My Problem With “Once Upon a Time”

So… I recently Netflixed this series. I caught up to the show just in time for the season finale. And I have a problem.


And I’ve had this problem from the start.


So, no, I’m not going to talk about that little teaser at the end and the character they’re introducing next season. Because, really, until I see exactly what they do with her, I give zero fucks.


And I’m not going to talk about how positively irritating all this shit about Snow White and Charming and they’re star-crossed yet true love thing is. WE GET IT. They love each other. It took them a long time to get to that point. Do we have to keep having flashbacks and time travel and just basically revisit storylines that already super old and this show is only a few seasons in?!

Or how about Regina’s character arc? Will she go back to being evil and petty and terrible because the bitch just can’t learn from her mistakes? Did she really just forget all of her progress towards finally becoming a decent human being and that whol true love breakthrough, all of which was driven by the love she has for her son?

And let’s not forget how she’s been welcomed back pretty unanimously into the waiting arms of the Good People, despite the fact that she killed dozens of people. Maybe hundreds. Same for Rumple and Hook.

True stories of the universe.

And then there’s that moment this past season where Snow White was allowed entrance into something or another where only the purest of hearts could entre… Um. Bitch killed Cora. She has a black smooshy bit in her heart. Did the writers just forget that bit or what?

Or maybe how, in this show, the biological mother of a child that she gave up can just walk back into that child’s life and up and take him back from the adoptive mother, without any kind of legal precedent or law enforcement getting involved.


Y’know what? That’s all fine. This is a show all about magic and true love and redemption and all of that jazz, so I suppose that I’ll have to allow all of that to fall within the limits of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” in order to enjoy the show.

But no.

What I can’t allow to pass is the fact that every character in this show, regardless of their being good or evil or neutral or new, fairytale creature or just random human being, nobody has questioned just who the fuck has been telling their stories.


See, in the beginning of the season finale, we see a teenaged Emma watching as a family adopts a little girl from the orphanage and drives off with her. Now, the moving moment here should be Emma watching the scene with a look totally devoid of hope. After all, teenagers in the adoption system are seldom chosen over smaller children. It’s a serious issue and one which plagues many at-risk youth. So, yes, sad. She just wants a home. Just like pretty much everyone does, deep down inside.

But what is that that the new parents of this little girl give her before they all get into the car to drive away as one big happy family?

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 9.26.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 9.26.23 PM



Mickey Mouse? Fucking Mickey Mouse?


So this world is meant to be our world. Storybrooke exists in a world where the Disney corporation does, as well. And the events of “Once Upon A Time,” even including flashbacks and stuff to the pre-curse Enchanted Forest, takes place over the span of only about 30 years.


And Disney has just celebrated its 90th anniversary last October. And “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was released in 1937. And the stories themselves were conceived of and committed to legend centuries prior.


So, how the fuck are these stories in our world before they occur in the Enchanted Forest?
How in the world — IN ANY WORLD — can you have a whole slew of people who are aware of the fact that their life stories are already out there and that the world KNOWS them, a few changes notwithstanding, and NONE of them have ever shown the slightest concern about it?!

 If my life story was already out there, if I found myself in a strange land and the people knew my history– and my FUTURE — I’d want to know who they were, how they knew, who was telling them, and how that person knew, and… Well, really, I’d want to know about how that whole situation could have possibly come to pass!

The fact that none of the characters have questioned this, particularly Emma (or even Neal or Henry or WhatsHisFace/Pinnochio or those people duped into working for Peter Pan), bothers the absolute hell right out of me. Emma knows that these stories exist in the world she was raised in. She has referenced the movies and the cartoons. But she’s never been the least bit curious? Not even once?

How could anyone let something like that slip and never look into it?

Personally, I think that either the writer’s never thought of it, they’re being lazy, or they’re hoping no one will be enough of a nerd to actually ever bring it up, since it would be a very difficult premise to address let alone to run with.

Clearly, they don’t know Fangirls very well…

But it bothers me. Any series you get into, any fandom that you find yourself actually enjoying, is probably one that you’ve thought of in the context of, “If I were in that situation, I’d ______,” or, “Oh, if only they hadn’t______.” So, yeah, probably the first thing I’d be concerned about after learning that magic was real and then saving the day would be wondering how the hell the rest of the world knows about everything, and also knows nothing because, to them, these obviously very much real, live people are just legends. Stuff. Nonsense. Stuff AND nonsense!

To quote Kelly Bundy, “It wobbles the mind.”

Ah, well. If nothing else, I’ll look forward to the days when “Once Upon A Time” features Magneto as the main villain for the season, and Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Jedi come to quaint little Storybrooke to do battle for all of mankind.




About pattyinreallife

I'm a graphic artist, writer, film-maker, and avid baker. I sing in the car and laugh at the worst/best moments. I am the coolest nerd you will ever meet. Try not to let your jealousy show too badly.

Posted on May 13, 2014, in Opinion, TV Shows, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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