Are you dealing with the summertime blues dear reader? Have you been listlessly surfing the internet or the tv channels but nothing seems to spark your fancy? I’ve been there. I’m doing that. And even though I don’t get a summer vacation, I am most certainly struggling with the anstys.
Normally, I would tell you to pop in Persuasion or watch one of our favorite versions of Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, but…they’re not helping. I’m serious. Something it utterly wrong with me dear reader. Tell me this is happening to you too. Tell me a flip of Mr. Thornton’s hair, while still thoroughly entertaining, has struggled to keep your attention for the last few months. (I’m not saying the sight of his naked neck isn’t still turning my head, mind you.) Tell me that Mr. Darcy’s general taciturn speech isn’t captivating you.
Nope? No one? You’re all gonna leave me hanging out here aren’t you? Every costume drama girl for herself here, aren’t we. Well, fine. I can take it. I’ll own up to it. The burnout has hit me hard this time and I’m strong enough to say so.
But if – just in case – you’re feeling the same way I am: that our old favorites aren’t hitting the spot this summer, why not try watching something completely different? Thanks to the mini-series nature of costume dramas, we girls are much more able and apt to watch entire seasons of shows in 1-2 sitting(s) without blinking. So why not watch a season of something you wanted to see last fall, but could never catch? Today I propose an option that will leave you enchanted.
When I heard tales of this fairytale show from ABC/Disney I just about jumped out of my skin – in a good way. I will forever be that doop at Disneyland with tears in her eyes over the fairytales of my youth. I screamed with joy when I saw the lineup for actors and characters, and just about alienated my entire family with my emphatic commentary during the series premiere. That didn’t sell you? Lemmesplain.
Do you remember watching the 10th Kingdom? That glorious month where we traveled with Virginia and Wolf through the 9 kingdoms to help save Prince Wendell? (I still ask my cat if we’re going for a “walkies” fyi…) Once is like the 10th Kingdom on Disney steroids – the ones where you can directly make your favorite characters just like the Disney versions and not get slapped with a law suit. The goodies are lovely, the baddies rock (I still believe Mr. Gold is my favorite character and Maleficent was ROBBED of more screen time), and the costuming is something pretty fantastic too.
This is not that knock-off 80s crap going on over at the CW. This isn’t even one of those made for TV movies with low production values. This is a series with big dollars invested and even bigger supporters creating a unique world that could only be done with Disney’s support.
Short storyline version – Regina (Snow White’s evil queen) loses her epic battle with Snow White and Prince Charming and promises to send everyone someplace where there are no happy endings (present day Maine…it’s a very unhappy place I’ve been told! – have you been to Maine? You know they have troubles right?) She succeeds (go baddies?!) but not before Snow White can have a baby and send it to Maine first. That baby shows up 28 years later as Emma Swan – man’s woman, woman about bounty hunting, birth mom to Evil Queen’s stepson Henry. In order for Emma to save everyone she has to defeat Regina and break the curse; which we do find out at the end of season 1. Really we get a nice little wrap up with the season finale. 3 guesses how the daughter of Snow White breaks the curse…
What I love: I love seeing our standard characters with life breathed into them. I love that we have huge fairytale characters intertwined into multiple storylines. I love how the writers have the freedom to play with Disney lore and make it real for our generation. (Come on dear reader, we are the generation that grew up on a healthy diet from birth of Disney, Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars.) I love that while the evil characters do some pretty messed up stuff, they are still people you want to root for, and dare I say, be friends with.
What I can’t wait for: YOU BRING ME SLEEPING BEAUTY AND PRINCE PHILLIP NOW.
If you only watch one episode: If you’re not sold by my fanboating/rambling I suggest watching episode 17, Hat Trick. Why? Well, I think the mad hatter’s storyline is one of the most interesting we have seen on the show and draws you into the modern storyline well too. There’s nothing like fairytale character personalities in the real world. And Sebastian Stan is brilliant. Just – the way that man can have his eyes filled with tears almost every moment on screen is a wonder. Not to mention his borderline insanity/sanity play is rather fantastic. For that matter, if you want some gushy love gooey eyes, check out episode 3, Snow Falls – you’ll get to see Prince Charming be pretty epically, well, charming.
Don’t watch this episode: Episode 12, Skin Deep. I actually like Emilie DeRaven as Belle. Heck, I even like the twist they play on the beast (I didn’t see that one coming!), but the production values on the episode are just plain poor and the actors aren’t given nearly enough time to develop a truly heart-tugging relationship, and I miss our macho 80s Gaston from the Disney version.
And with all the FANtastic information we just learned from Comic-Con, it looks like season 2 will be something epic to watch. (Link to spoilers! Change is Coming Article | CC Round Up)
You can still catch a few choice episodes over at ABC.com for US viewers, or check out Hulu plus for all the episodes. If not, we all know how much youtube can be your friend. :)