Friday, January 4, 2013

Day Four - Once Upon A Time: Season 1, Episode 1, or "Fairy Tale Soap Opera"

One of my favorite fantasy series of all time has to be Bill Willingham's Eisner Award-Winning comic: Fables.

For a while, there was hope that Fables would be made into a television series, or at least a mini-series a la The 10th Kingdom. I think, when those talks fell through, what ABC did was take a very barebones treatment of Fabletown and created Once Upon a Time.

It happens often enough. Remember Deep Impact and Armageddon? Or, how about a recent example, like Sherlock and Elementary?

Perhaps it is completely unfair to attribute my lack of Fables on the small screen to Once Upon a Time. I shouldn't judge the series based on my disappointment at having a dearly beloved franchise not get past negotiations and jump mediums.

I mean, Once does have at least one thing going for it... House-alum, Jennifer Morrison. She is extremely cute and, more importantly, is a pretty damn good actress. I loved her command of expression when dueling wits with Hugh Laurie. To be honest, I was sad to see her leave that series, but her effectiveness as a foil had worn off and new blood was needed (a role that Olivia Wilde managed quite well, I might add).

In Once, I'm actually with her all the way. At least, I want to be. Her introduction via Online Dating Bounty Hunting was actually pretty cool... then the kid and the book were introduced.

Of course, the low budget fantasy melodrama that preceded that bit really didn't do it for me. I think that may be my problem with the series, right out of the gate. At least, with the 10th Kingdom, there was plenty of whimsy to offset how horribly cheap and cheesy the effects and art direction were. I know that there are budget constraints... but I thought we'd gotten past the Hercules/Xena levels of special effects in the 90's.

For me to suspend my disbelief, I need for this show to be much less serious than it is affecting to be... and I don't think that will be possible. Not with the line they seem to be intending to take, because it really is looking just to be a Prime Time Fairy-tale Soap.

And that ain't a good thing.

Still... Jennifer Morrison.

I'll probably give it a few more episodes... at least to see if their Big Bad Wolf is anywhere close to Bigby. I won't be holding my breath, though, as they all seem so tame and shallow.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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