Many shows on television today emphasize over-paid celebrities on reality shows about themselves, or are otherwise crime-dramas found on CBS at primetime. Finding a show that focuses on character development or having strong storylines is becoming increasingly rare. However, two men in Hollywood know how to tell a story, and how to tell it well. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz of Lost fame have co-created their second show, also on ABC, Once Upon A Time. Similar to Lost, the storyline of Once is extraordinarily well thought out, and increasingly complex. The story centers on classic fairytale heroes we grew up with: Prince Charming, Snow White, Jiminy Cricket, and Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few. Before we even become familiar with these characters, we discover that the Evil Queen, whose infamy was born with a poison apple, has cast a curse. Her evil plan? To send all these characters to a place where there “are no happy endings” (see also: our world). We then continue in the traditional Kitsis/Horowitz fashion of jumping from one world to the other, creating a complex and dynamic storyline. Interestingly enough Once isn’t the only fairytale-based show currently airing on TV. NBC premiered Grimm, a crime-drama where the heroes battle fairytale villains in the Fall of 2011, the same time as Once. However, not only is Once getting consistently better ratings (as is every show not on NBC) it has maintained a strong following since the start. With over 12 million viewers, Once was the highest rated pilot to premiere this fall.
This is an impressive feat as it is one of the only shows on TV led primarily by female characters. The brilliant Ginnifer Goodwin is Snow White and her real-world alter ego, schoolteacher Mary Margaret Blanchard, and Lana Parilla is the devious Evil Queen and real-world Mayor, Regina Mills. Jennifer Morrison also leads the cast as Emma Swan, the pessimistic heroine destined to break the curse. Additionally, it is apparent that the fairytale theme has taken over more than just TV. Several films are due for release this year including Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror both renditions of the classic story also featured in Once. Overall, with a strong cast and great writers, Once Upon A Time is a fantastic show that we should definitely keep an eye out for in the future.