Once Upon a Time is having its STRONGEST SEASON EVER and if you've given up on the series, it's time for a second chance!!!
Let's face it: Once has been spotty for A WHILE now. It's very on and off. Good episode, bad episode. Awesome moment, awful series of moments. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN UP ON THE SHOW. Maybe you have, too.
The series creators knew they were losing people, so last season, they took advantage of the cash cow that is the Frozen juggernaut and reaped the rewards...until the back half of the season launched with more weak episodes and that new audience began trickling away.
I am SO HAPPY that this season, Once went back to its roots.
Do you know what made me fall in love with Once?
...No, the answer surprisingly isn't Disney!
In fact, the show feels "too Disney" at times. I remember rolling my eyes in season one because, "Pongo, really?" ...Although that finally tied in last season....but last season was also too Disney, SO.
I fell in love with Once because of the new slant on fairy tales. My favorite moments of the episodes are always when they go into the "past" and re-enact fairy tales...and in delicious new ways, too. We lost a lot of that when the show got too Disney-fied.
AND THIS IS WHERE BIG HUGE SEASON FIVE SPOILERS COME INTO PLAY.
SO IF YOU NEED TO STOP READING HERE, I GET THAT.
...BUT IF YOU GAVE UP, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THIS PART AND TRY THE SHOW ONE MORE TIME!
This season goes back to everything I loved about this series. The unique mythology, the character development, the heart.
How cool is it that the Dark One's Dagger is A PART OF EXCALIBUR!? OMG, when I saw that, I DIED. How amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! Huge perk of the season, and I love how that's become a story arc.
And the King Arthur story!!! Oh my goodness. I'm so glad they're pulling from the original tales and not just Disney's A Sword in the Stone. And how integral the story is for the series. And how they refer back to past seasons because LANCELOT. And how they are taking the forbidden romance between Guinevere and Lancelot and framing it into something new and dangerous. AND THAT POWDER. Oh my goodness, this week's episode was heartbreaking, but visually, it looked SO GOOD. That CGI over the kingdom, WOW. I was on the edge of my seat the whole episode.
....PLUS, I kind of really loved how the whole episode had two different "past" flashbacks interweaving with one another and almost nothing to do with Storybrooke. Be still my heart.
AND LET'S TALK ABOUT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
Early on, Rumplestiltskin was my favorite character. He's so deliciously evil, especially in the past, and Robert Carlyle plays him so very, very well. Now, there's a new Dark One. It's a lot of fun watching Emma be all Dark and stuff, but I also want her to get back to her normal self. But her new style is awesome--that hair! And she has a new edginess that sharpens her personality. I also like her struggle between good and evil, and after this past week, we're starting to see just WHY she's so pissed off. At first, I was SO ANNOYED when the new season played the amnesia card YET AGAIN, because seriously!? It's getting sooooooo annoying. But that card is starting to pay off and add to the suspense of WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED IN THE PAST, so there is that!
I've also loved Regina's development over time. She's evil, but she also has a good heart. She's just gone through so much and it's twisted her. Watching her try to be good has been a fantastic part of the series. I'm eager to see where that journey takes her this season.
Likewise, Hook!!! Besides the fact that we could probably watch a 90 minute silent film starring Colin O'Donoghue as Hook and still be enthralled... *ahem* He's also become a nuanced character. This season, we see just how much he's changed. For all his swagger, he truly loves Emma. He wants to be with her for the right reasons. He wants her to be herself. He doesn't want her to be Dark because she isn't her. The old Hook wouldn't have cared about her personality. *swoon*
And.....for all that I gripped about how so many Disney elements have weakened the show (And don't get me wrong, there are also awesome elements! I love little nods like the mouse that was probably supposed to be Mickey in the Sorcerer's hut last season, etc!), I think one of the strongest elements so far is the inclusion of Merida. I LOVED seeing her in the season premiere, and I wished she'd come back. Although I do miss her movie accent....
For all that last season's direct sequel to Frozen got annoying and to be too much, Merida's addition feels different. Maybe because every episode isn't Brave. Maybe because her story is set far in the future and not a sequel, but pulling from the original the way they pull originally from fairy tales and myths such as King Arthur's tales. I love that Merida is all grown up. She's Queen. Her brothers have been kidnapped and she is OUT FOR REVENGE. And she is AMAZING!!!! I wanted her to come back so much, and when I saw her at the end of this past week's episode, I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!! And I think she's going to tie in to the King Arthur line, too, since she's angry at a King....
But I'm also interested to see what they do with her in Storybrooke.
...I'm just worried that it might be the last season because where can you GO if you destroy The Dark One and The Savior wins? That's a big title and it's a POWERFUL one, too!!!
THIS SEASON IS JUST SO GOOD ALREADY.
AND WE'VE ONLY SEEN FOUR EPISODES!!!!
THE SERIES IS STRONG AGAIN AND HAS RENEWED MY LOVE FOR IT.
Have you been watching?
Do you think you'll start again now that the show has stepped up its game?