Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let the magic begin...

TV Show Review: Once Upon a Time

Imagine a world where every character you've ever read of in books are living, breathing people- a world where happy endings exist. And then imagine the most evil witch of all time making a curse where all these characters are transported to our world, with new identities and their memories erased. No one remembers who their parents, children, friends and spouses are. Within a few seconds, their happy endings are turned into living nightmares. 

This is exactly what ABC's Once Upon a Time is about. Ten year old Henry Mills (Jared S. Gilmore) runs away from the fictional town of Storybrook, Maine to find his birth mother Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) in Boston as he believes that she alone can unlock the curse that has been put on the residents of his town. He believes that his mother Regina Mills (Lana Parilla) is actually the Evil Witch Queen who cast the spell in the first place. Henry tries to convince Emma that his teacher Mary Margaret Blanchard (Giniffer Goodwin) is actually Snow White and the resident coma patient David Nolan (Josh Dallas) is Prince Charming, and that both of them are actually Emma's parents. According to him, after learning that the Evil Queen was going to bind them with a spell they decide to put their newborn kid in a tree chamber that would keep her safe. After listening to Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) who tells them that their baby daughter is the only one who can save them, they decide to risk their lives to protect hers.

That is only the basic storyline. As the show progresses each and every fairytale character's back story is revealed, and they are portrayed in an engaging manner of swapping between the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. Parallels are shown between the lives of the princess/princes and the modern day people. There are different twists to each classic fairytale and it's such a delight to know each of them.

Unlike in the print version where all the heroines are shown as damsels in distress, in Once Upon a Time the female characters are strong and powerful. The feministic flavour of the show is worth relishing. One might not stumble upon the show with an intention to find such strong characters and they will truly be bowled over. 

The cinematography is out of the world, and the locales are just beautiful. The seamless merging of Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest is shown so brilliantly, and it's a delight to see how smartly the parallels have been drawn between the fairytale characters and their modern day counterparts. The cast is excellent, especially Morisson and Parilla. Young Gilmore excels as well.

This show is a dream come true for so many people who believe that their favourite fictional characters are actually living breathing people. Like the famous Harry Potter quote goes 'It is real for us'. It instills hope in a person and makes them believe in happy endings. It's such a magical and smooth show that each episode leaves the viewer craving for more. And in the words of Mary Margaret Blanchard, 'Believing even in the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing'.

Let the magic begin!

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