For the jaded, the entertainment business is a money-making endeavor. The modern trend is to recycle: make popular books into movies; make comic books into summer blockbusters; and finally, convert our favorite fairy tales into that next blockbuster (did you hear about the competing Snow White movies?). For the young-at-heart (and possibly naive), the entertainment industry is about joy, fantasy, and escapism. And now, ABC has provided a show that satisfies both that money-making Scrooge and that idealistic Samwise Gamgee : Once Upon a Time.
The show has an interesting premise. All our favorite fairy tale characters are trapped in time in a city called Storybooke, Maine (where there are no happy endings), except they don't know it. Our hero(ine), Emma (Jennifer Morrison of HOUSE), is the a cynical bounty hunter prophesied (by Rumpelstiltskin!) to save the day. Only, she doesn't believe it, nor does anyone else. Only the son she gave up for adoption long ago knows the truth about the inhabitants of Storybrooke, well, except the Evil Queen, aka the Mayor. The relationships are convoluted on paper, but play out well on screen.
We meet Snow White (Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin), Geppeto, Rumpelstiltskin and Jiminy Cricket in flashbacks that explain how the curse came to be. On the flip side, we meet the characters' Storybrooke counterparts as the story is told in the present. Not only is the show ripe with character development and plot, but the cinematography/CG is fantastic, popping in HD. This show was touted as one of the best of the new fall season and it's definitely living up to the hype (for now). A breath of fresh air, different from the glut of reality shows and procedurals, Once Upon a Time is a perfect blend of fantasy and reality. Do yourself a favor and check it out on Sunday nights at 8/7 c on ABC.