The concept of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the complete first season of which is now available on Blu-ray, is deceptively simple. Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is shocked when the son she had given up for adoption 10 years before shows up at her doorstep. What's even more shocking is the boy tells her she must save Storybrooke, the small town he lives in, from an evil curse. It seems Storybrooke is the home of every character from childhood stories of old. Snow White, Gepetto, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Prince Charming all live in Storybrooke, only they don't know who they really are. They’re regular people who have been cursed to live an ordinary life by the Evil Queen. That’s the basic premise for the series. The idea almost seems too far-fetched for network TV. A prime time drama about Snow White aimed at adults seems like kind of a crazy idea. But to my surprise, it totally works. Once Upon a Time is full of intrigue, imagination, and great characters.
Every person who lives in the Maine town of Storybrooke came from a realm where kings and queens ruled, faeries flitted about, and magic was the most powerful tool in all the land. They were unknowingly transported there by the Evil Queen. It seems she wanted to abolish all happy endings after learning Snow White was resurrected from the poison apple curse by true love's kiss. Knowing the curse was upon them, Snow White and Prince Charming were able to shield their newborn daughter from it. Their daughter, it turns out, was destined to return and save them when she reached 28 years of age. It’s Emma Swan's 28th birthday when her son comes to find her. He’s convinced she is the one destined to save them, even if she isn’t.
Emma travels to the town just to bring her son Henry (Jared Gilmore) back to his adoptive mother. However, upon meeting Henry's mother Regina (Lana Parrilla) Emma decides to stay. She then starts meeting the people of the town, whom Henry insists are characters from a book given to him by his teacher Mary-Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin). Henry believes Mary-Margaret is really Snow White, and is therefore Emma's mom. Regina, who is the mayor of the town, he believes is really the Evil Queen. He says the town has been frozen in time for 28 years waiting for the curse to be broken. And it does seem that upon Emma's arrival that things start to change.