ONCE UPON A TIME “Pilot” Review


ONCE UPON A TIME “Pilot” Season 1 Episode 1 – If you’re anything like me, you always wondered what happened after happily ever after. Fortunately, there is no end to stories that continue the fairy tales and fables we adore. ABC’s new drama, Once Upon a Time, is the latest and from what I’ve seen so far, one of the more imaginative.

In a nutshell, on the wedding day of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas), the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) promises to curse everyone by ensuring they never have another happy ending. Not too long afterwards, a pregnant Snow White learns from Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) that the curse is coming, but her child will be the one to save them all. An enchanted box is built to save one person from the curse, but Snow White gives birth before she can enter it. Prince Charming puts the baby in the box before being mortally stabbed by the Queen’s guards. The curse overtakes everyone, throwing them into a modern, but magical town where they know nothing of their true identities.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), kick ass bounty hunter, gets an unexpected birthday present: her biological son, Henry (Jared Gilmore), who she gave up for adoption ten years earlier. He has a book of fairy tales that he swears are true stories and he begs Emma to come with him back to his hometown. He’s run away from his adopted mother, the town’s mayor, who is, of course, the Evil Queen. Storybrooke is a town frozen in time, where no one has a happy ending. Jiminy Cricket (yes, Disney okayed this) is a child psychiatrist, Red Riding Hood and her grandmother own an inn, Rumpelstiltskin is a rich landowner and Snow White is a teacher/nun who unknowingly tends to a coma patient, her unconscious Prince Charming.

Emma is their daughter. Having grown up believing she was abandoned on the side of the road, Emma has no clue that she’s destined to save Storybrooke. But Henry does, and as proof that he’s done the right thing by bringing Emma there, as soon as she decides to stay in town, the ever-frozen clock in the tower moves forward one minute.

It’s a very ambitious story that these former Lost writers have concocted, and while there are certainly noticeable allusions to the graphic novel series Fables (which ABC/Disney does own the rights to, by the way), the show seems to have its own, distinct mythology. Moving back and forth between the fairy tale world and the modern world could have been clunky, but it was executed quite gracefully. And just as it should have been, the fairy tale half of Once Upon a Time was every little girl’s dream come true, from the landscapes to the costumes.

Okay, so it was a bit odd to see Snow White pregnant and then giving birth, but I have to admit, my girly side gave a little sigh of happiness to see Prince Charming fighting to save his baby’s daughter’s life. The Queen is wonderfully wicked and the supporting characters are, for lack of a better word, enchanting. I’m looking forward to meeting the other townspeople and to seeing how Emma, a woman with no past, becomes the savior of this fairy tale world.

What did you think of the pilot? Do you believe Jennifer Morrison as a 28 year old? What fairy tale do you want to see come to life? Let me know below!