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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Once Upon a Time--the show

I think I know how I want to write my reviews now. I am still trying to figure out how to handle spoilers but I’ll deal with that when the time comes. I am still watching more TV than reading right now [hide]. I started Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and I’m about 20 pages in and I love it. I just need to make time to READ! I also have an Eloisa James Duchess in Love and another Jane Yolen, Snow in Summer. If you don’t know who Jane Yolen is, go to the library because O.M.G. she is Amazing! I want to be her when I grow up.

I have a few writer heroes. There are the ones I know like Michaelbrent Collings and his father Michael Collings—who I actually grew up with. Then there’s the one’s I’ve met online like Lani Diane Rich and Jennifer Crusie and I feel like I know them… they have actually talked to me! Still, others I follow either on Twitter or Facebook like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Susan Wiggs.

Then there are the TV and movie writer heroes, like Joss Whedon, Julian Fellowes, Amy Sherman Palladino, and Lena Dunham. All I can say is Wow. They’ve got me thinking about characters, which I need right now as I gear up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is November. I’m kind of overwhelmed thinking about plot structure, characterization and this week I have an “assignment” to create a playlist for my book’s soundtrack. Since I don’t normally listen to music when I write it’s kind of hard to imagine music for my book.

I have now watched the first two episodes of Once Upon a Time. I thought we would be exclusively with Emma and Snow/Mary Margaret but we were still in Storybrook this week. The townfolk discovered [SPOILER ALERT] they cannot leave unless they want to forget their past life forever. In considering OUAT story arc as a whole the first season can be analyzed and then the beginning of the second season to see where they might be taking us. Since this is the same people that brought us “Lost” there might be some repetition of themes and I want to talk a little about that.

I believe that a good show will have mini story arcs in each episode but the entire season can be viewed as a whole. I would like to consider Once Upon a Time Season 1 in a 5 Point Plot Breakdown, like what they do on The Script Lab. Usually they (that website) will use a movie to explain the plot point breakdowns. I want to use the same format for a TV show.

[SPOILER ALERT] If you do or don’t watch Once Upon a Time the following is Spoilers for Season 1 and the first two episodes of Season 2. If you are caught up with me then you can read this and understand what I’ve done.

The first season of OUAT gives us the protagonist, Emma, who is sought out by her son whom she had given up for adoption. He is now 10 and seeking her help to “free” the people of Storybrook from “The Curse.” Worried and curious she brings him home, meets his “mother,” Regina—who he claims is the Evil Queen of Snow White—and also happens to be mayor of Storybrook. Emma believes that her son, Henry, is not happy and that Regina may not be best for him so she decides to stay. This is our Inciting Incident, 1 of 5 in a 5 Plot Point Breakdown.
I think point 2. Lock In happened in Season 1 when the viewer realizes that Henry is most definitely NOT crazy and that Storybrook is under a curse and everyone has forgotten who they are. This is accomplished by the end of the second episode. Over the next few episodes we are introduced to Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Cinderella, Jiminey Cricket (because this is the Disney version of Fairy Tale Land),The Blue Fairy (briefly), and Rumplestiltskin.

By the 7th episode we know that Regina is evil-crazy because she kills the sheriff, our beloved (and hot) Sheriff Graham. In the other life he was her Hunter sent to kill Snow White but Snow turns him with her innocence and goodness. His betrayal of the Queen (Regina) costs him his heart and she keeps it locked in a box. We learn that she is able to access her “magic” and crushes Graham’s heart into dust. He dies in Storybrook to be found by a distraught Emma. 

End of Act 1.

Emma is promoted to Sheriff to replace the now deceased Sheriff Graham. We are shown the dual lives of more citizens and their Fairy Tale lives versus their “human” Storybrook lives. Introductions and reveals include; The Genie, Hansel & Gretel, King Midas and his daughter (who is betrothed to a reluctant Prince Charming, and Belle (who falls in love with “the Beast”—whom we learn is actually Rumplestiltskin ). By the (3.) Midpoint a mysterious stranger has arrived to Storybrook and we don’t have many clues to his true identity, yet.

As we move through the season from the Midpoint to the (4.) Main Culmination or the End of Act 2 we continue to learn more about the citizens of Storybrook/Fairy Tale Land. Episodes 13-15 give us the stories of Sirens (who tempt Prince Charming), Grumpy & his love; a fairy named Nova, and Red Riding Hood (who is also the wolf aka a werewolf—and kills her own “Peter.”)

(5.) The Third Act Twist begins when Mary Margaret is arrested by Emma for the murder of Kathryn. Episodes 16 to the Finale in Episode 22 reveals more of the seven dwarfs; the Mad Hatter, the Evil Queen’s mother, who is more evil than the Queen seems to be and kills the Queen’s true love. We learn that the mysterious stranger, who calls himself August, is actually Pinocchio and he is slowly turning to wood. None of these experiences convinces Emma that Storybrook is under a curse as Henry has told her. Even August/Pinocchio cannot convince her even though he is the one that came through with her in the tree.

In the meantime, the (Evil Queen) Regina kidnaps Jefferson/the Mad Hatter and she retrieves a poison apple from Fairy Tale Land and prepares a delectable apple tart and offers it to Emma as a “Peace Offering.” Henry learns of the gift and as proof to Emma that Regina is Evil, he eats it and collapses.

In the Final Episode Emma and Regina must work together to save Henry. Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin has Emma perform a task then tells her he will give her “True Love” which he has sealed in a vial until the day should come when it will be needed. As it turns out, however, he double-crosses her and Emma cries over Henry and tells him she loves him; her tears combined with her “True Love,” awakens him and the curse is lifted. When the episode ends the town is being overshadowed by a purple cloud.

[SPOILER ALERT] Season 2 Spoilers ahead...

Season 2 begins where Season 1 ended. The people of Storybrook all remember who they are and are embracing each other. What they do not understand is why they are still in Storybrook and not back in Fairy Tale land. They seek out the Queen but Emma intercedes and informs them that Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is the one that screwed things up. In the meantime, Mr. Gold releases a “Wraith” (which looks and acts a LOT like a Harry Potter-ish Dementor). The goal of the Wraith is to get Regina. We are also introduced to Sleeping Beauty aka Aurora and her Prince Philip who is accompanied by Mulan (? Again, the Disney Universe of Fairy Tales, not your Grandmas!). Aurora and Mulan do not bond. They are chased by the Wraith on their end and Regina is trying to avoid the Wraith on her end. Eventually they send the wraith through the Mad Hatters Hat (which Regina was able to get to work on her own, without the Mad Hatter, go figure), which is how it ended up after Aurora, Philip and Mulan.

Episode 2 actually continues in Storybrook, although ala Lost I thought we might end up entirely in Fairy Tale Land with Emma, Snow/Mary Margaret, Mulan, Aurora, et. al. but we did not until the very end of the episode. Prince Charming is the ergo leader of Storybrook but Regina is hell-bent on getting her powers back. She gets some book from Mr. Gold and her powers return. She then threatens all the citizens unless Henry comes back to her. We then learn how Regina rid herself of her mother (and I think my theory that the Queen of Hearts is actually Regina’s mother. But I’m confused because at the very end of the episode Regina’s mother appears in the “hole” Emma and Snow are thrown into in Fairy Land.

Guess we’ll see what happens as the season progresses.


1 comment:

  1. The hat only worked with Emma. She didn't do it on her own. Emma appears to have a touch of magic without trying. But her magic always appears to be more connected to love/Henry.


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