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"Once Upon a Time"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Once Upon a Time" More at IMDbPro »

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60 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

i'm in love

Author: Vanessa A from Canada
21 October 2011

Such an AWESOME pilot!

I really hope the story lines stay as interesting every week. While I do agree with some of the reviewers here about the fairy tale parts being a bit unbelievable, everything else was perfect. Even the fairy tale parts were acted well. Great cast with believable chemistry.

I've been waiting for a show like this. As kids, we all grow up with these stories, it feels great to see it come to life mingled with reality.

Definitely on my list every week from now. CANT wait for the rest of the season! WOOP!

:)

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32 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Less Than Mediocre

4/10
Author: bbb515 from United States
18 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I want to start off by saying that I really wanted to like this show. However, by the 8th episode I realized that it was a big waste of time. I'm going to have to disagree with all of the other reviews comparing this series to Lost. For me, there is absolutely no comparison between the two. Even if the plot is interesting, most of the actors do not have the skills to pull it off. Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) gives an incredibly emotionless performance for someone who is abandoned as a child, and subsequently gives her own child away. Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills) tries, but I find their connection annoyingly lacking. With that said, I think Ginnifer Goodwin is pleasant in the role of Snow White. She was a good choice for this role, as she is accomplished as well as versatile. Goodwin gives off a sense of grace and purity essential for the character. The only other good part about this series is Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin)he is creepy and believable in both roles with is important when the performance from Parilla (Regina Mills/Evil Queen) is laughable.

I think this series had the potential to be great, but the casting was done so poorly, it will forever be less than mediocre in my book.

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42 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Promising

10/10
Author: sodhym from Turkey
30 October 2011

Great cast and a very promising pilot. It captures the essence of a classic fairy tale and incorporates it with a modern setting where the real and the imaginary merges.

To be sure, it does not have a dark atmosphere and if you're looking for one, this is not the show. But I think there are a lot of dark and gory shows out there, so this one looks fresh and deserves a try by anyone who likes fairy tales and fantasy.

The cast is great. It is clear that there is much effort in that section. I believe I watched Ginnifer Goodwin for the first time and I knew that Jennifer Morrison was in the show, so when I see Goodwin I though she was Morrison. This might be due to my ignorance about the actress, but given the story, the resemblance makes some sense. I don't know whether this is intentional though.

Overall, pilot is a 10, and I hope it will continue this way.

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70 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

If the premise appeals to you, stick with it!

10/10
Author: dtuttle from Seattle
21 October 2011

I love the premise of this. But there are some really poor scenes in the first half of the premier. The acting seemed bad, the script was uncomfortable, large parts of that section were very hard to swallow. The other half of the story where most of the action takes place is plausible, well acted, packed with emotional resonance and charming. It's also got a great dark side to it and the story doesn't hit you over the head by trying to explain every detail of what is going on. There are characters who I think I have figured out but I'm not certain, so I look forward to finding out. However I stuck with it and was rewarded with a marvelous overall premier and I'm looking forward to watching 1.2 right now!

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34 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Refreshing and out of the box

10/10
Author: brtomlinson from United States
1 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How refreshing to see a new show that isn't about courts, forensic science, lawyers or cops. I am keeping my fingers crossed this won't get the axe because it really is a cool twist on fairy tales. Your immediately drawn into this feeling of sympathy for the wicked queen who is scorned somehow (will find out more as the show goes on) by snow white and revenge is her only path. Then you go to a town where the cursed live and time has stopped. You slowly understand with flashbacks in time and why the queen did what she thought was her only path consequently a curse that has unknown origins at this time.

Then another twist is a bounty hunter who is contacted by her birth son that she gave up is the key to the whole mystery and the viewer is drawn into so many different worlds but still able to keep up is the key to unravel this well told mystery.

So sit back and just enjoy a well told story book tale without all the mind-numbing plot lines of so many television shows that all seem to have the same subject matter.

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45 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Good concept, no punch

1/10
Author: ignazia from Canada NW
3 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The latter part of season 1 of this TV series was shown as a mini-marathon over the New Year holiday. After seeing the trailers and missing the original showing I was all geared up for several hours of wonderful fantasy.

What a let-down. The premise is good but it lacks something - like a cake that looks mouth-watering but was made without an essential ingredient. The only character that fully embraces his fairy-tale self and 'real-life' alter ego is Rumplestiltskin/Gold. All the other characters just float through their dialogue with no real sense that they are committing to either of their characters. Jennifer Morrison and Jared Gilmore try hard but don't get much help from the rest of the cast which makes everything they do fall flat.

Not a show I will be watching again hence the 1/10.

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26 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Well, it started out good...

