Ginnifer Goodwin – Snow White/Mary Margaret
Jennifer Morrison – Emma Swan
Josh Dallas – Prince Charming/John Doe
Lana Parrilla – Evil Queen/Mayor Mills
Jared Gilmore – Henry Mills
Robert Carlyle – Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold
This show is perhaps the most anticipated pilot of the season. Created by the same guys who did “Lost”, “Once Upon a Time” is a dual-timeline show where the characters of Fairy Tales are forced into the present world of Storybrooke, Maine. Each character – Snow White, Prince Charming, even the Evil Queen, have been thrust into a life in Maine where they cannot remember who they are and their happy endings have been taken from them. Except of course the Queen, who is now the Mayor and cast the curse in the first place. Snow White’s daughter, Emma Swan, escapes the curse and is the only one who can save them from their sad lives in Maine. Aided by her birth son Henry (who was adopted by Mayor Mills), Emma must help to save the fairy tale characters and give them back their happy endings.
The pilot episode has been touted for weeks. Several critics got to watch it earlier and loved it, and I’ve been waiting to watch it. Luckily for me, IMDb had the pilot available to watch a few days early. I finally got the opportunity to sit down and watch it last night (I needed to lie down after a day of paintball), and I really liked it. I didn’t love it like I was expecting to, but I think after a few weeks I’ll have a weekly addiction.
Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas were a little cheesy in Fairy Tale Land, but the tone of that world improved as the pilot progressed and the problems became real. Maybe Happy Endings are just a bit too much cheese to start out with. Goodwin was good as young Henry’s innocent teacher, and her very different character in Storybrooke was a great exhibition of Goodwin’s range as an actress. Mary Margaret is afraid of the Mayor, without question, where Snow was nearly fearless. I also rather liked Jennifer Morrison’s Emma, who tries too hard to push her son away but cannot help being pulled in by him. Morrison (best known for her role on “House”) is a reluctant savior, but her reluctance makes you like her. She is a woman of the world, not one who runs to danger, but you can tell she will take it on when she needs to.
For part of the pilot, I was playing “find the accent flub” with actors Carlyle (Scottish) and Jamie Dornan (Northern Irish). I’m not sure what accent Carlyle was trying to use for Rumpelstiltskin, but a wee bit of Scottish was poking through. To be fair to him, he does have a very thick accent if you’ve ever heard him just talk. Dornan’s was light, but I couldn’t tell if he was going for an American accent or not. If they want to use their accents, I’m more than fine with that. I just hope they figure out which one they’re going to go with.
I found “Once Upon a Time” charming and intriguing, and will definitely be back for more. I cannot wait for next week’s episode and to see where things are headed. It should be a fun ride, and I highly encourage any fan of tales to tune in.