The best way to show your love for those who are gone is to tell their stories.
*spoilers, of course*
Growing up I had seen all of the classic Disney movies (The Lion King is by far my favorite, but unfortunately Once has not incorporated that into the story yet.) I was never a big fan of Snow White or Cinderella, but still saw them. When Once Upon a Time came out I was still in my regrettable stage of my teenage years, so I didn’t watch it. It wasn’t until college and hating every second of it that I escaped by watching a shit ton of TV shows, Once being one of them.
In the beginning I really liked it. Just in the first episode it had many questions needing answers. It was cool to see Snow White and Prince Charming having a daughter. It was cool seeing the fairytale characters living in our world and their professions matching their original story (Jiminy Cricket, or Archie Hopper, is a psychologist, much like being a conscious.)
But what I loved and still love are the twists. Sure true loves kiss woke Snow White up and she and Charming had met before, but while Snow was stealing from him and they ended up saving each others lives. Snow White wasn’t the naive girl from the original story, she could defend and fend for herself. Man I loved that. And the twists just keep coming. Don’t assume the stories are the same ones you’ve always known, because they’re not.
There’s Little Red Riding Hood or Ruby who is actually a werewolf and her Grandmother uses a crossbow (I love when she pulls that thing out.) The beast Belle fell for was actually Rumplestiltskin who she went to work for. Captain Hook became the pirate we all know because of the loss of his brother. Peter Pan (this freaking twist) is Rumple’s father who became a boy again so he wouldn’t have to grow up, but gave up Rumple so he could achieve that.
The characters themselves are likeable. They’re people you want to root for, even the Evil Queen. I love Regina and I hated her so much at first. Overtime you saw she wanted redemption and changed. Then Emma, who grew to accept her parents and their decision to give her up and even call them mom and dad. Hook obviously started to change because of Emma. He became a better person and was no longer a villain.
Speaking of characters there also many ships within the show. There’s Snow and Charming, Belle and Rumple, Emma and Hook, Regina and Robin (or Emma and Regina for many people.)
But down the line this also created the weirdest family tree on any show. Snow and Charming had Emma, who had a thing with Rumple’s son, and they had Henry. Regina is technically Emma’s grandmother but also Henry’s adoptive mother. Rumple is Henry’s grandfather so Belle is technically his grandma. Peter freaking Pan is Henry’s great- grandfather. I guess at some point Hook will be Henry’s stepfather (if they decide to marry Emma and Hook.) Robin Hood would be Henry’s father in a way…
Don’t think about it too much.
Another thing I liked this they didn’t stop at fairytale characters from the Enchanted Forest. We’ve been to Wonderland, Oz, Neverland, and soon Camelot (I’m just waiting for Narnia.)
However…a show is not without its faults.
One thing that stands out is the not-so-diverse cast. Sure Mulan is Asian and there’s some black characters, but let’s be honest, a broadening of diversity could do the show good. Speaking of Mulan, it was stated she had a crush on Aurora, but even LGBT characters don’t play a big part (if any part.) It would be a nice twist to see a main character gay or even bi.
I did say the characters are likeable, I meant most of them. Within the last few seasons I haven’t been the biggest fan of Snow. I feel like she plays her “hope” card too much (thankfully Regina is always there to add the sarcasm.) Even after she had the baby and Emma was having problems controlling her powers I hated the way she acted around Emma. Then there was the whole, not letting Emma know she had darkness inside of her. I’m not sure what it truly was to change my opinion of her but maybe things could change this season.
As for the other characters, the side characters, well I couldn’t tell you how I feel about them because to be honest they’re hardly there anymore. From the Dwarves to Granny, or Jiminy or the fairies they’re really only there during town meetings or to assume Regina is the bad guy (or for the after battle party.) With more new characters being introduced I guess there’s just no time to add them in.
And some of the new characters haven’t been 100% necessary. I wasn’t thrilled with the Frozen theme. It was nice to see it was after the movie and they added the Snow Queen, but did they really need to be there? Elsa wasn’t that bad, I could hardly stand Anna or Kristoff, and Hans was such a one-dimensional villain.
Oz wasn’t my favorite storyline either. Zelena was alright (but being so envious about Regina and wanting to kill her reminded me of Regina wanting to kill Snow over the death of her boyfriend. It was like being back in elementary school.) But it was still nice to see Regina and Robin meet (it was very nice.)
And then there’s last season (4b) that’s in the same category of Frozen. The author was interesting until he was revealed to be a dumbass and changed everything. I absolutely HATED what they did to Robin and Regina. Robin left because his wife couldn’t live in Storybrooke anymore and got over Regina in a record amount of time. Did he honestly think Regina would never come looking for him? And the fact that it was Zelena the whole time made me even more mad. She’s even pregnant! (And that bothers me the most. He thought he was having sex with his wife!)
But that ending made up for it, I really think it did. I love what they did with Emma’s storyline. It was a nice change to see that she’s the new Dark One. She saved Regina, saved everyone (because she’s the savior) and in the end it came back to bite Snow and Charming in the ass.
I’m actually pretty excited for the new season. Unlike last when I wasn’t thrilled about Frozen, this time things are different and the heroes have a new enemy now.
I’m excited to see what they’ll do with Emma (and I swear to god if they do what Supernatural did with Demon Dean: him being a demon for like five episodes only to be turned back human.) Hopefully this drags out until, at least, the midseason finale. And hopefully Merida and the Camelot group are done well.
But I’ll just keep sitting here…waiting for the Lion King to be done.