"Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing" ~
my favorite line from ABC's Once Upon A Time. Many on twitter agreed. As of this posting that quote has been retweeted 34 times and counting. During the hour the Once pilot episode aired it's tweet stream was being "throttled". S/O to @ThreeIfBySpace who have invited me to share my review of Once Upon A Time.
The ratings faeries were kind to Once, 12.8 million viewers tuned in to get acquainted with the residents of the fictional New England town of Storybrooke. Scripted by the same writers who gave us Lost, the citizens of Once's Storybrooke inhabit a parallel universe. They straddle an existence between our time and place and that of faerie tale characters---Snow White, Prince Charming, Rumpelstiltskin, Geppetto, Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, The Evil Queen and others.
In an enchantingly trippy premise, the present day characters are not aware that they are living in two worlds. The Evil Queen has cast a spell that prevents anyone from remembering this fact when they travel to the other world. As a deterrent to breaking free from the spell to have sanctuary in the modern world, whenever anyone tries to "terrible" things happen to those who remain.
All of the characters are entertaining but i especially enjoyed Robert Carlyle's Rumpelstiltskin/Mr.Gold and Lana Parrilla as The Evil Queen. Carlyle's Mr. Gold owns the entire town of Storybrooke and as both Gold and Rumpelstiltskin is flesh-crawling creepy. The actor says of his Mr.Gold incarnation "Mr.Gold is not to be trusted...by anyone".
The Evil Queen is beautiful, stylish, and well...evil. In the Storybrooke world The Evil Queen is Regina, the mayor of Storybrooke, and adoptive mother of 10 yr old Henry. Regina is not a neglectful or abusive mother but she's not real big on warm & fuzzy interaction with Henry.
Henry, after being gifted by his teacher Mary Margaret with a book of faerie tales, figures his birth mother, Emma, is the offspring of Snow White and Prince Charming. Emma escaped the town's curse because her faerie tale parents hid her in a magical armoire to protect her. Henry, believing Emma to be the only one who can break the curse, takes the risk of venturing out of Storybrooke to find her, who naturally upon hearing his tale takes him to be a runaway with an extremely active imagination.
The sets, costumes and photography of Once Upon A Time are luxurious and the script, direction and performances consistently hit the right notes whether in faerie tale or Storybrooke setting. As implausible as it may have initially been thought, it is not at all difficult for the viewer to suspend disbelief of the existence of these parallel worlds.
The full episode of the Once Upon A Time pilot is available at ABC.com
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8:00pm Eastern on ABC. Please check your local listings.