On the Bubble: Once Upon a Time

Posted on April 3, 2013



We like fairy tales. We respect the pre-Disney folklore of them. So when this show came along, we thought we would give it a shot.

We Watched It

Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is a bounty hunter. One day, the son she gave up for adoption (Henry Mills) shows up at her apartment. He claims to be living in a town called “Storybrooke,” where all the characters from fairy tales live. They don’t remember who they are because of a curse. Only Emma can break the curse, if she can figure out what the heck is going on.

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On the Bubble

The problem that I have with Once Upon a Time is that it has run into an inability to change. Really, the writers are between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, the characters are archetypes. This is important to the series because the characters’ fairy tale roles define who they are in this drama. For me, this recently came up with the role of Cora (Barbara Hershey). Regina (Lana Parilla) is already the Evil Queen. Why did we need another one? Was Cora supposed to be the evil mother? Because if so, they really undersold that.

On the other hand, the characters are now awake. The curse is broken. They remember who they are, and they are now real people in the real world. They should be able to grow, change, learn, and adapt. Yet, if they do, they are no longer the archetypes.

So the writers are kind of screwed, and I haven’t seen any sign of a creative solution.


The continuity is broken.

When Emma first came to town, and in the previous seasons, we saw the day-to-day life of Storybrooke.

Yet, in a recent episode, we saw the town from Regina’s perspective. She was always aware of the curse, and always remembered who she was. She showed us that, when the curse first took effect, every day in Storybrooke was the same.

So which is it, guys? I suppose something could have changed in the interim between the beginning and Emma’s arrival. After all, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) can always renegotiate a deal…
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You want Once Upon a Time? Okay, here you go:

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Posted in: television