My celebratory piece this week will be based on a little gem I stumbled upon on Netflix. Well, I say I stumble upon it but I actually saw it and said "meh, I'll pass", and went on with my day. It was only after a conversation I had with two other creators, Adonis Gonzalez and Tisha Mae Eaton, that I decided to give it a chance. I'm going to use this article to express the aspects of this show that have pulled me in, and hopefully sway a few others into watching this fantastic series.
Their passion and excitement for this show was contagious to say the least. After a short conversation, I was ready to start watching it and I'm glad I listen to their wise words. I'm also lucky my girlfriend got sucked into watching it as well, because my solo viewing of shows is starting to pile up.
I've since lost the link to the conversation thread, but I kindly asked both wonderful creators to provide a quick quote based on their feelings towards the show, in an attempt to sell the show's magic to other doubters, like myself.
Tish Mae Eaton
"Full of adventure, hope, and love ONCE is a show that will draw you in with its unique premise and keep you with it's great characters. It's a fresh and more adult look at tales we knew and loved as children."
"Stick with it, it gets so great after the first few episodes. Hook is the BEST!"
Once you get past the initial sickening reliance on "self belief" and the power of "true love" it gets a hell of a lot better. I only say that in my dry, sarcastic British tone, because they do mention those two aspects all the time - especially Snow White and Prince Charming. The first few episodes (as with any new show) are a little slow, but once it starts to take off and you become fully accustomed to the premise, it really is an incredible show to watch.
The creativity and imaginative take on your favourite fairy tales is something to admire within this world. Their brave choices and character changes will really make you look at all of these people in a new light. There are heavy elements from both Disney and The Brothers Grimm stories that really mix together in an extremely enjoyable way.
There's something about this show that just makes you want to keep watching, mainly because you can't wait to see how they'd handle or introduce some of your favourite characters. I, for one, kept watching and waiting for Robin Hood to drop by, and my god I waited long enough. Sadly his character lack a little of the outlaw magic, but provided a brilliant love interest for our evil queen.
The show's villains are one of the biggest appeals to me with this series. It's one of those shows where the bad guys are more likeable than the actual heroes, in my opinion anyway. The good guys are too good. I enjoy watching characters that thrive in the moral grey areas in life.
Robert Carlyle's Rumplestiltskin and Lana Parrilla's Evil Queen, are two of the show's main protagonists, but eventually side with the heroes of Storybrooke to overcome greater evils that arise - for a little while at least, in the case of Rumple. The Evil Queen (or Regina) goes on a quest for redemption to prove that their destinies are not set in stone and things can be changed. You find out that her life and the things that have happened to her are what has made her so evil, and they really deliver on their phrase, "evil isn't born, it's made".
The back stories for these characters are shown through a series of flashbacks to their time in the Enchanted Forest. This really helps you understand what has happened to them in their past lives that twisted them, and shaped them into the evil beings that they have become. The show's writers do a wonderful job when it comes to making you as viewer sympathise with them in a way, and even makes you relate to their struggles in an emotionally compelling way. I felt a stronger connection and emotional investment with the stories of the "villains" than I did with the heroes.
I like to think of myself as a bit of a cold and robotic person, but even I got swept up in the magic of this series and was shocked at how easily I found myself getting wrapped up in the plotlines, but I guess you just can't shake that inner child inside.
Robert Carlyle's Rumplestiltskin is one of the show's strongest points. His likeability in this role comes in waves. on occasion, I really like his character in the real world, but then he would do something to one of my other favourite characters that'll put me off. He'd suddenly go from helping the heroes save the day, to revealing his own selfish desires for power and instantly make you hate him once more. Which, in a way, is a fantastic character trait in and of itself and Mr Carlyle really delivers on his performance.
It took me a while to get used to him in the role of Rumpelstiltskin in the enchanted forest, because at times, he looks like a homeless, recovering meth addict, prancing around these magical worlds searching for objects of desire (kind of like a sparkly Golum). But regardless of that, the character is always entertaining. His dramatic, flaring hand gestures and odd voice become parts you miss once you spend more time in Storybrooke, with him in his more human guise (let's not forget how the phrase "Deary" quickly gets stuck in your head).
