Sunday, October 30, 2011

On Once Upon A Time

Not the opening phrase, the new television show from ABC. Consider this your spoiler warning for the first two episodes.

Basic summary, the Evil Queen (possibly named Regina) and Rumpelstiltskin trap every fairy tale hero and villain in a modern small town in Maine, with no memory of who they are or what happened to them. It's up to Emma Swann, who is most probably the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, to set things right - except she grew up in the "real world" and doesn't believe any of this nonsense.

It's a pretty good show, with an interesting premise and some pretty good actors - Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin in particular is an amusing, enjoyable slow-burning menace that might just be a bigger threat than Regina. But a few things about the show are really bugging the heck out of me:

Why is Regina so damn evil? The show kind of promised to explain this in the latest (second) episode, but instead diverted into an explanation of how the Evil Queen cursed everyone. Which is okay, but I don't really care about the sort of magic juju she's using. What I need is some justification for Regina being an evil $#!7 so I can kind of understand where she's coming from and feel that she has some depth as a character. Right now the show is being vague on this point, and until this is cleared up I'm just going to be frustrated every time Regina is on screen.

This is Hell? Seriously, the Queen's idea of revenge is trapping a fairy tale kingdom in a small town in Maine, forever. Which means that everyone gets to live forever in an idyllic little town with functioning plumbing and all the modern conveniences. Sure, the Queen is the mayor and gets to boss everyone around, but big fucking deal. Even her worst enemies are getting off light here: Snow White's a well-adjusted school teacher, and Prince Charming is in a coma and doesn't know anything's wrong in the first place. Well I guess little gremlins could be stabbing him with pitchforks in his dreams... The point is, the worst curse at the Evil Queen's disposal results in something that would be paradise to about nine-tenths of the damn planet.

Why you getting chumped, Maleficent? The show threw in a sequence in the show where the Evil Queen takes on Maleficent for the doomsday curse, and trashes her in about five minutes. And yes, it's the Disney Maleficent, there's even a Sleeping Beauty reference. Now this is just a fanboy thing, but I've had a soft spot for Maleficent ever since she appeared in Kingdom Hearts, and bringing her in just to get curb-stomped in her own castle doesn't sit well with me. I'm really hoping the show brings her back for another appearance, preferably one more fitting to the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil".

Those things aside, the show is pretty good, and I'm hoping it gets better over time.

In another news, NaNoWriMo kicks off in a little over twenty-four hours. And I'm still not sure what I'm going to write about! Isn't that always the way? (No, dumbass, it's not - The Muse) I'll be keeping track of my word count here again, but not in the same frantic post-every-day manner. Good luck to anyone else participating!

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