Upon A Time

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Title: Once Upon a Time
Media Type: TV Show
Genre: Fantasy
Season/Episode: 1.1
Air date: 10/23/11
Network: ABC

My Review: Remember back at the end of August when I asked you what shows you were waiting for? This show was certainly at the top of my list at the time though I’d heard next to nothing about it at the time. Then, I kind of forgot about it. I had other interesting shows to watch that came out sooner! Then, about a week ago, they showed an ad for it during one of my shows. Let me tell you, they know how to make an ad! It wasn’t just “Oh yeah, I wanted to watch that,” it was “OMG gimme gimme gimme NOW!” I immediately went off to find all the teasers and trailers I missed because I often watch my shows online after the fact. My expectations were high. Almost too high. I was half sure they would fail to live up to it.

I wouldn’t say they failed, not by a long shot. There are many, many good things about the show. I absolutely loved the character of Henry. He reminds me more than anything of the little boy in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (whose name escapes me at the moment. I’ll get it in a minute.) He is cute, precocious, and the only one who has that magical view of the world we’d all love to get back. I really hope he will serve as a major character in the show, not just as the catalyst for everything to begin.

As it’s only the first episode, I’m hesitant to judge everything. Some of the characters felt awfully flat, but then again, with everything else they were trying to do in the first episode, I’m sure they’ll do more for that in the coming weeks. The premise felt a little hole-y for so much of it being given to us in flashback, but then, the holes could be plugged up with a few carefully placed words in future episodes. If there is one thing I’d complain about, it is the flashbacks. Now, I know by hearsay that this is something the Lost writers are very well known for (I never got into Lost myself). Even so, I sincerely hope the future episodes limit themselves to fewer flashbacks. I get very frustrated with jumping every few minutes or so into the past so that the audience can live through something that may not even be completely relevant yet. I want to know what is happening NOW. And Emma doesn’t know any of this stuff, does she? The easiest mistake to fall into with flashbacks is letting your audience assume that because they know something, your main character knows it too, and with them piling so much of it on, I’m just waiting to see them slip and have Emma know something she shouldn’t.

This is not to say I didn’t like the show. There are too many things I loved to list and they far outweigh the things that bothered me. There are a few lines that I’m still obsessing over (“Emma… What a lovely name.” just gave me chills, even though I knew it was coming from the trailers.) And, to top it all off, many critics have seen through the third episode already and they say it only gets better. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next episode! Sunday GET HERE FASTER!

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