Thanks to growing up watching Disney movies, I’m a sucker for fairytales, so I was very excited when I saw the promo for ABC’s Once Upon A Time. The premise is simple: The Evil Queen enacted a curse that took everyone from the Enchanted Forest and settled them in Storybrooke, Maine, with no memories of who they used to be.
Edward Kitsis, who co-created the show, describes it as this:
Once Upon A Time is, at its core, a story about hope. For us, that’s what a fairytale is. It’s that ability to think your life will get better. It’s why you buy a lottery ticket—because if you win you get to tell your boss that you’re quitting and you get to move to Paris or wherever and be who you always wanted to be. Adam and I just wanted to write about something hopeful that for one hour a week allows one to put everything aside and have that feeling that your dreams just may come true.
That definitely drew me to the show. I love happy endings, especially during a time in the world where there seems to be so few of them. But, don’t let the premise of the show fool you. This isn’t your typical Disney fare. The show was created by former LOST writers so you know that there will be mysteries that need to be unlocked and stories that aren’t what they seem to be at first glance. Plus, I’m loving the backstories they’ve created for the fairytale characters so far. It’s definitely different from what we grew up reading/watching.
Part of the fun of the show is figuring out who the Storybrooke residents correspond to in the Enchanted Forest. We already know some of them: the Evil Queen, Snow White, Prince Charming, Jiminy Cricket, etc. But, there are some residents that are more uncertain, like Dr. Whale.
Of course, each fairytale has that couple that you root for to fall in love and live happily ever after. (What can I say? I’m a sucker for fairytale romance! :P) For me, it’s Mary Margaret (Snow White) and David (Prince Charming). You know they’re meant to be and do end up together. But, because of the curse, they’re forced to live not knowing about their past lives together. It’s a bit sad sometimes because you know that in the past they were happily married and had a daughter. But, in Storybrooke, they’re just a schoolteacher and a man who awoke from a coma with no memory of who he was.
If you like LOST or fairytales or feel-good shows or just magic, I highly recommend Once Upon A Time. This show has become my favorite new show of 2011.
Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing.