Once Upon a Time premiered its second season Sunday. I’d forgotten to list it on the page of shows covered here because I’d forgotten I watched it, having not watched the reruns this summer. (Were there reruns?) It’s one of those Sunday evening shows I would watch to mentally unwind before Monday. (ABC is even advertising it as such now!) Along the way last year, there were some mighty enjoyable episodes.
In reading the Television Without Pity recap and some of the forum, I realized how few season 1 details I remembered. Like the name of Rumpelstiltskin’s son. And Snow White’s one night stand with Dr. Whale (and Dr. Whale’s name). And exactly how the chipped cup became chipped, even though “Skin Deep” was one of my favorite episodes. (Robert Carlyle so deserved an Emmy nomination for it.)
Season 2 has elevated a couple of my favorite recurring characters (and cast members) to regular status, most notably Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Ruby/Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory). We were introduced to Mulan (my favorite line from the movie Mulan? “You’re da man. Sort of.”), and are promised Captain Hook, Lancelot, and a host of others.
Once Upon a Time isn’t “must see tv” for me’ and yet the premise intrigues me. Before last fall I couldn’t comprehend how the fairy tale world and the real world could be simultaneously depicted, but the dichotomy was handled nearly seamlessly the first season. Given the new circumstances of the show, with the characters remembering their pasts (as well as their presents), where would the drama come from? There’s only so much Evil (Regina/Queen & Gold/ Rumpelstiltskin) vs Good (town/everyone else) I can take.
I shouldn’t have worried. The powers behind Once Upon a Time appear to be great story tellers. They take much of what we loved about our childhood fairy tales, but have added enough modern day twists to surprise us. The annihilation of most of Fairy Tale Land, the separation of Snow White and Prince Charming, and what looks to be the Battle of the Princesses (Show & Emma vs. Sleeping Beauty & Mulan) should keep us entertained for more than a few weeks. I just hope Phillip isn’t dead forever.