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ABC Has a Fairy Tale Winner in 'Time'
October 20, 2011  | By Alan Pergament
 
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stilltalkintv.com

Once upon a time, ABC used to carry a Sunday night series called The Wonderful World of Disney that enabled the whole family to sit together and watch a sweet family-oriented program.

That magical time is back.

At 8 p.m. ET Sunday, ABC premieres an imaginative, creative and beautifully-produced series, Once Upon a Time.

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It is about a lonely 10-year-old adopted boy, Henry (Jared Gilmore), who lives in a town called Storybrooke and believes all the characters and stories in a fairy tale book that he has been given by an English teacher are real and live in New England with him.

It stars Ginnifer Goodwin of HBO's Big Love, Jennifer Morrison of House, Robert Carlyle of The Full Monty and Lana Parrilla of Boomtown. They all have dual roles, playing characters that live in Henry's world now and the fairy tale world he believes they came from.

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In Sunday's opener, Snow White, Prince Charming, the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket and Rumpelstiltskin are brought to life as the story moves back and forth from Henry's real and imagined worlds. In Henry's view, the fairy tale characters don't realize they were frozen in time and are now living in the modern world.

Henry seeks out the mother who gave birth to him and put him up for adoption, Emma Swan (Morrison), on her 28th birthday, and brings the bail bondsperson to Storybrooke to meet the "evil" foster mother, Regina (Parrilla), who is raising him.

Regina also is the mayor of Storybrooke, and she doesn't take kindly to Emma showing up when she returns Henry home. She also doesn't realize that the English teacher (Goodwin) gave Henry the fairy tale book to give him hope "and belief in the possibility of a happy ending."

Once Upon is beautifully produced and told, but may have worked better as a movie. The cast makes the fantastic seem believable, and Morrison gets extra praise for playing a tough character that is opposite her former House role.

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Some cynics and realists might question the way the hour goes back and forth from fairy tale time to the modern world. But if a viewer just accepts the premise and goes along for the magical ride, created by writers whose credits include Lost and Tron: Legacy, there is a good chance of leaving enchanted.

And how often can one say that about television these days?

But back to the real and modern world: Once airs opposite The Amazing Race, Sunday Night Football and The Simpsons. So there is no guarantee of a happy ending.

1 Comments

Larry McD said:

"Once upon a time, ABC used to carry a Sunday night series called The Wonderful World of Disney that enabled the whole family to sit together and watch a sweet family-oriented program."

This is a joke, right? "A sweet family-oriented program" where Prince Charming is slashed while carrying his threatened baby and then stabbed (all-but) to death. I'm deeply intrigued by the show and think I'm gonna be with it for a while but I wouldn't let any kid who hasn't made it to first grade watch this show.

Comment posted on October 28, 2011 12:39 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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