Once Upon a Time S01E01-12

My plan was to watch a little bit of each of the series on my list and weed out the ones that just weren’t doing it for me. Even though I had the order all worked out, when I started on Netflix, they didn’t have much from the first round. Rather than bop around, I decided to watch all the stuff from Netflix first and then move on to other outlets. So, Teen Wolf was first. I watched four episodes of that on Friday. Next came Once Upon a Time. I watched 12 episodes of Once Upon a Time yesterday. That totally shot my sampler method. I was entranced. Watching it felt like reading a book. I love that. It definitely pulled me along.

I have this problem where the firm grip I have on reality tends to put fantasy and fiction in a chokehold, gently and brutally draining the exuberance and imagination out of them. It’s a constant battle and usually has me picking on things that most people who enjoy the fantastic can easily ignore, suspend, or simply accept. These things that I find to pick on don’t stop me from enjoying the show or what have you, but they are a hindrance and I feel guilty about my compulsion to point them out. I don’t think I can stop, though.

Once Upon a Time is a feast for the eyes. I love the sets. LOVE them. Especially in Story Brooke. The Mayor’s office is super fabulous! If you just remove her, the apples and the mirror, it would suit me so well! Mary Margaret’s place is adorable and her classroom is awesome–a well-thought-out learning environment.

Two lines I loved hearing:

What’s 28 years when you have eternal love?

-Prince Charming

Good will always win.

-Mary Margaret. I love this because it was said by Ginnifer Goodwin.

I love the transitions between worlds and how the events in each are usually reflected in their flashback/forward and never feel forced. The storytelling is so much fun. How they are building out the characters, removing the veneer, and turning them into people and yet anchoring them in their iconic roles is extremely satisfying. The intertwining of the tales is great as well.

BUT, I do have some bones to pick. In general, most of the issues I have with the show is the relationship between Emma, Regina, and Henry. It’s ridiculous for Mayor Mills to continue to be annoyed by Emma when she has every right to get a restraining order. What kind of laws exist in that town? They’re so loose with justice. And why are most of Emma’s shirts see-through?

The other issue I have is why is no one really invested in finding out the breadth and the depth of Henry’s beliefs? Everyone is spending so much time trying to convince him that it isn’t true, can’t be true. There should be at least one person who, even if they don’t believe him, is interested enough to help him put the pieces together. Identify all of the characters. No matter what you think or how they’re writing it, it isn’t Emma, not yet anyway. Twelve episodes in, she still has some ways to go. It sucks that the first person to come close to that died. Definitely they don’t want to give away too much, and I love figuring out who’s who, but Henry is still alone in all of this and I really feel bad about that. And even with the arrival of the writer, who could definitely have some Inkheart/Stranger than Fiction/Ruby-like qualities, he seems to be more self-serving and while he may end up becoming Henry’s ally, it’s not the same as one of the non-believers, despite their leanings, investing in Henry’s theories.

I’m glad that Henry was discouraged by Graham’s death. I think it would be unnatural for him to never have a moment of doubt or regret.

And isn’t it lovely that it has multiple seasons? I hope they don’t screw it up. Sometimes I wish American television programming shared some of the philosophies of Asian television programming: It’s okay for a show to be written from start to finish to last for one season. It really is. Not everything should have a Season 2. Sometimes, like I see a lot with anime, the story may only need 11 episodes to be told. Perhaps it would be simpler to say, “stop thinking of the mini-series as some kind of rare, special event.” They can roll right into the rest of the schedule. It happens. It worked for 5ive Days to Midnight and The Lost Room. It’s definitely changed from five years ago and even more so from before then, but I still feel that they have this uncontrollable urge to beat dead horses.

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