It's no secret that I often do online surveys for market research purposes to earn credits towards gift cards, etc. This particular one for eRewards required me to view a potential pilot for an upcoming show. The survey length was approximated at about an hour, which I was a bit hesitant at first, but thought I'd check it out - if the show sucked I could just exit out of it.
And it's as good as I remember it being!
When I first screened the test pilot back in May, my biggest concern was how in the world where they going to make this into a full-blown series with more than 1 season? The premise seemed like something that could be solved and dealt with in the course of a mini-series, kinda like the fairytale-based The 10th Kingdom mini-series. And I could be wrong, but I remember there being some kind of set time limit that once Emma came to Storybrooke the curse would be broken and everyone would get their memories back within a set time frame - that was part of the whole significance of the town clock ticking once again at the end of the pilot, which made me pose the question as to how this could be continued into a full series as once the time frame was up, then what? They seem to have removed that entire aspect though so that there is no set time limit that everything has to happen by. My other concern was that the transition between the real-world scenes and fairytale flashbacks didn't seem very smooth, but they've fixed that as well as it didn't bother me watching it a 2nd time around.
A great thing about this series, is that it's pretty family friendly. The violence borders on PG/PG13 stylized fantasy violence (ie: mainly sword fights or people fighting with magic), the language isn't bad for network TV and there's very little sexual content seen or implied (that is, nothing you'd have to worry about explaining to your kid).
|Main Cast from Left to Right:|
Town therapist Archie/Jiminy Cricket, Mayor Regina/Evil Queen, Henry, Emma, Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman, Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin, teacher Mary Margret/Snow White, David/Prince Charming
They also include back stories for some of the characters - we learn how Jiminy Cricket came to be Geppetto's guide, what became of Cinderella and her prince after the wedding, how Snow White and Prince Charming came to be, among others. It's also interesting to see how Rumpelstiltskin works his way into everyone's back story, playing some part behind the scenes of their infamous tales.
I loved how Pam from True Blood (Kristin Bauer van Straten) makes an appearance as the Evil Queen's "friend" Maleficent, with the Pam attitude and all, lol... and you can tell Disney owns ABC and has a hand in the show as well - Belle and Gaston fairytale flashbacks are in an upcoming episode and there's talk of an Ariel appearance in the works too.
If you like dramas, mysteries and fantasy stories - be sure to check out Once Upon a Time on ABC - new episodes start airing this Sunday at 8/7c and they're currently all up on Hulu for another week or so.