I can’t remember a time when the literary nerd in me has gotten to enjoy watching television so much. Between Castle, Grimm, and Once Upon A Time, I’m pretty well set. (Let’s be honest though, my life isn’t complete without Doctor Who.) (Now that I’m thinking about it, the list of shows that I watch is alarmingly long. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I can keep up with all of them.)
I want to highlight Once Upon A Time in particular, though. Admittedly, I am old enough to have seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when it was released in theaters (Holy Shenanigans! That was 20 years ago! I had not realized that.) That being said, I have never before enjoyed these fairy tale characters to this extent before on any screen. The twists on the classical stories and the characters are just delightful. Belle’s episode is still my favorite, but Grumpy’s runs a *close* second. The character development is lovely. No one is just a crappy stereotype. Even the bad guy (or girl in this case) periodically acts out of character. I want to write more about which twists I loved, but I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t found the show yet.
I’m sure there are people out there saying that the present day part of the story gets a little soapy sometimes, but I feel like a certain amount of confusion is inherent when you’re dealing with communal amnesia. Besides, things have to get a little complicated, otherwise there’d be no present day plot line. And if there’s one thing that this show has, it’s plot, but in the exact right amount. Not too heavy, not too light. (Yeah, the Goldilocks thing just kind of happened there. I’m leaving it there, but I want you to know that I’m not proud of it.)
Update: I got to thinking a little bit more about why I love this show as much as I do and I think I’ve finally put my finger on it. I grew up with the characters in this show. I read Grimm’s fairy tales and watched every Disney movie under the sun when I was a kid. These characters made up a part of my family, so it’s not an exaggeration to say that I know them well. The reason I love this show so much is that it presents the same stories and the same charaters that I grew up with, only they’ve grown up. They’ve become complex and human in a way that makes them more real and yet at the same time still quintessentially true to who they were as characters. This show gave me an adult Belle that I would love to meet and a Cinderella that worries about raising her daughter and how much her husband works. This show wins my heart because it feels like I’m just meeting up with all of these people I’ve lost track of over the years, but who have grown and lived in the intervening time. It’s like finding old friends that you didn’t know you were missing until you stumble into them in the bookstore. This show gave me back some of my favorite characters of all time and I can’t thank the creator enough.