If you’ve ever wished upon a star to live in a world where knights shine in armor and adoration, love prevails even in the darkest of times and happily-ever-after endings happen to everyone, this no longer a dream – it’s a reality every Sunday night at 8 p.m. on ABC. “Once Upon a Time” has taken its viewers on a fantastical journey ever since its debut in 2001, filling its audience with the untold stories of our favorite childhood characters. Through plausible performances and imaginative storylines, this show creates the ability to merge the innocence of our childhood favorites with a matured perceptive.
The plot of the show is based around a curse enacted by the Evil Queen, Regina, who was envious of Snow White’s happy ending. Because of her unwavering hatred, the Queen sought out help from one The Dark One, Rumpelstiltskin, who created a curse which would transport all of those living in the Enchanted Forest to a land without magic, robbing them of their memories of being fairytale characters.
The only way to break the curse lied within the fate of Snow White and Prince Charming’s child, the child made from the truest of loves. To ensure that the curse wouldn’t affect the child, Snow White and Prince Charming made the difficult decision to send the newborn baby to another world before the curse was cast.
The child, Emma, who’s lived her life as an orphan for the last 28 years, mysteriously found her way to Storybrooke, the secret town full of fairytale characters where time has stood still for over two decades. With the help of the town’s youngest and truest believer, Emma begins to piece missing parts of the puzzle back together, which sets her on a path to begin the final battle of good and evil.
What’s most interesting about this show is despite the elementary fairytale theme, it has an uncanny ability to develop an intertwined storyline connecting the fairytale characters together in the most intricate way. The profiles of the characters are extremely intriguing and allow viewers to reimagine the behind-the-scenes of the classic fairytale stories we all grew up with. The evil characters who once threatened the happiness of our beloved heroes finally get a chance to tell the story of how their troubled path led them to a destination of darkness. For instance, the Evil Queen’s story explains how her mother murdered her first true love because he was a stable boy and couldn’t provide a wealthy future for her daughter, which was ensured with newly-widowed King Leopold, Snow White’s father. Snow White’s mother just so happened to be the woman who interfered with the Evil Queen’s mother’s attempt to marry into royalty, which is why she was so adamant about who her daughter getting married. Throughout the series, fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast and more all manage to intertwine in the most addicting way, all while making a conscious effort to redefine the heroic roles gender plays in these tales.
“Once Upon a Time” allows it viewers to indulge in classic fairytales without the shame of childish doings. The original plot and strong assembly of a heroic female-dominated cast are trivial reasons to appreciate the imaginative ingeniousness of the show. From the Little Mermaid to Merlin the Magnificent Sorcerer, “Once Upon a Time” validates the idea that fairytales aren’t just for children, they’re for those who believe in redefining happily-ever-after endings.