Once Upon a Time Review: Pilot

once upon a time pilot

Once Upon a Time Review: Pilot

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

28 year old Emma Swan finds the son she gave up as a baby,now ten year old, on her doorstep. He urges her to return to his hometown of Storybrooke, Maine, where his foster mother rules the town with an iron fist. The trouble is, he believes the town’s inhabitants are all from fairytales and his foster mother is the Evil Queen.

Best Moment: I loved that Jiminy Cricket spends his life in the “real world” as a therapist. I love even more than he is portrayed by Raphael Sbarge, AKA Kaiden from Mass Effect.

Verdict: I’ve resisted this show, I admit. It sounded like a fairly intriguing idea, what if the inhabitants of fairyland lived in the real world, but had no memory of who they really were? However, ever since I learned of it’s connection to Lost, I must admit to not wanting to give it a try. Which, given I wrote a story called The Huntsman’s Tale really says something about how I felt about that connection. Well, as you can see, I caved, and am playing catch up. And you know what? I’m actually enjoying it!

There’s a lot of scene chewing going on in this show, make no mistake. It’s a TV show about fairytales, so that’s to be expected. What I didn’t expect, although in retrospect, I should have, given that this is an ABC show and ABC is owned by Disney, is that the characters aren’t just from fairytales, they’re from Disneyfied fairytales. I guess I was hoping for a more gritty and rugged depiction of the fairytale world, a callback to the time in which these stories were originally created, but you simply won’t find it in Once Upon a Time. Which means that what you will get are grumpy dwarves, as well as sleepy ones and doc’s too. It’s a little silly, and not particularly imaginative, but fits well with the context of the show.

You may have noticed I used the term “real world” in quotes. That’s simply because the real world of Storybrooke doesn’t exactly resemble any real town that you or I know. Instead, it’s one of those fake American towns that only exists in TV. But that’s okay, because we’re experiencing storybrooke through the eyes of Emma, who is the only vaguely real character in the series.

I come away from this show feeling that I like the premise well enough, and think it would make a great miniseries a la the Tenth Kingdom, but still unsure if it’s a show that will last six seasons and a movie. Time will tell.