236 of 254 people found the following review helpful
Once Upon a Time...,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (DVD)By the end of season One, ABC was already touting Once Upon a Time as the best new drama on television and small wonder given that it breaks away from the wretched crime drama rut and wonder of wonders; no sleaze, excessive violence or profanity to be found, probably one of the most family-friendly dramas that television has seen in like twenty years. What... is a creatively enjoyable story with likeable characters, great FX and gorgeous sets still sufficient to rate as exceptional adult entertainment?
Seriously, this brilliant fantasy drama just continues to gain momentum with each episode as you are drawn into a world where classic fairy tale characters are brought to life after having been exiled to our world via a wicked queen's evil spell and all memories of their previous lives have been erased. Snow White and Prince Charming are the most obvious main characters but there are also dwarves, fairies, trolls and other great characters like Red Riding Hood, Gepetto & Pinocchio, The Mad Hatter and many more along with some nasty villains like Rumplestiltskin and of course the Evil Queen herself. And in spite of the fantasy setting, it's also immediately apparent from the cast's performance that this is a program that takes itself seriously resulting in a surprisingly believable story. Also, Once Upon plays a little like a detective show in that various clues are revealed in each episode all pointing to their previous lives, and although this is a serial, many of the episodes are just great stand-alone, fairy-tale based stories
Now if you're like me and just couldn't get into Lost please don't be put off by the fact that Once Upon has some of the same writers because the style of this series doesn't resemble that one at all. In fact it doesn't resemble anything on the big three networks, which is probably one of the main reasons I was so taken with it; i.e. utter amazement at something so remarkably nonconforming.
I'm not gonna review each episode because I dislike spoilers and you can easily wiki summaries of each but I will say that "Desperate Souls" is a very moving story featuring my favorite character Mr. Gold, "Skin Deep" is an excellent take on the Beauty & the Beast theme, "Dreamy" features an awesome dual-story featuring everyone's favorite dwarf, "Red Handed" is one of the most creative werewolf stories I've seen in years, "Hat Trick" is visually gorgeous and introduces the existence of other fantasy worlds and finally in "A Land Without Magic"...way to go ABC for giving us such a ridiculously cool dragon!
As a long-time fan of TV fantasy and sci-fi series (good ones being few and far between) I can honestly say that this is one of the best and reminds me a little of the Harry Potter films in that it is very character driven. I found myself eagerly anticipating each Sunday evening to see what new turn of events the next episode would bring, and of course with the release of season one I can now sit and veg for hours on end watching one of my fav new shows.
With 22 fabulous episodes packed into this DVD set (having a hard time thinking of a really lame one) prepare to become a permanent fan of the show, harboring a secret desire to run away to Storybrooke. :o)
Tracked by 2 customers
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 12, 2012 5:24:36 PM PDT
I agree Wyz. This series promised to be fantstic before it started and with each episode made good on that promise. The only thing I found that I did not like were the weeks that we were given a rerun rather than the next new episode. I am saddened that the season is coming to an end, but excited to see what they dream up for season 2.
Posted on May 25, 2012 10:52:02 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 25, 2012 10:56:15 AM PDT]
Posted on May 25, 2012 10:53:43 AM PDT
absolutley adore this show. It is well-written and well-acted. Robert Carlyle is positively brilliant as Rumplestitlskin. Hopefully, an Emmy will follow him this year. Lana Parilla and the rest of the cast are just as fanastic. Keep your reality shows. Give me my Fairytales and Once Upon a Time any day! Hope it last for many years!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 12:56:06 PM PDT
Paul F. says:
I agree that Robert Carlyle was quite impressive, but the 510 Emmy nominations for 2012 included only three(!) for 'Once Upon a Time' -- (1) costumes, (2) prosthetic makeup, and (3) special visual effects -- which seems appropriate for such a superficial and carelessly crafted show. Good fantasy deserves much better craftsmanship! Although your hope regarding the Emmys was considerably off the mark, I think that your hope that the show will 'last for many years' is probably a good call.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 5:55:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2012 5:59:32 AM PDT
Thanks for the comment but I think "carelessly crafted" and "superficial" are a bit harsh for a brand new, and unique television series from a network that typically broadcasts pulp. This series is still finding its place and the story can only gain depth as it continues, not to mention that i suspect by the end of season 1 so many of us were already emotionally invested in the characters due to their individual complexity as well as their relationships not to mention the dual reality theme. Pretty good qualities for a new TV show if you ask me. :o)
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 11:49:50 AM PST
First of all, I really like this show. however, the OP is wrong in stating that this doesn't resemble LOST at all. In fact, I argue that the fantasyland/Storybrook dimensions is the same duality in LOST: the Island and the "outside". Anyway, great show!
Posted on Nov 26, 2012 7:05:40 AM PST
Towers of Tomes says:
One note...there is mild profanity.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 7:11:45 AM PST
ya, the "excessive" in front of violence was supposed to apply to the profanity but i can see where it would be misleading.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 2:02:09 PM PST
I agree with HardyBoy64: We are out of the States and so not exposed to any media hype about the show. We watched about four episodes on Netflix and asked, "Was this written by the some of the same people as Lost?" It felt so familiar. (There was even an eye shot in one of the first few episodes, for crying out loud, not to mention Apollo candy bars, MacCutcheons whiskey, a clock stuck at 8:15, Oceanic airlines...) That is not to say that if you hated Lost, you will hate Once Upon a Time, but they are following the same formula. Both shows are strong character driven dramas, propelled by a mysterious mythology and slowly delivered back-stories that explain why the characters are broken in the way they are. And like Lost, most episodes are awesome but a couple make you wonder if the A-team writers took the week off. I read an interview with the writers who said they came up with the idea for the show before they went to work on Lost, but could not get anyone to give it a chance. After working on Lost they said they learned how to write mythology that people care about (normal people, not just comic-con nerd types like me and my husband) and they re-worked their pilot and pitch to focus on the characters not the fairy tale itself, and the show was picked up immediately and they got all their first choice actors.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 3:17:13 PM PST
I'm flattered that my reviews are being scrutinized but I stand by my original assessment. After watching a season of Lost my impression was of a convoluted, pretentious soap opera but I only write negative reviews if I feel really strongly about a show, and I didn't actively dislike it, just wasn't my bag. Once Upon has no pretentions, it's just fantasy fun but isn't beyond taking itself seriously. Of course a couple of writers with a devoted fan base are gonna leave a few easter eggs but in my opinion it's a fundamentally different show from Lost and completely unique for the big three networks.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›