tahnan: It's pretty much me, really. (Default)
[personal profile] tahnan
So my wife and I have been watching Once Upon a Time, a new ABC show. I pretty much never watch anything on the networks (if you're following a show on a basic cable network, and you miss an episode, it'll be back repeatedly over the next week; with the networks, you have to actually remember to watch), but I have to admit I'm getting pretty caught up in this.

The premise, if you're not familiar with the show, is that the Evil Queen of fairy-tale-land (I'm not sure if it actually has a name) cast a curse which wiped away everyone's happily-ever-afters by transforming the land into the worst possible world, i.e., ours. Which, when you put it that way, kind of makes the show into a really depressing commentary—the whole premise, really, is kind of that things like true love and happy endings can't exist in our world. But, well, anyway, Snow White is now schoolteacher Mary Blanchard; Jiminy Cricket is a therapist; and the queen herself is the monarch-like mayor, Regina Mills. (You can see they had fun with the names; Cinderella becomes Ashley.) There are lots of nice little touches—in the first episode, as they're leaving the classroom, one of Blanchard's students hands her...a pear.

But there is one point on which the show failed me rather badly in this past episode. The danger of unthinkingly casting fairy-tale-land is that you run the risk of your cast being, well, snow-white. Which this cast is, other than the Magic Mirror/editor of the Daily Mirror, Giancarlo Esposito. (Excellent bit of casting, but then, casting Esposito in pretty much anything is excellent casting.) In the most recent episode, in the first minute of the episode we meet Cinderella and, naturally, her Fairy Godmother. When the godmother showed up, I genuinely thought, "Wow, hey, it's an actual non-white character!" (And I'm not someone who usually thinks about these things.)

Which was great and all, but it would have been better if she had more than 45 seconds of screen time before being killed off.

I'm certainly going to keep watching; I mostly like what they're doing with the show so far. But seriously, a plea to the creative force behind the show (i.e., the guys from Lost who aren't J.J. Abrams, and Buffy's Jane Espenson): think about what you're doing, OK?

(Also, personal note to Jane: I had no idea you went to graduate school in linguistics! Call me! I've got a screenplay I've been working on....)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-14 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
They are available online if you miss one
http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/once-upon-a-time

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-14 09:09 pm (UTC)
jordanwillow: (peter and tinker - t.s. hyman)
From: [personal profile] jordanwillow
I've only watched the pilot so far, and did so reluctantly -- then found myself totally hooked! I actually teared up with relief when [SPOILER for pilot] it turned out that Prince Charming had survived the attack. Anyway, I haven't gotten to the episode you're talking about yet, but SIGH. Maybe, since it's fantasy, she'll come back? SIGH.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-17 01:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've been enjoying this as well, largely, mostly for the clever touches like the names. How did I miss the Daily Mirror?!! I didn't get the idea that Fairylvania had been transformed into our world, though, but rather that the characters had perhaps been transported to ours or somesuch.

Have you read Bill Willingham's Fables comic books. Comparisons are perhaps inevitable, but I admit I did like the comic somewhat better than this show, though I still intend to watch.

zb

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