I’ve watched three seasons of Once Upon a Time.
It started over Christmas break. The last half of the last season of Mad Men wasn’t available, and Once Upon a Time was in my Netflix queue.
Hey, it’s no Salem. I mean, for uber cheesy shows that I’ve watched this past year, Salem wins, hands down. What is both interesting and frustrating about Once Upon a Time is the roller coaster quality of the writing, and to a lesser extent, the acting. Some of it is just dreadful. Unlike Salem, which was B-movie fare from the get go, Once plunges fairly regularly into B-movie territory, with stilted dialogue and predictable plot devices, one-dimensional performances and just sheer groaning moments.
Who would have thought that Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin would have the best plot lines? The character is addicted to the dark, but constantly trying to redeem himself for the others around him…except when he’s not. He is like a bad alcoholic, except he’s afraid to give up power in spite of the pieces of him that tell him he should. So, there’s that.
I have this theory that the characters are in fact limited by their archetypes, and they can only interact with the real world in certain ways. By the time we get to season 3, Regina (the Wicked Queen), Snow White, and Prince Charming transcend that, but always go back to it.
Do I like the show? Well, I’m still watching it, and I’m still groaning at it. But yes, I do. Don’t expect high brow entertainment, but do expect moments of it. And expect a great deal of fun. As an added bonus, you get to yell at the characters in frustration.
Season 5 is being broadcast now. I’m just about to begin Season 4.