Some Thoughts on Once Upon a Time-The Pilot

Anyone who has ever read this blog, any of my writing or spent any time talking about books or movies knows that Snow White is the first thing I remember. It was the first story my Mother read to me, the first movie I remember(though the Wizard of Oz made quite the impression as well).

So when ABC announced a new show called Once Upon a Time anchored by the story of Snow White I just had to take a look. I have to say I liked what I saw. Ginnifer Goodwin(Big Love, Beezus and Ramona, Something Borrowed) strikes the perfect note as Snow White/Mary Margret Blanchard.(I am assuming at this point that you are familiar with the premise of the show. If not you can watch it at abc.go.com or Hulu. Ginnifer does a great job of projecting both outer softness and the inner strength of a survivor. Josh Dallas also does a nice job as Prince Charming. However I think the series will rest with Jennifer Morrison(House) who plays Emma Swan and Lana Parilla as the Evil Queen/Mayor Regina Mills. If the two of them don’t pull it off I think the series will sink.

I have great hope for the writing. The creators worked on Lost and they are using some of the same techniques on Once as they flash back and forth between The Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke, Maine. The episode was well paced and transitioned smoothly between fairytale and reality.

Things I liked most from the Pilot: Snow White’s Coffin and how the forest changed when the Prince kissed her. Loved the entire look of the production. The Castle in the Enchanted Forest. Apples everywhere in Reginia’s house in Storybrooke, Emma’s front door in Boston, Granny’s Bed and Breakfast and the little wooden whale. Leroy whistling, “Whistle While You Work.”

Favorite Line: “The Glass Coffin gave me pause.” Snow White’s reply on whether she believed the Prince would find and rescue her.

Things I Didn’t Like: (Nothing’s perfect) All the women’s hair in The Enchanted Forest seemed messy and we know from Disney that all Princesses have magical Perfect Hair. Also I hated the Blue Fairy’s Dress.

I thought all of the fairytale motifs in the show were well done and not big anvils. Curses at weddings and christenings(I’ve never understood why they don’t just elope), orphans, mirrors, apples, books full of knowledge you shouldn’t have, magic wardrobes, loss of a parent.

I enjoyed the nods to Lost and I’m sure I missed a few, but I hope there are not too many and the show is allowed to stand on it’s own. That said, how many did you catch? I saw: Emma’s eye when she wakes in the jail cell, Geronimo Jackson bumper sticker.

And having cut their teeth on Lost this is a show that the writers have loaded with questions. Here are a few I came up with:

Everyone has lost their memory of their true selves. Is that true for Regina and Mr. Gold? If so how are they winners? If they don’t know who they are how can they enjoy everyone else’s misery?

Does Regina know she has Snow White/Mary Margret’s grandson? If she doesn’t love him, why is she keeping Henry.(I know I’m making an assumption, but I’m assuming that Emma stayed because Regina lied about loving Henry. Is he her failsafe if it seems that Emma will win?

If Mr. Gold remembers his prophecy about Emma does that mean he’ll have some sort of power over her because he was given her name?

Is the town just filled with people from fairy tales? If so, is Henry the only one who ages?

How did Henry figure all of this out? Did he overhear something, Is it in the book his teacher/grandma gave him, or did someone tell him and if so, who?

How long will it take before someone besides Henry realizes the clock has moved?

Does Mary Margret volunteer at the hospital because John Doe/Prince Charming is there?

Is Emma now trapped in Storybrooke?

Things I’m looking forward to: All the side stories, like Red Riding Hood, The Sheriff, what kinds of bad things happen if you try to leave?

Think I’m wrong about thing? Are there questions or Lost references I missed? I would love to know what you think.

Next week: My thoughts on “The Things You Love Most”
Emma going after Regina’s apple tree with a chainsaw. Can’t wait!

If you enjoy fairy tale settings with twists check out my e-book, Awakening by Tina Riddle @ barnesandnoble.com

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