The show has explored many fairytale lands including Neverland, Oz, Wonderland, Arendelle and even the world of Frankenstein. More often than not, throwing their own unique twist on these locations and the characters within.
Until I saw this show, I never thought of Peter Pan as a bad guy, but the way they told his story really put an interesting twist on things. They didn't even have to change very much of the story. They just simply told the story from a different perspective. Once that made a magical guy that took children to a strange Island seem creepy and threatening (seems impossible, right?). This plot line even made Captain Hook look like the misunderstood rogue that has had nothing but problems caused by the evil schemes of one Peter Pan. The actor who played Pan even looked a hell of a lot like his Disney counterpart in some scenes.
Hook himself has rapidly become one of my favourite parts of the show. Instead of a maniacal pirate cliche, we have an extremely charming, witty and charismatic leading character. Not only is he one of the coolest characters on the show, but he's also a really intriguing individual to watch. Again the show's writers have done an amazing job at creating a story for him, where you really can sympathise with him and eventually learn to really love him as a recurring presence. He's a lost man with a troubled youth, a man that had the love of his life stolen from him. All of which sent him on his vile quest for revenge. Plus, nearly every female friend I've asked really fawns over his apparent sex appeal. although, I have to admit he is one of those self centred characters (at first) that you just have to like, never has selfish looked so selfless.
This show has even managed to capitalise on the success of Disney's Frozen in an enjoyable and creative way, with characters that look scarily like their animated selves. I've got a young niece and nephew, so I've had to watch the animated version hundreds of times, and I was really impressed with how they did this. Although, it was weird seeing Elsa and Anna without them singing every five minutes, you soon learn to love that part. Georgina Haig's Elsa was also very easy on the eye's (if I do say so myself), so that really made up for listening to my girlfriend swoon over hook every time he strolled on screen and muttered something smooth.
Once Upon A Time has become a show that I really enjoy watching for it's heart and passion that comes across so clearly in the show's writing and the actors' deliverance.
I really couldn't speak highly enough of this underrated escape into fantasy. Usually, I save my celebratory articles for something based in the genre of superheroes that I love, but I felt I had to share my appreciation for this show with you fine readers as I highly regret judging this book by its cover. I've become "hooked" by each passing episode and have become a real fan, so much so that I just can't "let it go"...
I'd highly recommend this show to people of all ages. For the kids out there, it's a fantastic new look at the stories of childhood, with fresh approaches and interesting twists that'll keep them entertained for hours. For the adults, I'd say it's a fantastic throwback to the characters we get to share with our children and even introduces some amazing plot lines that will keep you engaged. It will really change the way you view some of your favourite (or least favourite) fairy tale beings.
The people behind this show are receiving an honorary round of applause from myself as I humbly eat my words for ever doubting that this show would be brilliant. It's provided lots of laughs, emotional stories and extremely engaging characters and worlds. It will provide you with hours of entertainment and heapings of nostalgia as they flip the world of Disney on it's head.
The writers are slowly working their way through the hordes of fairytale characters in fresh new ways and I can't wait to see who appears next. I should take this point to express my admiration at how they even (subtly) included Mickey Mouse into their realistic world during their nod to The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Granted, he was literally just a mouse, but as soon as you saw the hat, any fan of Fantasia would've instantly got the reference.
Thank you for taking the time to share in my appreciation of this show, and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts on why you love this show.
So please feel free to sound off in the comments section and share your love. If you have a comment or quote you'd like added into the article regarding your fondness for this magical series, you can. Just let me know in the comments section if you wish to have something added and I'd be more than happy to.
Thank you once again you amazing readers. You can even use the Create A Post tool below to create your own celebratory piece and help to keep spreading the positivity and good word on the things you enjoy most, and spread a little kindness.