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.

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...


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