Once Upon a Time


Winter has arrived, a perfect opportunity for indoor escapes. One of my favorite ways to relax and recharge is to cuddle up on the couch in my cozy pj’s, a hot beverage in one hand and the TV remote in the other.

My old stand-bys include HGTV’s House Hunters International, Food Network shows, and NCIS. A new series, however, debuted on ABC in October which piqued my interest. It promised a new spin on the classic fairy tales. I had every intention of watching it, but then life got a little hectic and I had to hold off on this guilty pleasure.

Until now. With the holidays behind us, it’s “me time.” Husband has his football; I have ONCE UPON A TIME. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s an excerpt of ABC Studio’s synopsis for the series:

From the inventive minds of Lost executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining…Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse…Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

Or, if you’d prefer, here’s the trailer:

Josh Dallas

You may recognize two of ONCE UPON A TIME’s cast members from other shows–Ginnifer Goodwin from BIG LOVE and Jennifer Morrison from HOUSE MD. These women play strong leading characters. Joshua Dallas on-screen as John Doe/Prince Charming is a pleasure to watch, too. And for those who never really outgrew the hope of happily-ever-after, this show’s premise may be especially appealing.

A Fresh Take on a Classic

As my husband watched the Giants-Cowboys game, I watched the pilot and two subsequent episodes yesterday, and I’m unashamed to say I’m now hooked. It’s gritty at times, but not gory. For some, the show may bring to mind fractured fairy tales such as The True Story of The Three Little Pigs.

A majority of the show’s cast and setting is beautiful, just as in a classic fairy tale, and is interspersed with evil deeds and evil doers. There are trolls, leprechauns, the Three Fates, wolves, and unicorns. Overall, the scenes are quick-paced, and seamlessly weave present-day Storybrooke, Maine, with the fairy tale realm. Sometimes there’s a little too-much plot information in the dialogue, but is forgivable. If you like the Harry Potter series, with its magical creatures, good vs. evil, and fantasy merging with reality, you may very well like ONCE UPON A TIME for your own mini-escape in 2012. Like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, this series reveals more sinister forces as it progresses. I haven’t seen the seventh episode yet, but apparently a major character will be killed off.

This modern fable has aired seven shows to date. Internet is wonderful, because you no longer have to wait for re-runs to see missed episodes and you can watch them back-to-back. Click here to get started, if you’re interested. Don’t forget to return here to give me your take on it, good or bad. All comments are welcome.

As people have different tastes, we’re interested in hearing about yours. Please share. What are your favorite tv shows? What is it about them that keeps you coming back for more?

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeyna Grace
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 06:52:02

    I love that TV series… it inspired me for a new book :D Fairy tales are the best!

  2. Julie Glover
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 11:00:56

    I watched the pilot, Jolyse, and didn’t really like it. So I tuned into Grimm instead. But now my hubby says I quit too soon. He kept watching OUAT and says it gets really good. Perhaps I should give it another go! Thanks.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 12:00:36

      Good point, Julie. I think if I hadn’t had the opportunity to watch the episodes back-to-back, I may have lost interest at the beginning too. Brings home the necessity writing a great opening hook. :) My daughter watched the first four episodes and became anxious for the “action” and some answers to story questions, so she skipped ahead to episode 7. She loved it.

      I haven’t watched Grimm. I’ve heard from some people it’s another horror show. What’s your take on Grimm? Do you like it?

      • Julie Glover
        Jan 07, 2012 @ 11:27:06

        I hate horror, Jolyse. So no, I don’t think Grimm is horror. I don’t know how it compares to OUAT, of course. But the Grimm Fairy Tales are intense at times, so the series does reflect that. Certainly not too much for me. I’m enjoying it, but I think they could do a little more with some of the characters. It may just take a while to get the groove down just right.

  3. Jeannie Moon
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 15:07:05

    Uh, had no idea about this show…I’m so going to watch! I’m a sucker for fairy tales, of any kind.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:34:27

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie. This show premiered in late October. I’d agree they didn’t promote it as much as they could have. I’m hopeful it will catch on with viewers; it has a lot of potential, in my opinion.

      Happy New Year!

  4. Rhonda Hopkins
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 16:52:35

    I missed the first two episodes, watched the next two and then life happened. I liked the two shows i watched. My plan is to start from the beginning and watch them all. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Laurie Bumpus
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 17:28:10

    Love NCIS!!!!!–Mark H can park his boots under my bed any day! Took the idea of the suspense and started writing my series of which the first book: Love on the Run has just been epubbed on Kindle and Nook (sorry, had to make a plug). Love the photos of the beauty of Florida as we are getting ready for out first blast off LAke Ontario (12+ inches by morning) for the year here in the Cuse——but oh, a fire, a cup a tea and a laptop with the plot of book three it a great way to spend a day—–Laurie B.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:02:57

      Hi Laurie,

      First, congrats on your epubbing venture. I adore NCIS, the writing is incredible and casting superb. This is one of those rare shows my husband, daughter (20), and I all agree upon, and we love when TBS has NCIS marathons. I especially like Michael Weatherly’s character.

      I have family in Cicero and Baldwinsville. Enjoy the snow. I often blog about travel; feel free to stop by anytime for daydreaming purposes. :)

  6. alicamckennajohnson
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 17:55:27

    I’m really enjoying Once Upon a Time- and they killed someone off- should make for an interesting show.

  7. Marcia
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 23:15:28

    My daughter told me about this, but I keep forgetting to watch it. I’m making a note to myself now.
    We don’t watch much TV anymore since we rarely find anything good enough to sit through for an hour or more. We watch Netflix’s old TV shows and movies mostly.
    I am missing Boardwalk Empire. I LOVED that show but don’t have HBO anymore. Maybe Once Upon a time can replace it. Thanks for the great review, Jolyse!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 11:23:40

      Happy New Year, Marcia. I hope you like Once Upon a Time as much as I do. It’s rare that a show captures my attention like this one has. I watched two more episodes last night. They didn’t disappoint. :)

  8. Trackback: True Love, The Most Magical Potion « JOLYSE BARNETT'S Margarita Moments & Other Escapes
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