I have another blog about Once Upon A Time and Grimm in the backlog, but I wanted to take a second and talk about the former in a little more detail, especially in the wake of the first part of the season two finale. It’s hard for me to pin down why I keep watching the show, despite no longer liking it as much as I like Grimm (which, despite a few stumbles, has grown very confident in its second season), but the beginning of the show’s introduction to Neverland points to some positive changes on the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: once upon a time
Or, The Benefits and Detriments of Theme in Television
Theme is one of Aristotle’s Six Key Elements of Drama, and it’s an important one too: knowing why you’re writing something is as important as who’s in it (character) and what they’re doing (plot). But on television, theme can often be a detriment to crafting good drama. Just ask anyone who was disappointed with Battlestar Galactica‘s second half or LOST‘s final season and it seems self-evident that established themes can hinder a television show as much as it can help it. Read the rest of this entry »
First thing’s first: the second season premiere of Once Upon A Time was excellent, smoothly picking up the pieces from the finale while simultaneously setting up the new season’s story arc. It was ripe with twists and heartbreaking scenes that showcased some of the very best of what the show was capable of in glimpses throughout season one. Most of all, Once Upon A Time continues to show that trademark confidence that made me choose the show over its similarly zeitgeist-y NBC counterpart Grimm most weeks. So here’s something to consider that’s been on my mind since the show revealed it would be adding Mulan, Aurora (of Sleeping Beauty, silly) and Captain Hook to the mix: can Once Upon A Time‘s Disney-plucked characters escape the cultural criticism of the animated films from which they sprang? Read the rest of this entry »
Hey. It’s been a while. Let’s talk about fairy tales on television.
Just as Pan Am and The Playboy Club popped out of the same general notion of doing Mad Men for network broadcast, two new shows have premiered this fall born out of the idea of adding a modern twist to classic, public-domain-accessible fairy tales. I figured I’d group my general opinions on the shows so far into one post for easy access. Note that I don’t really think the two shows are comparable the way that Pan Am and Playboy Club were. Fairy tales are fairy tales, and anyone who wants to watch these shows is going to need a willing suspension of disbelief.
I would also like to stress that I don’t think these shows are incompatible. They can co-exist on television without complaint, because both shows are trying different things and going in different directions with the fairy tales on which they’re riffing. That was not the case with the 60s shows, primarily because they were both set in the 60s, but also because both shows deal with institutions that were fairly major at the time. Loaded guns, those. Fairy tales are comparably easier to execute on TV. Read the rest of this entry »