Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 11:32:30 PM
What if the Mad Hatter isn’t really mad? What if the “crocodile” who steals Captain Hook’s hand is really Rumplestiltskin? Or what if Mulan and Sleeping Beauty are best friends who both fall in love with the handsome and brave Prince Phillip? Imagine all of this happening, not in the pages of an antiquated book of fairy tales, but in the small town of Storybrooke, Maine.
ABC’s hit drama Once Upon a Time enchants audiences with entirely new and modern twists to classic fairy tales. In this hour-long, weekly series, the Evil Queen of Snow White, after years of feuding with the beautiful princess, curses the Enchanted Forest and all of its beloved fairy tale characters to a land she thinks has no “happily ever after:" our world.
In Storybrooke, Maine, the queen goes by the name Mayor Regina Mills and only she and pawnshop owner Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) remember the land from which they came. The other famous characters live frozen in time as teachers, policemen, waitresses, doctors, innkeepers, and therapists. Only when Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter Emma, who was protected from the curse, is pulled into the quaint little town does time restart and memories return. Can the curse be broken? And what will become of the fairy tale characters when it is?
Once Upon a Time is the only show I make sure not to miss every week. For two seasons I have watched the drama, mystery, and magic unfold. Created by the same brains behind the hit show Lost, this enchanted series has just as many twists, turns, and surprises while still maintaining the imaginative qualities that made the original fairy tales by greats such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson so magical. One may think he or she has everything figured out, but ten minutes and a short commercial break later can change everything.
I love that the series employs a unique perspective. The episodes shift between the characters' lives in the modern world to their adventures and relationships in their real home of the Enchanted Forest, complete with gorgeous costumes and special effects that make evil witches, fire breathing dragons, and magic beanstalks possible. One component present in all aspects of every episode, though, is love.
Once Upon a Time succeeds so well because it focuses on one element so many shows overlook. Behind every motive, good or bad, of every character, whether he or she is in Maine, the Enchanted Forest, Wonderland, or Neverland, is love and the lesson that love always conquers all. In the name of love, the Mad Hatter made hats, Rumplestiltskin got his magic, and the Evil Queen fed Snow the apple. In the name of love, those characters and many more must work together to forgive the past and move towards the future as the fairy tales continue, though not in ways many will suspect.