So really, it's amusingly appropriate that ABC and NBC are both premiering "Fairy Tales in the Modern World" TV dramas in the same week, that both dramas practically force pop culture-aware critics and viewers to compare them to Bill Willingham's comic series "Fables," and yet neither drama has any literal connection to "Fables" at all (or even a non-literal connection, since the "What if fairy tales were real?" hypothetical isn't a copyrightable premise). Read More...
TV Review: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Like many pieces of oral tradition, fairy tales are built heavily upon both structure and repetition.
Stories begin with "Once upon a time" or "In the beginning." They end with "And they all lived happily ever after" or a moral of some sort. In between, they trade upon familiar character types -- Wicked queens, charming princes, trolls and dwarves, seemingly unbreakable curses and true love everlasting.
Similar versions of the same fairy tales pop up across dozens of cultures without a clear common source binding them all together.