Once Upon a Time: Initial Thoughts

I kind of liked this Once Upon a Time show.  I realize that you have probably lost respect for my selections since I did like the Playboy Club for a minute.  I never claimed to be a television snob, which is evident from my TV List.  I like what I like for whatever reason.

The premise of Once Upon a Time is kind of silly, but cute.  Fairy tale characters are all living in together in some fairy tale land and the evil queen gets really mad and puts a curse on all of them which traps them in a horrible place where there are no more happy endings.  This horrible place is our world, specifically a small town in Maine. (Everyone knows Maine is cute and not horrible so this show is totally unrealistic.)

The fairy tale characters don’t know that they are fairy tale characters and don’t know each other.  Some of the puzzle pieces are missing (which we will learn more about as the story unfolds I am sure), but when we join the show, they are all living in this town like regular peeps and we see flashbacks to fairy tale land and get some scoop in to how they got there.

The tension and suspense (I use those terms loosely in regards to this show, because it’s not on AMC), is that Snow White’s daughter is the only one who can break the curse.  She escaped fairy tale land just before the curse hit in some magic tree that Gepetto built.  She grew up as a regular human, found on the side of the road (which is I guess where the magic tree transported her to) and was put in to foster care and had a baby at a very young age that she gave up for adoption.  The baby (Snow White’s grandchild), was coincidentally adopted by the evil queen living in Storybook, Maine (yes Storybook).  It is unclear whether the evil queen really knows the whole story, but she is not a nice person and it is also unclear why she adopted a baby because she apparently treats him like crap.

Net net, the young boy, gets this book from his teacher (who is his grandmother Snow White, but no one knows that but us. And by the way, she is the same age as her daughter which can only happen when fairy take characters from another universe are frozen in time).  The book somehow reveals to him the whole story and he sets out to find his mother to bring her back to Storybook to break the curse.

And that is what happened in the pilot.  I realize now that this sounds pretty ridiculous.  Are you surprised the learn that it was created by some of the writers of Lost? (According to Wikipedia, there were 5 Lost references in the pilot, which I certainly did not pick up on.) It reminds me of the Wonderful World of  Disney but upgraded to a slightly more thinking person’s audience.  Some nostalgia and curiosity will keep me hanging in to see where this crazy show goes.  It had great ratings apparently, so I was not the only one with a little Disney fever on Sunday night.

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My New Favorite Shows

I have been slacking a bit on the TV commentary so I thought I would take a moment to let you know what I am really loving these days:

American Horror Story – This show is creepy and scary and I love it.  Dylan McDermott and Tami Taylor (from Friday Night Lights) move in to a freakishly haunted house with their teenage daughter.  Any normal human being would have moved out half way through the first episode, but in all fairness, they can’t see all of the creepy stuff we see (like this leather wearing ghost dude.) I can’t say more because I don’t want to ruin it for you.  You can check it on Hulu if you missed the first few episodes, and I strongly recommend that you do (unless you don’t like scary creepy stuff, then skip it).

Homeland – as awesome as promised by Entertainment Weekly.  Prisoner of war comes home from Iraq after being held and tortured for 8 years.  Claire Danes, self medicating CIA agent with an undisclosed mood disorder of some kind got intel that an American prisoner of war has been turned, and she is convinced it is this guy.  It’s excellent.  Suspenseful.  Characters are intriguing.  Oh, and did I mention Mandy Patinkin as Claire’s boss?  (Yentl!) Seriously good show.  They are running a marathon tonight of the first few episodes starting at 9pm so you can catch up (if you are reading my blog and have Showtime!)

Prime Suspect – still love it.  Glued to the TV for the whole thing.  Love Maria Bello.  Love watching her interact with the suspects, her squad, and just bopping around in that hat.  She’s awesome and tough.

The rest of the new ones I can kind of take or leave…

  • Person of Interest – not feeling a bond with the crime stopping main characters
  • Up All Night – still feels forced to me.  Not a fan
  • Terra Nova – lost interest
  • Whitney – got less funny and more typical sit-commy but I will keep it on the rotation
  • New Girl – my fav of the ones I can take or leave, if that means anything.  It makes me laugh

I am mildly looking forward to the premiere of  Once Upon a Time tomorrow night.  I don’t have high hopes that it will be quality TV but it might be cute!  I may also check out Grimm (the other fairy tale one that is darker and on Fox ) but I have a feeling it will be a dud, so I should skip it.

