It’s so hard to find time to watch all the great television programs out there, and I know that I am missing out on a lot.
“Once Upon a Time,” which was just renewed for a second season, almost became one of the victims of shows I never got around to watching. I stuck it out for the first handful of episodes, but then I kind of drifted off to other things, and allowed episode after episode to start collecting dust on my DVR.
But unlike “Awake” and “The River,” I kept them on my DVR, and as if by magic, I seemed unable to delete them, knowing that I might, just might, want to give the show a chance.
Before its premiere, I was very excited about “Once” because it had an all-star cast and crew. Ginnifer Goodwin from “Big Love.” Jennifer Morrison from “House” and “Star Trek.” Robert Carlyle from “Stargate: Universe.” Josh Dallas from “Thor.”
And that was just the actors. Don’t forget that it also involved the creative talents of Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis from “Lost,” and some amazing genre writers, including Jane Espenson, Andrew Chambliss and David H. Goodman among others.
Yet, some of the first scenes just put a bad taste in my mouth. Knowing that ABC is owned by Disney, I had a small fear in the back of my head that the fairy tales we would see would be Disney-fied, and to be honest, I was not particularly interested in watching that. Especially since some other “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” alums had put together “Grimm” for NBC.
And here we were, scenes of the fairy tale wedding between Prince Charming and Snow White. Great if you’re a 6-year-old girl, but vomit-inducing if you’re a 35-year-old man.
But that’s where maybe I should have remembered all the people who were involved in this. And a couple weeks ago, after reading about how much one of my favorite comediennes, Carol Burnett, enjoyed “Once Upon a Time,” I thought, “What the hell, nothing to lose if I watch a few more episodes.”
You know what? I’m glad I did. Completely glad. I just got caught up Thursday night, just hours after ABC announced a second season renewal, and I am stoked for the season finale. Stoked.
This isn’t some excuse to throw fairy tales out at us, and make us suffer through stories that seem far more entertaining before puberty. In fact, it turns those fairy tales on their head. It creates an interlacing story, both in the real world of Storybrooke, and in the fairy tale realm, that just captivates you.
I knew I was completely sold when Snow White, played by Goodwin, was cleaning the Seven Dwarfs’ house, and she started singing to a blue bird. I remember thinking, “No, no, no!” But I didn’t have to think it for long. Snow White welcomed the blue bird to her hand, and set it on a table, and then just missed it with a swing of the broom — her effort to get all the vermin out of the house.
That was my “Once” a-ha moment, and there was no stopping there.
I love this story. I love the characters that are involved, and the people who are playing them. This is not just a solid show for ABC when it comes to audience … for me, it’s a solid show when it comes to story and something different on the air.
ABC put this on Sundays … it shouldn’t have even made it to Christmas there. But it did, and it’s now a Sunday hit for ABC.
I’m excited for Sunday, because we can see how this season ends. But it’s bittersweet, because I know once that hour is done, we won’t get any more tales from our favorite fairyland until fall. And that’s going to be a long wait.
Can I borrow one of those apples to help me through?