‘Once Upon A Time: Pilot’ Review

Well that was really cool wasn’t it? Pilots are really hard to pull off but we had an exciting hour of television here full of rich characters and plot lines that could make Once Upon A Time the best new show on TV.

It appropriately started with a brief set up that began with “once upon a time…”. From there the tone was set for a fun and slightly darker take on some classic fairy tales from our childhood. First we got Snow White, dead in her glass coffin. As we all know, Prince Charming comes to save her with a kiss and they get married. But then things went to unfamiliar territory when the Evil Queen interrupted the wedding declaring she would end all happiness. Yes, it’s all a little corny and hokey but in a show with dwarves and talking animals it feels natural.

Then we are brought to our world where Emma Swan, played confidently and sharply by Jennifer Morrison, is found by her son who she gave up for adoption ten years ago. The pacing is excellent as this is not an exposition heavy pilot, major events that will effect the show actually occur.

Eventually we start seeing characters in the fairy tale world in the real world. The Evil Queen managed to bring everyone from her world into ours, a world that she sees her own happy ending in. These transitions are cool as the familiar faces show up in the real world and we see what a real life Snow White and other classic characters would be doing in our world.

The acting was pretty good for the most part. Jennifer Morrison is a compelling lead and I am excited to see what will be done with her in the future. Jared Gilmore, who plays Emma’s son Henry is a very good child actor and seems to be the only person, besides the Evil Queen, who has an idea of the other world. Lana Parrilla plays the Evil Queen with a devilish look in her eye. She is a great villain, in both worlds.

One of the only issues I had was that the show can be a bit over-dramatic. For a pilot to show us this much emotion is risky because we are going on very little material to connect with. Some moments worked better than others. One particularly flat moment was Snow White discovering her injured husband. However, this complaint will likely go away if the show does a good job at continuing to suck me in.

Once Upon A Time is a nice surprise as pilot season is drawing to a close. There was a lot of exciting stuff in this first hour and with the plot laid out in this episode I eagerly anticipate next week’s. (8/10)

photo credit: http://www.poptower.com/once-upon-a-time-abc-tv-show.htm

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~ by mattsmoviethoughts on October 24, 2011.

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