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Once Upon a Time 1x01: Pilot

Posted on the 30 October 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

Once Upon a Time 1x01: Pilot

Original Air Date: 23 October 2011

Storyline: Bail bondsman Emma Swan is confronted by Henry, the child that she gave up for closed adoption 10 years ago. Henry believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming's missing daughter and her destiny is to fight in a final battle meant to break a curse that sent all fairy tale characters into our world. Not believing a word of Henry's story, Emma brings him back to Storybrooke, but finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town.Best Quote:

Emma: All right, I'll play. Who's he supposed to be?
Henry: Jiminy Cricket.
Emma: Right, the lying thing. Thought your nose grew a little bit.
Henry: I'm not Pinocchio.
Emma: Course you're not. Because that would be ridiculous.

Review: I don't remember being this excited to see fall's new shows ever before. This year there are a lot of good new series and Once Upon a Time, one of the last ones to premiere, is absolutely enchanting. And I'm not saying that just because it's based on the fairy tales that we all grew up with.

I was bound to tune in and watch it - after all, I am a fantasy buff all the way. Even now, when I'm closer to having a child of my own than actually being one, I love to read the tales that made my childhood such a fantastic period of my life. 
The premise? The Evil Queen, having lost her throne in favor of Show White and Prince Charming, swears vengeance on the fairy tale land and throws a curse that sends every character into our world - but they have no memory of their past lives and are trapped in a New England town where time stands still. The only one who escapes the curse is Emma - Snow White and Prince Charming's newborn daughter -, whose destiny is to find her parents on her 28th birthday and fight in the final battle, that will restore the balance. 
As for Emma, she's a bail bondsman who thinks her parents have abandoned her on the side of a road when she was a baby. She had a child of her own - Henry -, whom she gave away for adoption and is now the son of Regina Mills (the Evil Queen), mayor of Storybrooke.
So far, so good. The pilot sets the scene and the characters perfectly and, even from the first scene, it brings enough magic to keep me hooked. I love the way the camera switches from the enchanted forest to the real world (and it certainly reminds me of Enchanted!) to tell the story of Emma and her parents. I always have doubts when it comes to recreating a fantasy land on TV - especially when it's not cable channels, which usually have more resources - but ABC have outdone themselves with the filming locations and the cinematography for the fairy tale land scenes; they are beautifully shot and everything, from the decor to the outfits, are perfectly done.
One of the most important element of any movie or TV show is the casting, and let me tell you, Once Upon a Time does not disappoint. With Jennifer Morrison, I've gone from loving her in House to really hating her in How I Met Your Mother, where she didn't quite fit in, but here she is great so far as the self-sufficient, but lonely Emma Swan. Ginnifer Goodwin is the perfect choice to portray Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard; she has the much needed combination of strength and innocence necessary to make both her roles believable. Lana Parilla works well as the Evil Queen, but not so much so far as Mayor Regina Mills, as she comes off too dramatic for the real life character. Josh Dallas makes a fine Prince Charming, and I absolutely love Raphael Sbarge (Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper), Tony Amendola (Geppetto/Marco) and the amazing Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold. But the scene stealer, so far, has been Jared Gilmore, whom I've seen most recently in HawthoRNe and who manages to be lovable, funny and quick with the wit. 
I can honestly say I'm hooked - as I predicted I would have been from the moment I saw the trailer. My only concern - even more here than with Grimm - is if the theme is actually suitable for a long-running TV show. But I have high hopes - after all, this was probably the best pilot of this fall.Back to Season 1

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