Monday , November 30 2020
Once Upon a Time there was a battle between good and evil. It has come to life in ABC's new fantasy-mystery series.

Once Upon a Time: Good, Meet Evil

Ah, the fairy tales of our youth! Fond images of handsome princes and beautiful princesses, fairy godmothers and enchanted forests spring immediately to mind in innocent recollection of animated tellings rendered in spectacular Technicolor. But, of course those fairy tales are anything but innocent. Evil queens, witches that serve up children right along with the gingerbread, wicked stepsisters, and menacing wizards are the rest of the story, of course.

Far from mere child’s play, fairy tales are commentary on often very adult themes—horror stories more appropriate for Halloween than a Saturday play-date matinee. So, it’s not surprising that the new ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time has its share of bad guys along with Prince Charming and Snow White.

The series premise begins, appropriately enough, with a curse. The beautiful, but vain and evil Queen (You know, of “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” fame?) from the Snow White story (Lana Parilla) cast a spell on the residents of the Enchanted Forest. Cursed to live in the modern New England town of Storybrooke, the characters have forgotten the magic, and cannot remember who they (really) are—or where they come from. Vowing to destroy the happiness of Snow White and Prince Charming, she is just as manipulative as Storybrooke’s mayor as she is evil as the Queen.

courtesy ABCAnd then there’s Rumpelstiltskin, or if you prefer, Mr. Gold. The name makes quite a bit of sense (or “cents” if you prefer). You may recall that Rumpelstiltskin (from the Grimm fairy tale) has the ability to spin straw into gold, which saved a certain miller’s daughter some embarrassment (and the miller, his head); however, there was a price to pay. In Storybrooke, Rumpelstiltskin’s alter ego Mr. Gold is an ordinary enough looking guy (and played by the wonderful Scots actor Robert Carlyle), but beneath the surface, he’s a creepy (and perhaps somewhat deranged) character.

Ultimately a story of the battle between good and evil, Once Upon a Time still embodies all you might want in a classic fairy tale, says Ginnifer Goodwin who plays Snow White (turned into an insecure young teacher Sister Mary Margaret). In a promotional interview for the series, Goodwin noted that the series has “hope, love, fantasy, adventure, and mystery.”

Tune in every Sunday evening on ABC beginning October 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 CT. Here’s a sneak peek to tide you over until next Sunday:

(Photos courtesy ABC)

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, ( Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

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