So it's no secret that I love Once Upon a Time ... and Story does too, obvs. That's one of the first things we found we had in common and it's just gone on from there.
I make little statements all the time about why I like it so much, what it's about blah blah, but I've never sat down and really articulated it before. I thought I would today because I think I'm finding my words.
First of all, at first glance and in all seriousness, this is a show where ... well here's what Story and I said last night:
|Uh ... that's Robin HOOD obviously.|
So basically the Evil Queen from Snow White put a curse on all the fairytale characters and banished them to "our world" (which always sounds like the most depressing place on Earth). For 28 years, none of them remember who they are. Then Snow and Charming's daughter who was born the day the curse was cast and sent to our world is found by her biological son whom she gave up for adoption and who was then adopted by the Evil Queen. He convinces her to return to their little Maine town with him and he works to get her to believe she can break the curse. Which finally happens at the end of season one. Since that time, here's what we've learned: Rumplestiltskin is also the beast from Beauty and the Beast. Snow White and Red Riding Hood were fairytale land friends. Peter Pan is Rumplestiltskin's dad. Captain Hook has gone from bad to good to bad to good again, and ran off with Rumplestiltskin's wife. She died and now he's in love with Charming and Snow's daughter. Which presents a problem as her biological son's father is actually Rumplestiltskin's son. Oh yeah, and as you also just read Little John from Robin Hood just turned into a flying monkey from Oz because Dr. Frankenstein wasn't quick enough to save him. And the Wicked Witch of the West is friends with Snow White in our world.
Oh, and, (spoiler alert) the Wicked Witch of the West is the half-sister of the Evil Queen! And, as Story and I suspect, may be the daughter of Rumplestiltskin and the Evil Queen's mother Cora who is also the Queen of Hearts.
Throw in the Mad Hatter, Jiminy Cricket, Gepetto, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, the Blue Fairy, Mulan, the seven dwarves and Pongo, and you've got yourselves a show!
Like I told Story last night, if someone told me we were watching this, I'd be like ..................................
But you guys.
Here's the thing -- we all grew up reading fairytales. All of us. Well, at least I hope you did! I don't quite remember the actual event of learning the stories of Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid, but somehow I know them. We all wanted to be princesses (and secretly I hope you still do!). Thing thing that changed is, we grew up. Like Wendy. And that's fine because we have to be adults and get things done. But in this blog I read that I love, the writer once wrote a post where she made the point (and I'm paraphrasing) that for adults the line between fantasy and reality is very clear, but for children it's really blurry. And maybe for me and Story too, and I hope you also. Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about ... but I hope you do!
Now I know how this might be reading like the world's longest, most boring commercial or like I have a beyond inappropriate relationship with TV. The truth is, for most TV I can take it or leave it. If I miss something I'll catch it On Demand or whenever.
But, at the end of the day this show is about one thing: hope.
The show's creators have flat-out said multiple times that this show is about hope. Two Sundays ago when the show returned from (the world's longest) winter hiatus, there was a one hour special on where the show's stars and creators were interviewed. And if I had a quarter for every time the word "hope" was said in that hour, well ... I'd be able to park at an awful lot of meters for an awful long time!
The show is not abstractly about hope -- it's about real, in-your-face hope. For instance:
"Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing."
"What do you think fairytales are? They are a reminder that our lives will get better if we just hold on to hope."
"Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, but no one believes in magic."
There are so many stop-your-heart moments on this show. Just stop your heart. Stop-your-heart creativity, stop-your-heart magic, stop-your-heart love. Stop-your-heart hope.
Because, and here's the point, we ALL could use some hope.
I'm telling you -- do something good for yourself and let the line get blurry every Sunday at 8 p.m. Spend an hour in fairytale land forgetting about work and the electric bill and putting gas in your car and remember when you believed you really were a princess or a pirate and you could fly and were magic. Take a minute and just ...
Dedicated, with love, to Story - who made Anna believe in magic.
(all photos from abc.com)