Once Upon a Time initially caught my attention because of the actress Jennifer Morrison (who I loved in House MD) and because it features one of my favourite writers, Jane Espenson (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). That was more than enough for me to give the show a go and I haven’t looked back. I have just finished watching the second season and I am delighted that it is coming back for a third.
The premise is that there is a seemingly ‘normal’ town called Storybrooke in Maine, where its inhabitants go about their daily life. Everything in Storybrooke gives the impression of being completely ordinary, save for the town hall clock tower not working and the fact that no-one ever seems to visit or leave. The only person who questions this is a curious little boy called Henry (Jared Gilmore). Henry has a fairy tale book and believes that all the residents of Storybrooke are: frozen in time, are actually characters out of fairy tales, that that is their true identity – and due to a curse by the Evil Queen they don’t remember who they truly are. Henry is adopted and believes his adopted mother Regina (Lana Parrilla) is the Evil Queen. He goes on a mission to find his birth mother, who he believes is the only one who can save them and break the curse. Needless to say Henry finds his mother, Emma Swan (played by Jennifer Morrison) and convinces her to come back to Storybrooke with him. That is when things start getting interesting.
One of the beauties of OUAT is that the show jumps between events in Storybrooke and the fairy tale world, the Enchanted Forest. This happens mostly in the form of flashbacks. The other is that the number of fairy tale characters, both old and new, are almost endless. Just when you think you have seen them all another one pops up. You might expect Snow White, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood but there is also Rumpelstiltskin, Belle and Mulan. The interweaving of the characters in the Enchanted Forest does not confuse matters; it succeeds in creating a rich and intricate universe full of allies, enemies, hope, betrayal and the overriding power of love.
If you are young at heart and have a weakness for fairy tales it is worth giving OUAT a serious look. You might just enjoy seeing what all of your favourite fairy tale characters are up to.
Are you a fan of Once Upon a Time? Which characters have you enjoyed watching the most? Are there any who haven’t made an appearance yet who you would like to see?