Did Once Upon a Time Work Its Magic on You? Plus: What Questions Do You Have?

After months of buzz that seemed to last ever after, ABC premiered its fantastical new drama, Once Upon a Time, this Sunday night. If you checked it out, what did you think?

Once — as we, if only for headline-writing purposes, hope it will affectionately be called — used its pilot to establish that the Evil Queen, on Snow White and Prince Charming’s wedding day, announced her plan to unleash a powerful curse upon the Enchanted Forest. But before the darkness descended, Snow and friends arranged to use an enchanted tree, fashioned by Gepetto and Pinocchio into a wardrobe, to safeguard one of them from the curse. As it would turn out, that refugee was Snow’s newborn daughter, Emma, whom Rumpelstiltskin (a scene-stealing Robert Carlyle) foretold to be the one person who could one day undo the evil curse.

Cut to: Modern-day Boston, where “bail bondsperson” Emma Swan is tracked down by a young lad named Henry. Toting a book of fairy tales, Henry reveals that he is the son Emma gave up for adoption 10 years prior, and he urges her to go with him to Storybrooke, Maine, where the onetime residents of the Enchanted Forest now live with no memory of their true identities or previous existence.

Once Upon a Time: Your Guide to the Magical Residents — Real and Fairy Real!

In Storybrooke, Emma immediately clashes swords with Henry’s adoptive mother, Regina — aka the town’s domineering mayor fka the Evil Queen. Then, when Henry goes missing, Emma meets Mary Margret Blanchard (nee Snow White), whom she does not know is her own mother. Upon finding Henry (at his “castle”) and trading sob stories with him, Emma decides to stay in town, this despite Regina’s threat to “destroy” her, “if it’s the last thing I do.”

What did you think of Once Upon a Time? Was it just fair or… fair, fairy good? Other discussion topics:

* How many Lost references did you pick up on? (E.g. Regina’s street address is 108, the clock was frozen at 8:15, a Geronimo Jackson bumper sticker on Emma’s Beetle…)

* Did you pick up on Granny’s goth-y granddaughter, Ruby, being Red Riding Hood? The jail cell grump being Grumpy?

* It would seem that Regina knows her true origin. Do you suspect Mr. Gold is aware of his, as well?

* Who do you think the Storybrooke sheriff was “before”?

* Next week, we will get the Evil Queen’s backstory, complete with the debut of Breaking Bad guy Giancarlo Esposito as the Magic Mirror (and a Storybrooke news reporter), plus Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood) guesting as the evil sorceress Maleficent. And in Episode 3, we see how Snow met her prince. Whose backstory do you also hope to see soon?

* Off the bat, who is your favorite character, from either world?


This poll was reset Sunday at 11pm PST due to anomalies caused by ‘robo-voting.’

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214 Comments
  1. Beate geibel says:

    Boy I was sooo looking forward to this and … was I dissappointed.

    I think the fairytale part looks mediocre, dated and cheap. The special effects are cheesy, I hope they did that intentionally to be somehow ironic otherwise its just lame.

    The whole plot is predictable from the start.

    When it comes to fairy tales Pushing Daisies has set the standards pretty high in terms of overall look, decorations and set design, costumes, characters etc.
    PD was a masterpiece and miles ahead of Once upon the time.

    I liked the chemistry between Morrison and the kid, but thats about it.

    In general I like shows that are a bit camp or quirky, like Santuary or Warehouse 13, but Once upon a time is just too cheesy for me.

  2. Michelle says:

    Did anyone else catch on to the way the title on the story book was written Once Upon a Time the O.U.T were highlighted. Very cool touch that the story book is the way out of the curse

  3. Justin says:

    Maybe I’m just a grump, but ‘Alice in Wonderland’ — in Henry’s book — isn’t a fairytale at all. It’s supposed to be a dream….

    Thank you all for explaining why Henry is 10. Very complete analysis.

    I love Robert Carlyle, and after episode II, am very, very pleased that he is NOT a pawn of the E.Q., even if it does turn out she’s has a valid point of view. Very pleased so far (a non-fan of Lost).

  4. hgwshp says:

    After last night, I think the sheriff is the huntsman and I believe Mr. Gold has some memories of his past as does the Queen. Wondering just what it was that Snow did to ruin the Queen’s life. Seeing the “Princess” of the fairyland arranged marriage turn up out of the blue in storybookland and call ‘Charming” David, well that was certainly a plot twist! Didn’t see that coming at all. If the sheriff kills the therapist then he is pinnochio because in the original story, he kills the talking cricket. More clues to come I am sure and I have so far enjoyed this show, it has a sort of addiction like revenge. However, ABC should be aware that this show and revenge for that matter are a limited run series, with a beginning and a middle and an end, not a run forever with lame plots and storylines and dragging out the story from week to week just to make an episode. After LOST, I don’t think viewers will hang around for too much of that. Three to four seasons maximum and that’s about all this show can handle.

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