Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Once Upon a Time, there was a TV Show on ABC . . .

Once upon a time, ABC aired a TV show with compelling storytelling, where interesting, flawed characters ruled the realm, and true love’s kiss could restore any life. What happened to that show?  

Season 1 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time held such promise. I watched a captivating show with a unique premise, where seemingly familiar characters were recast in truly remarkable ways. Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold and The Mad Hatter/Jefferson were such deep, tortured souls. I could not get enough of them. The story lines between fairyland and Storybrooke were easy to follow and compelling.

What happened? How has the story lost its way? Maybe the writers don’t have a clue where the story is headed. I mean, how many characters can one show introduce? It seems like a dozen secondary characters have come and then disappeared. Plot lines were developed and then vanished. I think the only fictional characters left in the world that the writers have NOT tapped so far are from the Greek and Roman Pantheon!
Then there’s the portal. How often must characters be sucked into fairyland? How many times can the writers get away with this plot device before it becomes cliché and boring? For me, two times is all I can tolerate. So, present-day Storybrooke, present-day Neverland, past Neverland, present-day Enchanted Forest, and past Enchanted Forest, it’s all becoming a boring mess to me.

Finally, there’s Snow and Charming, about as flat and interesting as two pieces of cardboard. I know they’re the epitome of all that is good in people. But, jeez louise, do something interesting or get out! 

Watching season 2 of Once Upon a Time has reinforced to me what good storytelling is all about—interesting, flawed characters set in captivating situations and worlds. I pray I never forget that. I hope the writers of the show quickly right their floundering ship before my interest is sucked into that dreaded portal, never to return.