Once Upon A Time - Review & Synopsis!

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances... - Shakespeare

Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama television series that premiered on Sunday October 23, 2011, on ABC. - Wikipedia

What show could be more entertaining than this new popular show with characters named Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Prince Charming, The Evil Queen, etc.

Perhaps part of the popularity lies in the fact that its basis is a Biblical one of epic proportions with Good vs. Evil.


"And they lived happily ever after."

This is what we learn from our fairy tales, and we learn it at our peril. As we grow, we see its folly: We do not seem to live happily ever after. We pay bills and go to the dentist. We worry about our kids and labor at our jobs. We struggle. We suffer. We die. This is no fairy tale, this life of ours, no Eden.

Life in Storybrooke, Maine, is much like life anywhere else. It's pocked with pain and ambiguity, scarred by fallen natures and failed fairy tales. Its residents push through, day by day, making their lives what they can. Wealthy Mr. Gold collects his rent from his put-upon tenants. Psychiatrist Archie Hopper tends to his patients. Mary Margaret Blanchard teaches. And Henry …

Well, Henry, the 10-year-old adopted son of Storybrooke's less-than-sympathetic mayor, Regina, sees something different. He's been reading a special book—titled One Upon a Time—and in its pages he's learned that the citizens of Storybrooke aren't quite what they seem. Turns out, they're fairy tale characters trapped in a curse and stricken with amnesia: Archie's secretly Jiminy Cricket. Mr. Gold's Rumpelstiltskin. And Mary Margaret's Snow White.

What about Regina? She's the wicked witch.

But Henry, armed with the book, knows how to break the curse: He must track down his birth mother, Emma Swan, and bring her back. You see, she's a fairy tale character too—daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, sent away before the curse hit. And according to Henry's book, she has the power to break the curse and set the stage for a climactic battle between good and evil.

Once Upon a Time feels fairly trite at first glance. Outside Emma and Henry, in the early going the characters feel about as fleshed out as those from, well, an old-fashioned bedtime story. But as Mary Margaret tells us in the pilot, bedtime stories become "a way for us to deal with our world." And as such, the show itself has the potential to allude to greater truths and become a springboard to deeper themes.

Consider how Emma escaped the curse: As a baby, she was placed in what's characterized as a "wardrobe" (a nod to The Chronicles of Narnia?) where she's transported to our world, apparently biding her time until she's ready to return and save her people. It's a scene rich in archetype, both pagan (Perseus, sent away from his rightful kingdom in a chest) and Christian (Moses, placed in a basket and set on the Nile). Accidental? Perhaps. But given the themes co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz explored on their last show—ABC's mind-bending Lost—I suspect that this new program has ambition to tell us more than just … fairy tales.

Once Upon a Time has its faults. Characters here fight, bleed and die. Some of them swear. For parents who've adopted children of their own, the triangular relationship between Regina, Emma and Henry can feel uncomfortable. And for folks who're troubled with the depiction of magic—well, needless to say, this show is soaked in it.

But it also sets up strong distinctions between good and evil. It gives us characters who seem to care about one other. It even gives us the occasional bedtime moral. And, most importantly, through its fairy tale proxies (if we look really, really closely), the series communicates a very important truth: We're all more than we seem. We can be better than we are. In the midst of our pain and suffering and workaday lives, there's an actual fairy tale to be found—not a fictional construct, but the understanding that our lives are wondrous, miraculous and highly improbable gifts.

It tells us that there are happy endings. And, as Christians, we know that to be true. (PluggedIn.Com)


May I also suggest some possible parallels between the characters. Would you consider a small boy named Henry with a Book pertaining to the Christ Child who used the Book - the Bible - to change our real world? Would you consider Rumpelstiltskin & The Wicked Queen (similar to the evil Narnian Queen) as close representations of Lucifer/Satan - the true embodiment of evil. Would Emma not also represent a type of Christ who alone according to Henry's book is able to save the folks of Storybrooke. After all, many theologians tell us that some Old Testament Heroes are a type of Christ i.e. Elisha & Joshua for example & do not forget that when Christ returns soon that He will rule on the Throne of His Father David for a Millennium in Jerusalem. That's what all the fuss is about there in the Middle East now...

The characters in Storybrooke for the most part have no idea what is really happening in their world without the help of Henry and his book. In our world the characters of our planet have no idea what is going on in their world either without an understanding of the Christ Child's Book: The Bible & the help of the Holy Spirit - the Third Person of the Holy Trinity - as interpreter!

Mark Twain said in the beginning of Huckleberry Finn: Persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot...

Like many of the good folks in Storybrooke, I may be in trouble!

1 comment:

Professor Howdy said...

"The New Testament is the very best Book that ever or ever will be
known in the world." - Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of
confirming more and more strongly the truths contained in the
Sacred Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in
any profane history." - Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing, let the natural sciences
progress in even greater extent and depth, and the human
mind widen itself as much as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as it shines forth in the Gospels,
it will not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's great men in my time,
and of these eight-seven were followers of the Bible. The Bible
is stamped with a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable
distance separates it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that I have written is simply
due to the fact that when I was a child my mother daily read me
a part of the Bible and daily made me learn a part of it by heart."
- John Ruskin (art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and oppressed.
The human race is not in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever
growing influence of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America was born
to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness,
which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scriptures.
Part of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily perusal
of this great book of revelations. That if they would see
America free and pure they will make their own spirits
free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus are the ultimate
expressions of love, and the supreme demonstrations of
God's mercy, faithfulness, and redemption. Since Christ's
miraculous Resurrection on Easter, more than 2,000 years
ago, Christians have expressed joy and gratitude for this
wondrous sacrifice and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the brokenhearted, and salvation.
--President George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this
great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians;
not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum,
prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
-- Attributed to Patrick Henry (original member of the Continental Congress)