3/10
Author: kaiky4 from United States
4 March 2013

I had the highest of hopes for this show. It started out so well and the idea was solid. Now that season 2 is almost over, I've lost any enchantment the show had over me. The characters get dumber and dumber. Their actions no longer make any sense and fall so out of line with what any sane person would do in the situations they're put in, that it's almost not watchable any longer. Since I'm a a Lost fan, I'm going to hope the writers start to make these characters more watchable. I'm trying my hardest to stick with this show. But I won't lie, at this point, I don't care if the whole cast of good guys die off. They're too dumb to live.

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34 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Boring.

1/10
Author: Kai Jensen
25 October 2012

I'm easily entertained. My ability for suspension of disbelief is usually good. I'm an open-minded viewer, and tend to find many excuses for bad choices made by the production/director/actors/writers. It's not easy to make a perfect show. But in Once Upon A Time's case, it seems they didn't even TRY to make it good. As a fan of fantasy, myths, legends, I really really wanted to like it, but the cheesiness was unbearable.

CONS: Dialogues, directing: a good compilation of clichés, if you're into that.

Story: soap opera meets fairy tales.

Characters: either flat or irritating, or both.

Acting: extreme sadness, despair, fear, inner conflict are indicated by raised eyebrows and watery eyes. Doubt, anger, medium sadness, worry, by a frown. Giancarlo Esposito's character seems to be the only one with actual thoughts and emotions.

PROS: Ruby is agreeable to look at.

If you enjoyed Van Helsing, The Brothers Grimm, even Jim Henson's Storyteller or Shrek, you'll be very disappointed. OUAT could be compared to the 10th Kingdom, without the funny moments.

If you're looking for a mix of old-school Disney and the Bold and the Beautiful, this is for you.

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27 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

puts viewer in a magic land ... where nothing ever happens...

1/10
Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
7 October 2013

Don't mean to be harsh here but you need to draw a line in the sand, even if the sand is actually fairy dust and you draw it with a magic wand. Once upon a time (a-ahem) when the world was green and TV was new, there was a hit series called THE FUGITIVE about a man wrongly accused of murder. The show was well-acted, well-produced, well-written. It was a hit. On the final episode after a wonderful run, the real killer was finally caught and the hero was vindicated. But that was not the real ending. The "real" ending was that, with the villain caught, viewers lost interest in watching the series in re-runs, and much income was lost, at least to the producers. And a valuable lesson was learnt -- never resolve any story, if you can avoid it. OK, flash forward a half century. In today's world viewers have somehow become a lot more comfy with paradox and ambiguity and, seemingly, can now watch for hours on end -- literally -- without ever knowing or caring how the story ends. Which is the premise of this show, reduced to the bare bones. Instead of making the fairy tale about the ending, make it about the story. Use quality actors, scripts, production values, knock yourself out. But -- here is the key - like another fairy product from Hollywood, prophetically called THE NEVER-ENDING STORY, just make sure each episode ends with more problems than solutions. If you dig deep through the 100s of IMDb viewer reviews here, you will find others who have noticed the exact same thing. Just when you think an episode is about to resolve, it instead spirals out of control. Clearly, this is not enough to dissuade viewers -- OMG, they have spun off a sister show! -- but for historians of the future, it does raise issues about the attention span of the modern TV watcher. For breaking just about every basic tenet of core narrative fiction, albeit profitably, this show is just plain wrong. I don't expect much agreement, but I need to point out the obvious. And here is a footnote -- you have to wonder aloud if the two Jennifers each initially read for each other's parts. Narrative aside, the show would have been more interesting had the roles been switched.

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28 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievable. In oh, so many ways...

2/10
Author: crunchykitten from United States
12 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This series is so jaw-droppingly bad, my mind was boggled by the dribbling accolades of other viewers. Then I saw a review that said something like, "If you were a fan of "Lost" just stay tuned! You'll LOVE it!!!!" (I may have left out a ! or two.) Of course, that reviewer was absolutely right. I've watched maybe a half dozen episodes, and the writers have changed the paradigm at least four times. That is, they used the now-famous "Lost" principle of fantasy writing: if you introduce enough confusing minor side plots, oddly compelling but ultimately pointless minor characters, ersatz "mysteries" and alarming character about-faces that have the main actors alternately weeping for their lost innocence and true loves and then ripping out and eating the raw hearts of infants - well then by gum, this is the show for you! But- and I do absolutely and personally guarantee this- you will NEVER see anything like a real plot resolution, because the writers and producers plan to throw so many complications into the mix that they think, and past experience has shown, that the fans are too dim to remember more than a few of the most glamorous or grisly, so however they end it, no one will care, and few will notice that in any way that matters, the whole thing just stunk on ice.

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