Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

The classic opening line of most fairy tales brings to mind fantasy, adventure and happily-ever-after endings. The hit television series Once Upon a Time does exactly the same. Set in the fictitious seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, this fantasy drama is complete with fairies, villains, heroes and damsels in distress. It includes everything that makes a fairy tale such a classic story.

ALL SEASONS

Plot

The Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), angry at Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), is determined to rid the fairy tale characters of their happy endings by casting a powerful curse that she obtains from Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle). The curse banishes the fairy tale characters to a new land, Storybrooke, Maine, with the memories of their storybook lives replaced with new memories of a life they never really lived. Each character has a new name and a new identity. Memories of their true selves seem to be gone forever.

In Storybrooke, the characters live out their lives in ways that closely mimic their past from the fairy tales. This cursed life allows the Evil Queen, known as Regina, to rule over them as she takes the position of mayor of Storybrooke. Viewers are left trying to figure out if Regina is aware that she is the Evil Queen from the beginning of the curse or if she, too, had her memories erased and slowly becomes aware of the fact that she is the Evil Queen as the season progresses. It seems as if all hope is lost. However, every curse can be broken.

The plot thickens as a young boy, Henry (Jared Gilmore), is given a book filled with fairy tales. He quickly realizes that the stories are true and that the book is the key to unlocking the curse and restoring the lost memories. His mission to break the curse begins with a search for his biological mother, a bounty hunter by the name of Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) that gave him up at birth to give him his best chance in life. What Emma doesn’t know is that she is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and the only hope Storybrooke has of being freed from the curse.

Characters

Throughout the series, viewers try to figure out which fairy tale character matches each Storybrooke identity. Bits and pieces of the fairy tales are intertwined in the new cursed life creating a fun game of guess who as the series progresses. Some characters are easily figured out while other identities are revealed over the course of the season. Scenes switch back and forth between the fairy tale past and the cursed Storybrooke life giving hints into the true identities of the characters. New stories are introduced at the end of each episode in a shadowy scene causing great anticipation of what is to come. Favorite stories include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, Peter Pan, Pinocchio and Little Red Riding Hood. Watch Once Upon a Time online to discover all the stories that are introduced throughout the episodes with some surprising twists.

Once Upon a Time Seasons

Season 1 introduces the main characters and reveals the plan of the Evil Queen to curse the land. The storybook characters are then transported to Storybrooke, Maine. The life of Emma Swan, bounty hunter and daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, takes an unexpected turn on her 28th birthday as she is reunited with her son, Henry, who believes she is the savior of Storybrooke.

Season 2 contains a plot twist. The curse has been broken and memories restored. However, the fairy tale characters are still in Storybrooke, Maine, and must find a way to get home. Magic is introduced into Storybrooke and the two worlds intertwine. New villains emerge. Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and the Queen of Hearts (Barbara Hershey) make their appearance.

Season 3 heavily focuses on the story of Peter Pan and the search for the truest believer. The curse is reversed, characters are returned to their original worlds to live out their stories, and Emma and Henry make a new life together in New York City. All seems well until the fairy tale characters mysteriously reappear in Storybrooke, Maine, with no memories of the previous year. Emma and Henry are forced to leave the good life they have created in New York City and return to save Storybrooke once again.

Season 4 will pick up where Season 3 ends with the introduction of Queen Elsa (Georgina Haig) from the story The Snow Queen. Watch Once Upon a Time online to get caught up on the previous three seasons and to prepare for Season 4.

Critique

Mystery mixes with drama and excitement as viewers of Once Upon A Time are reminded of the fairy tale stories of childhood, which inspired us to be brave, courageous, loving, and kind. These stories come to life with a modern twist in this family-friendly series. Young and old alike will appreciate the mystery and imagination that awakens the inner child to believe in the power of true love. Throughout the series, we are reminded that love conquers all.