Once Upon A Time

Posted: November 7, 2011 by Micah in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , ,

I had a great weekend. My girlfriend and I celebrated 7 months of dating, I carried on one of my oldest traditions by watching the epic slice of awesome that is V for Vendetta on November 5th, and my girlfriend and I sat down and watched the first few episodes of ABC’s new show “Once Upon a Time”.

Now once again let me remind you I was in a really good mood as I watched this. I had a beautiful girl sitting next to me and a plate full of pizza on my lap. Granted the guy who gave us our pizza at “An Unnamed Pizza Place that Rhymes with Weezer Nut” was really really strange. My current working theory is that he was secretly possessed by Larry: Norse god of Stupid. And speaking of dear old Larry, let’s talk about Once Upon A Time.

Guess which one of these people is Snow White?

The Plot: 

Once Upon a Time opens with some dude riding a horse… and then continues to open with a guy riding a horse… and then continues… with a guy on a horse… Still a horse…. I went to the bathroom somewhere in here and when I got back he was still on a horse… then I baked a cake, read a novel, climbed Mount Olympus, and discovered the ancient and revered burial plot of Willy the Socially Awkward Penguin and when I returned the guy was just getting off his horse.

It seemed that this was the Prince from Snow White he of the creepy “I’m going to enter singing this song” fame. Anyway he arrived just in time for the seven dwarfs to tell him that Snow White was dead. The Prince then leaves flowers at her grave, delivers a touching Eulogy and leaves. No sorry, I kid. The Prince demands to be allowed to kiss Snow White’s moldy old corpse lips and low and behold rigamortis has set in and the Prince catches the black plague. No sorry, I kid. Snow White is magically returned to life and we are instantly transported to the scene of a wedding wherein Prince Charmin’ and Snow White are about to get wedded.

Prince Charmin, Charming's lesser known (but vastly more comfortable) brother.

Just when everything seems to be going so well for our Hero and Heroett though, who should come swooshing in but the evil-queen-witch-person-thing. She shouts a lot and overacts and promises she’s going to “ruin all your happy endings” and “destroy your dreams” and “make all of your Velcro un-attach at the worst possible moment.” The whole time she’s delivering this speech she’s surrounded by guards with pikes all of whom seem far too busy wondering who designed their ridiculous looking helmets to actually do anything. Anyway after promising that “mine will be the only happy ending” the witch (I know she’s a witch cause Snow White clarified it by saying “She’s nothing but a witch” thanks Snow White) walks away, but before she gets away the Prince yells “HEY!” And throws his sword at her. Yup. “HEY!” *sword throw*.

Anyway to speed through the rest of the plot real fast the witch ends up casting some big old spell over everyone and they all get transported to our world without any memory of who they are or why they’re there or who won super bowl 39.

As the show progresses we learn of Snow White's incredible fondness for very fake looking birds.

Except that is for Snow White’s… Snow Charming? I mean she is married after all right? Anyway Charming White sends her baby to our world through a magical wardrobe… wait a second… what’s that? …What? Oh that’s CS Lewis rolling over in his grave yelling “copyright” Sorry C.S. nothin’ I can do at this point man. Anyway they teleport Snow White’s daughter the “totally not inspired by twilight” Emma Swan to a different part of our world in the hopes that she’ll eventually come and save them all from the evil Queen/Witch who does remember who she is for reasons that are never really made entirely clear.

The Negatives: 

Okay let’s take a second and get down to the nitty gritty here. The first thing you need to know is that the acting in this show is (with very few exceptions) absolutely terrible. The Queen and Snow White (who you may have noticed from the introduction thing are sort of important) are probably the worst offenders though dishonorable mentions goes to a cameo by Maleficent (the bad witch from Cinderella) and Prince Charming who (despite having almost no dialogue) had me wanting to throw an enchanted sleeping Turnip at his overly scruffy face. I was honestly very very surprised by the utter horribleness demonstrated by 90 percent of the characters in the show. ABC generally does a good job with casting but all of the horrendous over acting and whiny attempts at conveying real emotions really hurt the show in my mind.

If Snow White lived in our world she would apparently really want to be Peter Pan.

The real culprit though. The creamy filling to this donut of dreary is a script that I’m convinced was written by a parrot. A drunk parrot. With a peg leg. Whose cage was being juggled by Hercules’s twin brother Failulese. Some highlights for you (in addition to the aforementioned “hey” debacle).

Maleficent: If you’re going to kill me… (long dramatic pause)… then kill me.

Me: Really? Oh okay. Well I was going to kill you but I guess I’ll just kill you then. I mean you can get by with that line if you just fly through it and hope the audience forgets it but having a long pause and then essentially repeating the line you just said is stupid… (long pause)… Stupid.


Snow Charming: Where are you sending us?

Evil Queen/Witch: Some place horrible!?!?

Me: Really? Oh. Cause I thought you were second us to Disney world. Or potentially the Alps for our annual summer ski trip. But man… some place horrible? That seems… (long pause)… horrible. Like you’d think you were some sort of evil Queen witch thing or something. That’s it then, no Christmas Cards for you this year.

The Positrons:

Yes there were some good things this series had: the main character Emma Swan (as played by Jennifer Morrison of House M.D. fame) is actually well acted and decently interesting. Rumpelstiltskin  (played by Robert Carlyle) is very well done as well and probably the most interesting character out of the bunch.

Secondly, the idea behind Once Upon a Time is really really interesting. It’s poorly executed with the bad acting and patchwork writing job majorly dragging it down but buried underneath it all is a very cool idea.

In Conclusion:

I still feel… conflicted about this series on the whole. The acting is bad, the writing is worse but there is a very cool idea lurking in the background. Who knows maybe as the characters become better defined the writing will get better and the actors will start to feel a little more comfortable within their characters. And maybe not. If nothing else I’ll probably keep watching Once Upon A Time at least for a little while. It’s certainly not what I would call “great TV” but with Doctor Who gone for the season I suppose I’ve got a little room in my heart for fairy tales… (long pause)… fairy… (longer pause)… tales.

  1. Lydia says:

    I was wondering about this show; I was feeling a little dubious that another twist of “once upon time” could be done…again…oh, and incidentally, Maleficent is from “Sleeping Beauty.” 🙂 Thanks for the post!

  2. Micah says:

    Ah good call there. Sorry, hazy on my fairy tales. I’d say it’s worth watching, whether or not you keep watching will mostly be based on your tolerance for the weak script/acting versus the strong over all storyline.

  3. haha you are so right about the acting, I was sitting there going…..”who is your casting director? where does she live? is she deaf? and or blind?” lol I like the kid and emma though. 🙂 But I’m still going to watch it, I love the idea.

    Also, have you watched Grimm? it’s like a dark cop show with fairytales. very intersting. 😉

  4. deepak says:

    i saw season 1 and 15 episodes of season 2 ..i am laughing so hard right now…hahaha so true… very well written

  5. Jeremiah says:

    I know this is old but I just stumbled on it and it really made me laugh.

    I shared it on my Facebook and started a huge firestorm with 30 comments in the last hour and a half. Thanks for the good times. 🙂

  6. Micah says:

    Thanks for sharing Jeremiah!! I do love a firestorm!!

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