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13 Jan 2014

Once Upon a Time: Why it works for me

I've discussed one aspect of Once Upon a Time before when I praised Rumpelstiltskin's character.  But the show is halfway into it's third season now and it's without a doubt my favourite television programme at the moment.  It's the show that has me looking forward to Sundays and what lies next for the characters.  I'm definitely hooked. 

So why has it worked for me? Why has it kept me on my toes, changing my emotions with the flick of a switch, and determined to see some sort of happy ending for everyone? Well, not everyone.  Unless they have more planned for Peter Pan in the next half of the season he is definitely an evil, little sod. 

For starters I loved the twist on fairy tale characters and how the writers can merge a couple of well known characters into one.  For example Rumpelstiltskin is merged with the Crocodile from Peter Pan and Beast from Beauty and the Beast. It works really well and helps give the characters more layers.  In some ways they stay true to their fairy tale characters.  Snow White can be the purest one of all with her optimistic look on life and keeping that hope that good will win.  But at the same time when she is forced into hiding by the Evil Queen she also manages to be quite the sneaky thief and an impressive archer. 

The Evil Queen has her moments where she is willing to sacrifice her loved ones to get her own selfish happy ending.  But when you find out about her wicked mother's past and how she was manipulated into becoming the Evil Queen you actually start to feel sorry for her.  And when you see how her love for adopted son Henry pushes all selfish thoughts aside you can see a character who wants, above all else, to be loved.  Especially by her own child who encourages her to redeem herself.

I love a story or a programme that can have me loathing a character one minute and then making me feel sorry for them the next.  As a writer I admire that.  I'm in total awe of other writers and authors who can flip my emotions and opinions around like that.  I love to see a heroic character have shades of grey and a villain who can be vulnerable.  Sometimes I don't know who to trust and that's why I'm hooked.  I want to see what's next for the characters.  Whether they're going to go all the way in redeeming themselves or turn to the dark side.  I want to see if they're all able to work together to save a loved one or their home from an even bigger threat and if all works out.

Have you seen Once Upon a Time? What other shows have you feeling this way and completely inspired? :)

1 comment:

  1. I agree about this show. It's inspiring me to think differently about novel-writing and try to add a bit more of the elements I've seen popular shows incorporate. After all, that's what the best-selling YA series do, right?

    I hated the Evil Queen for most of the series, even when she was first trying to redeem herself. I just wanted to see her die. Then, somehow, when I wasn't looking, I started to sympathize with her. It took awhile - at least until Season 3, but it eventually happened. I admire writing that can do that.