“Once Upon a Time” was one of my favorite new shows of the fall of 2011. Fairytales are a fertile ground from which to mine stories and I loved the way “OUAT” combined characters from different tales in what the creators termed “mash-ups.”
Furthermore, I found myself so glad to see a show on TV that a family could enjoy together. So many shows nowadays are either for children or for adults — very few are for both. Sure, adults can watch children’s shows, but they aren’t exactly drama-filled fare. And certainly children should not be enjoying “Mad Men” or “Homeland” with their parents.
Along came “OUAT,” which offered exciting drama and compelling characters that was also completely family-friendly TV. It was a big hit in my house.
However, I was a bit worried when the first season ended with the curse being broken. A big storyline like that being resolved in the first season is an excellent payoff for viewers. But it potentially leaves a huge hole in Season 2. Where does the show go from there?
Luckily, “OUAT” has not suffered from a sophomore slump for me. The curse was broken, but immediately Emma and Snow were sent back to Fairytale Land, thereby providing new characters and a new timeline to interweave with Storybrooke and the Fairytale Land flashbacks.
To “OUAT’s” credit, the three alternating stories have not become confusing, which was a problem I thought the show might suffer from. However, the writers have done an excellent job in keeping everything straight and easy to understand.
The second season has also seen the introduction of new characters — Captain Hook, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, the Giant — without the show feeling overcrowded. It reminds us of “Lost” in that way. The Losties and the Others made for a huge cast on that show, but somehow it never felt overwhelming and “OUAT” hasn’t either.
Finally, the stories have remained compelling on “OUAT.” The curse being broken has opened up a whole new world of memories and outsiders. A stranger just landed himself in Storybrooke and I cannot wait to see how that plays out. Furthermore, I can’t wait to see if Emma’s ex, Neal Cassady, who we now know is Henry’s father, turns out to be Mr. Gold’s long-lost son Bae.
“Once Upon a Time” has been on a mini-hiatus, but returns Sunday night and is new for the next several weeks. I can’t wait.
Do you agree that “OUAT” is just as strong in its second season?