1. After reading this article I was grinning the whole way THROUGH. The piece is biased indeed, but based on things my wife has told me about the show, also quite cathartic.

    My wife tried to be a “Oncer” (is that what they’re called?) but couldn’t. It turns out that even “Arrow” (with the possible exception of season 3) has had better success moving away from the cyclical drama and is actually seeing its characters grow and develop into better people. However, based on my wife’s frustrations with the failures of “Once Upon A Time,” I was able to take the plunge and persuade my wife to watch “Justice League” (DCAU) on Netflix with me, because I promised a cartoon had better character development. She did, and she now agrees. So “Once” did at least some good!

    • I see very clearly the appeal and the flaws of this show. What really tips the balance for me is how things, introduced with great fanfare, are always coming to nothing. Merlin is one example (not the most important one). Before we saw him, and especially in the fourth season, he had an aura of a mysterious, powerful figure, playing a role like Providence – secret but benevolent. And then, when they brought him in, it all collapsed.

      I was disappointed. That’s why I had to include him in my summary.

  2. Eli C. says:

    “So the HEROIC SACRIFICE accomplishes NOTHING, but it was a good thought. Sort of like Rumpelstiltskin’s character development.”

    This basically summarizes my frustrations with this show. They aren’t brave enough to follow through on half of their developments because it might not be *gasp* what the viewers wanted to see.

    I sincerely wish they’d left Rumple dead in Season 3, let the darkness die this season, and a half dozen other things I’ll never see. If nothing else, this show inspires me to get things right and not reverse a bunch of things in the story just so we can keep all of our main cast on screen.

    • Rumple is my favorite character, so personally, I don’t mind bringing him back – especially because it wasn’t cheap: a life for a life (a character for a character). Also because he is my favorite character, I am very irritated by this endless circle they spin him in. Villain, hero, villain, hero, villain …

      But I agree with your general point. Instead of going boldly forward, they reverse and go back to the beginning.

      • Eli C. says:

        I love Rumple, too. But it’s that constant need to reset him that bothers me. It seems like Regina’s the only one who’s really allowed to grow.

  3. lol – I’m sorry. I am. Though I think it’s funny how many fans are getting fed up with Once when I dropped it halfway through the 2nd season for the same reasons. I guess some people hold out hope longer than others! 😉

    • I’ve never seen the first two seasons. I began in season 4, went back to season 3, and continued with season 5 … but never the first two. I was warned.

      In fairness to holding out hope, it’s not unusual for good shows to have a clunky first season. But if you don’t make it by, or in, season 3 …

  4. Lady Arin says:

    Yeah, i gave up on OUAT in the latter half of season 2. I was sick to death of Regina whining and behaving badly, and still getting treated like somehow her evil actions were all somebody else’s fault.

    Season 1 and early season 2 had promise, but never lived up to their potential. For every episode that did something well, there was one that was meh at best, and probably one that wasn’t that great.

  5. Hahahahahaha. This is great. 😀 I gave up after a couple seasons of OUAT. It all felt contrived and the cleverness the show once had turned into “let’s throw every element we can in here, yay!” I’m glad my decision to ditch the show seems validated by pretty much everyone else too.

  6. Shannon Stewart says:

    I have never seen the show, but where do I sign up to read more reviews of this caliber?!

    • Just above the comments section you should see the box labeled Join our mission to explore fantastical stories for God’s glory, which includes the email subscription form and links to our social-network portals.

  7. Pam Halter says:

    OUAT used to be my favorite show because I enjoyed the inter-twining of the fairytales. And even though there’s a ton of backstory, it was bearable, because for me, it revealed cool stuff. THEN … they went to Never Never Land. I bore through that, hoping for a good return to the story. However, when they went Frozen, I stopped watching. SO obvious Disney and not fairytale at all. UGH.

    Shannon, my favorite character was Rumple, too. Robert Carlyle is a fabulous actor. He made the whole show!

    Why is it that these types of shows can start off so strong, but they can’t maintain? Heroes did the same thing. 🙁

    • I really admire Robert Carlyle’s acting. He made the very complicated character of Rumpelstiltskin so real and magnetic. I do regard Robert Carlyle/Rumpelstiltskin as the best part of the show. It’s fascinating to me that of all the villains looking for a happy ending, he’s the only one who knows he doesn’t deserve one.

What do you think?