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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (67) Once Upon a Time

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
This meme celebrates an awesome adaptation related to a weekly category. Any format of adaptation (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. Awesome Adaptations was created by Alisa Selene at PictureMeReading.

An Awesome Adaptation featuring Hidden Identity
Title: Once Upon a Time
Adapted from: various Fairy Tales

For this post, I'm focusing on the first season of Once Upon a Time which was really pretty much perfect.  The way they weaved the past and present storylines together was just genius!  As was the way each episode unveiled more of a different fairy tale character.

In the first season, each resident of Storybrooke in modern Maine lives a pretty nice life, but only the mayor, Regina, and the pawn shop owner, Mr. Gold, remember their real past - as people from a magical land.  Regina, the Evil Queen, cast a curse to send everyone to a place without magic - here - in an effort to destroy Snow White and Prince Charming's happily ever after.  Which it did for a time.  With each episode, we learned more about what happened to each fairy tale character and very cleverly their backstory also mirrored what was happening to them in Storybrooke.  I think the best part of this series is in how the fairy tales we are all so familiar with is reinvented - with almost all the female characters much more empowered than they are in the stories.  And good and evil is never black and white.  The villains are painted sympathetically sometimes, and it's interesting to see how seemingly innocuous decisions can have such lasting consequences.

Much of the suspense in the first season came from whether or not Snow White and Prince Charming (or Mary Margaret and David) would get together and if their long lost child - Emma - would believe what her son is trying to tell her and find out if she really can break the curse over Storybrooke's inhabitants.  While we have that journey, the lives of the characters in their fairy tale land is just as compelling because we get to see what experiences shaped the characters and their potential.  There are so many layers to the story in Once Upon a Time, and I love how thoughtful and innovative this first season was.  I'm still enjoying the show, but I really think the first season was the best because the structure of the storytelling was flawless and cohesive, and it was so much fun seeing these characters in such a fresh and new light.

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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I've been very curious about this show because it looks fantastic. I just have so many other shows I'm juggling now and not sure if I can take on another one.

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    1. Oh I know what you mean, there are too many shows and too little time - just like with books! In fact, I first saw this by watching most of Season 1 on DVD one weekend, so maybe you could try that if you have a free weekend? It's produced by Disney (I think) so there are a lot of nods to the Disney films which is really fun too!

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  2. I love modern tellings of fairy tales sooo much. The first season was great. This season (though I know you didn't mention it) has been stuck in Neverland for too long!!!

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    1. Very true, I'm glad they are finally getting away from Neverland (with quite a cliffhanger too!). I feel like they were really prepared for Season 1, and for the subsequent seasons they are just scrabbling to find ways to expand on the fairy tales. But it's still a very enjoyable show!

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  3. I am way behind on this show..I agree I like the first season best..belle and rumple are my favorite characters!

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    1. Rumple and Belle are still pretty awesome! I don't think there is another couple I like more yet (but I'm hoping Ariel and Eric will become really interesting!)

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  4. I thought the first season just worked perfectly and was so well done. I did enjoy the srcond series but not as much as the first. I'm looking forward to seeing the Little Mermaid in season three though. She was always my favourite!

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    1. Yes, the rest of the seasons hasn't quite captured what they had in the first, but I was thrilled when I heard Ariel would be this season and although her introduction was okay, I'm really hoping they will do more interesting things with her! She's my favorite too! :)

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