‘Once Upon a Time’: The Show I Love to Hate

With Once Upon a Time returning to TV this Sunday, I have to admit, I am filled with antici…

…pation.

This show has some of my favorite writers on its staff, including the incomparable Jane Espenson, yet despite a great team and a fascinating premise, I still find myself eagerly picking apart every episode as it airs, finding its weaknesses and the parts that don’t make sense. It seems that, ever since the mysterious twists and turns and big reveals of the first season, this Lost-style narrative structure (stemming, no doubt, from the creators of OnceLost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz) isn’t really working anymore. Check out this PopMatters review on why this might be and let me know if you agree. TV writers in particular can learn a lot from both the strengths and the shortcomings of the popular show.

‘Once Upon A Time’: We All Love It, But Why?
Liz Medendorp @ PopMatters

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After the winter finalé of ‘Once Upon a Time’, I am left with both hope and skepticism. While this latest episode managed to retain a sense of cohesion and resolved a few of the perplexing concepts of the plot, quite a few issues with this popular series still remain. Despite some mediocre acting, a scattered and sometimes illogical trajectory, an overwhelming abundance of characters and unclear character motivations, ‘Once Upon a Time’ still keeps me coming back for more. But why? What is it about this world of fairy tale (and Disney, and Arthurian, and Gothic novel) characters that remains so compelling?”

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