“Once Upon A Time”…When TV Was Good
I have a three date rule with new Television shows. Sometimes I might even stretch that to 6, if I am really pulling for the actors, writers, producers, or creators. Or the premise. Basically, I’m a sucker for being strung-along by a show that I really want to win. And by “win,” I mean, be renewed for another season.
No, I’m not talking about Community. I know there are tons of great 30 minute comedies out there right now. But I’m just not buying them. Sorry ya’ll. I hope many blessings fall upon you and that all your favorite television shows are renewed.
*THAR BE SPOILERS HERE*
I’m talking about Once Upon a Time. I’m talking about how many quality shows are on the air right now that I could be devoting my attention to and yet I feel so compelled and moved to share my feelings about this particular gem.
If you want to call it that.
I have feelings about this show. The pilot and first two episodes were BAD. Not good/bad but bad/bad. And yet, I kept watching. The writing is ham-fisted. The acting is dubious. The dialogue is ill-suited for the fairy tale world. There is little humor or charm. It either takes itself too seriously or not seriously enough. And the CGI. Yipe.
There are also weird race issues happening all over the place. The Evil Queen and her equally evil mirror are the only characters of color I can determine, and anyone with a slightly European accent is a bad guy or pawn of a bad guy.
Dudes – what is happening on this show? They just killed off my favorite sexy mysterious character in the last episode ala Boon on Lost, which is par for the course because THIS is the creative team behind THAT series.
Sheriff Graham as depicted by the imminently shaggable Jamie Dornan was one of the few intriguing characters, not just because of his tasty Irish accent and scruffy neck-bearded hipster loveliness, but because he was one of a limited variety who wasn’t purely good or evil. His amorality was a decided plus in a fairy tale world where Good is GOOD and Evil is EVIL. I mean, that is boring ya’ll. The best TV shows come down squarely in the middle.
Which is another part of the reason Once Upon a Time is failing on so many levels. One of them being it’s comparisons to (what I’ve heard is) the far superior comic book series Fables from which the premise is purported to have been cannibalized.
After the emotional massacre that was this last episode, I’m still willing to give it another chance. Why? Because I’m a masochist. I dunno. Are any of you watching it? Why are you watching it? I feel like I’m devoting way too much time to a series that isn’t giving me a lot to work with. There has to be something better out there perhaps?
In general – I’ve been feeling slightly myopic towards TV. The Walking Dead has been moving at a zombie-like pace (hah) this season after a rough and bewildering Season 1 finale, which departed quite heavily from the source content. I stopped watching Boardwalk Empire around episode 6 or 7 last year and can’t pick up the zest or energy to start it up again.
Fringe continues its subtle brand of awesome, but I think this may be its last season (damn the man). In general, I seem to be sliding away from nerd fare to shows that are a little grittier like Sons of Anarchy and Justified. But they’re also heavily dude oriented. Which is maybe why, despite all evidence to back slowly away, I’m pulling for Once Upon A Time. It’s female centric. The three main leads are female. It easily passes that aspect of the Bechdel Test. In fact, it barely passes the male Bechdel Test every episode.
This SHOULD make my feminist heart soar. But women in fairy tales are always gonna be somewhat oogy. If I have to explain why, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. 😉
Maybe it’s just me, in this weird phase in my life where entertainment fails to inspire. It’s probably just the lazy lull in the year where most shows have gone on winter hibernation.
Possibly – I just don’t like seeing handsome young Irish men killed for no reason. Take note creative team behind Once Upon A Time – you probably have me for the rest of this season if there are hints that Graham will be returning. But I sense some monumentally stupid Heroes/True Blood/Lost type crap happening here. I’ve got epic series to watch on Netflix. You have decades old competition. Remember that and sort out your priorities. That is all.
Bechdel Test: ”Once Upon A Time” features more than two female characters with names who converse about something other than men and therefore DOES PASS the women test, DOES PASS the men test and features more than two minority characters who have names, but who only speak to one another about white people so it DOES NOT PASS the race test.