I Heart Fall TV!!!

The Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview is here.  I am less obsessive about the Fall TV season than I used to be (I am a recovering TVaholic after all) but I still love it.

I have perused EW and reflected on promos I have been seeing all summer and here are the shows I am most interested in seeing, separated into two categories (** are also EW’s best new shows picks)

1. Shows that I am the most excited to check out that have the best chance of being added to the line up permanently (which will of course be a problem because the line up is full)

  • American Horror Story** – Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights!) and Dylan McDermott (hot!) have a troubled marriage and live in a haunted house with their cranky teenager.  “The jolts and musty room surprises in the pilot never stop and the rapid fire editing is a dizzyind wonder to behold”.  I will love this. (Wed 10/5 – FX 10pm)
  • Terra Nova – its 2149, the world has gone to pot due to global warming, and some brave peeps set out to time travel back to prehistoric earth where resources are abundant.  There will be special effects and dinosaurs. I am quite curious. (Mon 9/26 – Fox 8pm)
  • Homeland** – in this “twisty” Showtime drama, Claire Daines (who I love, as you know)  thinks a US POW returning from Iraq might be a traitor.   She may also be mentally unstable and is supposedly neurotically-obsessive.  Can’t be missed. (Sun 10/2 – Sho 10pm)
  • The Secret Circle – from the creators of the Vampire Diaries and starring the adorable teenage daughter from Life Unexpected, a young orphan finds herself in a town full of cleverly snarky witches.  This is the type of age inappropriate, ridiculous stuff I constantly get sucked in to. (Thu 9/15 – CW 9pm )
  • Person of Interest** – JJ Abrams’ latest staring Lost’s Benjamin Linus and Jesus from Passion of the Christ.  Future NYC is wired with security cameras so you can see when a crime is going to happen, before it happens, and the duo mentioned above chase them down.  EW describes it as a “thinking viewer’s action show.”  Might not be my favorite genre, and JJ let me down last year, but he will always get another chance with me. (Thu 9/22 – CBS 9pm)
  • Once Upon a Time – one of two fairy-tale themed shows this season which is kind of cool.  A group of fairy tale characters are trapped in a Maine town (love Maine) are cursed in to forgetting their identities.  This one claims to have a Lost story telling method where the audience gets pieces of the puzzle and has to put them together. Hmmm… (Sun 10/23 – ABC 8pm)
  • Up All Night** – Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are first time parents in this sitcom with “fizzy topical jokes”.  I think this one might fare better than that horrible one Will Arnett was in last year.  I am very particular about my sitcoms, but if it makes me laugh, I may stick with it. (Wed 9/14 – NBC 8pm)

2. Shows that I am less excited about, but will maybe check out if I let myself go over 10 hours/week:

  • A Gifted ManA rich, handsome neurosurgeon starts to see visions of his dead ex-wife which forces him to pursue questions about healing, faith and why things happen to people.  Could this be the next “Saving Grace” or “Touched by an Angel”? (Fri 9/23 – CBS 8pm)
  • The X FactorSimon Cowell’s new show.  How it is different than Idol?  It has solo acts AND groups, with no upper age limit, and judges that are also coaches (like The Voice that I did not watch).  Since everyone on the planet will watch, I have to check it out, but less interested than I used to be and it is quite time consuming. (Wed 9/21 – Fox 8pm)
  • Ringer – Sarah Michele Gellar (Buffy!) is back and plays one twin pretending to be the other twin, who she thinks has been murdered, to try to find out who did it.  I am not making it sound very good, am I?  it’s Buffy..(Tues 9/13 – CW 9pm)
  • Revenge – the cute patootie Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) from Brothers & Sisters (and Everwood which I adored) plays a bad girl in the Hamptons trying to find out who wronged her father.  Lots of advertising for this one.  Will probably be horrible… (wed 9/21 – ABC 10pm)

Once again, I am in big trouble with my 10 hours/week rule.  We will see how it goes.

(FYI – I have also added the dates my favorites return on the TV list and visit this link to see a full calendar of what returns when on the TV Guide website.)