I have been a champion of ABC’s modern spin on fairy tales of Olde. But as the series progresses, I have become slightly disillusioned and have many questions. Sure, I’m still balls deep into the exploits of Snow White and her Prince, but their modern world alterna-characters have a lot of ‘splaining to do. Let’s back up a step. As part of a curse, all the happy characters of fairy tale are banished to the cruel prison of modern America. They have shared amnesia but when the human raised daughter of Snow comes to town, old memories of fairy life begin to resurface.
According to Snow’s grandson Henry, who is the show’s exposition deliverer and sole believer in the curse, no one can come and go from Storybrooke (the small Maine town wherein the talers are exiled). However, the inhabitants appear to understand how the world around them works. They seem to read books and maybe even watch TV. So I don’t quite understand how no one is questioning this relegation and the stuck in time non-aging circumstances shared by all. Snow is now the same age as her late-twenties daughter. Which means that in addition to amnesia, these people don’t evolve. Do the children just repeat the same grade endlessly? If so, how did Henry age from adopted baby to his precocious current state of 11? Do the Storybrooke people realize they are in an unmoving stasis? Dammit I need to understand this universe.
My other grievance is the strange concoction of storied members of this clan. Mixing the Grimm contingency with mythological figures amongst others creates an inconsistent collection of figures. Stick with the Disney varietals before you expand to other canons.
That said, I still find this soapy confection a pure delight. I want Snow to remember her past and reunite with the Prince. And I want the Evil Queen to be taken down a peg, but not before her tragic past is revealed. If you’re looking for an unusual treat, and can accept that much is undisclosed, give this a whirl. There is plenty of intrigue evolving as necessary. The last incarnation gave a taste of Snow’s dwarf pals and it was beautiful. The slowly emerging tale of Rumpelstiltskin’s transformation to manipulative blight is also full of magical regrets. And in the fairy flashbacks, everyone wears pretty clothes.