1. Goodness, this is EXACTLY how I felt about OUAT!  The soapy drama and shallow philosophy is why I stopped watching the show eventually – and because it got increasingly convoluted and less clever.  I liked it better when it was a sharper and more streamlined twist on the classic fairy tales.

  2. I think you’re being generous: OUAT is a soap opera, no tendencies about it. I binged a few on Netflix after the first season came out to see what everyone was raving about, and couldn’t get through much farther than episode six or seven. I found the main heroine got dumber and dumber as time went on, and suffered the OS Kirk syndrome of “Character makes stupid choices and yet is continually lauded as savior even when not.” Also everyone’s tragic backstory was due to lost love. Every single time.

    But as you point out, the one saving grace the show had was Rumple. I stuck with it as long as I did just for him, but even his greatness wasn’t enough to save it for me. If you’re not on this train already I’d say don’t even try to get on. Just go watch Agent Carter instead.

  3. Tim Frankovich says:

    Our family made it through the first season and then a few episodes into the second. Then we gave it up.

    “Hi, I’m Regina. Everyone calls me the Evil Queen, because I’m Evil. Except now I’m not. I’m Good now and everyone loves me. Oh, wait. No, I’m not. Now I’m Evil and everyone hates me. No, no, wait… I met a guy. So now I’m Good again. Until something happens to that guy. So now I’m Evil.” And so on and so on and so on.

    That’s in addition to all the other problems already listed by the blog and comments above…

  4. He was less cartoonish as a cartoon.

    My wife had struggled through “Once Upon A Time” and frequently shared this very response to the whole series. Literally, this is what made me brave enough to suggest we enjoy some actual cartoons together, namely the “Justice League” series. Quickly my wife concluded that the animated superheroes in this installment of the DC Animated Universe behaved with more maturity and realism than the live-action folks in “Once Upon A Time.”

  5. Sparksofember says:

    I think I’m noticing a trend. 😉 I, too, dropped the show halfway through the 2nd season. It has great potential but I got sick of the wallowing in ridiculous drama and nonsensical progress of the show. I also loved Rumple but he got progressively darker as the 2nd season progressed until I couldn’t bear to watch anymore. I don’t know if that trend continued later or if they pulled back a bit from where they were going there.

  6. LadyArin says:

    I watched all of the first season and most of season two. While i consistently felt it failed to live up to its potential, it had some truly great moments, like the scenes with Emma and her parents in the early parts of season two, the episode about Pinocchio’s back story, the Mad Hatter, and of course Rumplestiltskin.

    I don’t think it was the soapiness that got to me so much as the attitude toward Regina, shared by the writers and too many of the fans. I can’t think of the last time i’ve seen anyone who had done such things be coddled that much. It’s the reason i quit watching.

    Honestly, while the concept had a lot of potential i’m not sure a TV series like this was the best way to go about it. Inevitably good characters get dropped or set aside because the actors are busy with other things or the writers have to focus on the main characters. I’d almost suggest a book series, but that might have some of the same problems. Though maybe not if they left out characters like, say, Dr. Frankenstein and Peter Pan.

    In general, i would recommend watching the first season and at least the first half of season two, and then writing the rest of it yourself. It doesn’t sound like it’s gotten any better since i stopped watching.

    • Julie D says:

      Ditto LadyArin.  Might I suggest Fables, a Vertigo graphic novel series, instead? In fact, I’ve heard rumors that OUAT was originally going to be Fables but they couldn’t get the rights–which is is a shame. Or maybe not, considering how bad OUAT got.

  7. Pam Halter says:

    I have watched every episode from the beginning. This is a show that, if you’re going to stay with it,  you can’t miss an episode. There’s too much back story and too much building episode on episode. If you’ve missed any episodes, you’ll definitely be confused.

    Sure, there are soap opera moments – I really hated the Frozen storyline – but I agree with everyone that Rumple is, hands down, the best character of the series. That is only because the actor is so good.

    What I like about the series is how they interweave the different fairytales, and they do it quite creatively. I do not like Emma Swan much, and really, Henry gets on my nerves. But I love Rumple and Hook, and I watch to see how things will turn out. But it seems to me that the writers are running out of options, hence the Frozen thing. Still, Rumple in the real world? Yeah, I’ll keep watching just to see what he does. There are a lot worse shows out there – yes, a lot better – but I’ve invested several seasons, so I’ll keep going for now.


  8. Lela Markham says:

    I love OUAT, but I watch it on Netflix, so I don’t have to deal with missing episodes and I can walk away when the inconsistencies get to me. This is a story that, somewhat like Lost and the Walking Dead, lets villains have heroic moments and heroes show their darker sides. I love that in writing. But, yes, it is heavily infested with post-modern philosophy and has its soap opera moments. And, those frustrate me, which is when I hit pause and watch something else — or write something else.

What do you think?