by Hana Ulep and Isabella Macioce
Once Upon a Time centers around a 28 year old woman by the name of Emma Swan. The first season of this magnificent show starts when a young boy named Henry Mills sets out to find her. Emma Swan is Henry’s biological mother who gave him up to adoption 10 years before. Emma had been living in foster care her whole life, and has always felt lost and alone. Henry comes to her, telling her he’s her son, and brings her to his home, Storybrooke. He continues to form a relationship with Emma, which isn’t too pleasing for Henry’s overprotective, strict, adoptive mother Regina Mills, who only wants the best for Henry, even if she doesn’t show it in a lovey-dovey way. In contrast, Henry makes Emma feel as if she has a home for the first time in her life. You’re probably thinking, “What does any of this have to do with fairytales and magic?”. That’s just when the show takes a wild turn. The reason Henry brought Emma to Storybrooke was because he had a theory that all the people living there were cursed into our world by the Evil Queen, who was desperate to destroy Snow White’s happiness. All the people were previously living as the classic fairytale characters we all know of in an alternative universe called the Enchanted Forest. Henry believes that Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, and is the product of true love, making her the “Savior” who could break them from the terrible curse. The rest of the season follows Emma as she develops relationships with the whole town, especially Henry and her parents (though she does not know it), Snow and Charming, who were unable to raise her because they had to give her up before the curse was cast in order to give her her “best chance”. The show holds many twists and turns, keeping you on the edge of your seat. It’s abundance of unexpected events always gets you thinking. This season, as well as the other 4, keep you guessing about how the characters will act and how they will fix all the problems and defeat the villains.
The writing of this show is phenomenal. The characters are not your average TV show characters, but rather complex and fascinating, with strong lovable traits and deep flaws that make them even more enjoyable to watch. The messages are deep, and appeal to a range of ages. As with the best TV shows, Once Upon a Time (OUAT) keeps you guessing. It starts in the present, but with flashbacks that reveal astonishing backgrounds that you absolutely need to learn in order to even begin to understand the supposed “villains” motives. Nothing is ever what it seems in this twist on fairytale series, which applies to the characters as well. The show is filled with antiheros you can’t help but root for, protagonists that make decisions that challenge who they are, and antagonists who never cease to surprise (and scare) you.
The writers of this show can take a classic villain that everyone abhors and somehow makes the viewer love them. For example, take the Evil Queen. In the fairytale Snow White, she’s jealous and greedy, and wants to kill Snow White because she is “prettier” than herself. Who would root for someone like that? In the OUAT version, it follows a similar plotline, but shows a detailed version of the backstory of the Evil Queen, who in this show, goes by Regina. Her backstory can be easily sympathized with by the viewers and explains why she acts as evil as she does. This applies to all the villains that appear to be nothing but evil. The writers of this show have an incredible ability to alter the stories that we all grew up to and give them an unimaginable ending, especially with characters like the villains.
We know what you’re thinking, how cool can a show about fairy tale characters be? We’re here to tell you that we can not stress enough how original and complex this show really is. It is nothing like the kiddish fairy tales you might expect from a series where the main character’s parents are Snow White and Prince Charming. For example, Snow White is a wanted thief, who hit her prince over the head with a rock the first time they met. Even though this show is only rated PG, it can be enjoyed by teenagers just as much as any other popular show with a higher age rating. OUAT contains an abundance of serious themes that are important for not only young children, but for adolescents to understand as well.
Overall in our opinion, it’s a wonder more people don’t watch this amazing show. It’s truly a story to remember and carries resonating messages, contains original, witty characters and hilarious dialogue that will keep you laughing throughout the entire show. Seasons 1-4 can be found on Netflix, and Season 5 is currently airing on ABC at 8 pm on Sunday nights. If you decide to watch this show, look out! Season 5 has some of the most interesting plot twists we’ve seen so far. This show is truly fantastic, and we urge you to check it out if possible because it will surprise you no matter what.