Ten Reasons Why You Really Need to Watch 'Once Upon a Time'

Procrastinating from deadlines? Need a new show to sink your teeth into, but have too much choice on your hands? Big fan of Game of Thrones? If your answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’, then ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ could be the show for you – and here’s why…

Badass Heroines

Meet Emma Swan. She’s a twenty-eight-year-old bail bondsperson, an ex-convict, and, as it turns out, the Saviour. Sent to our world to escape an evil curse as a baby (more on this later), she finds herself in the small town of Storybrooke, Maine, after the son she gave up for adoption, Henry, shows up on her doorstep to bring her home and save everyone from the Evil Queen. Smart, independent, and street-wise, she’s one woman you don’t want to get on the wrong side of – and she’s not the only one. Red (Riding Hood), Mulan and Snow White are amongst many other strong female characters on this show – all of them women who you don’t want to mess with.

Sassy Villains

And if you thought that the heroines were cool, you should check out the villains. Cutting put-downs, cunning schemes and killer fashion sense are just some of the qualities which makes these bad guys so chillingly intriguing – and none more so than the two Big Bads: vengeance-filled Regina Mills and manipulative Mr Gold. Not ringing any bells? Perhaps you’d know them better with their fairy-tale names: the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin.

 

Cute Kids

It’s not just the adults who make the show so good! Henry Mills is Emma’s son – but he was adopted at birth by Regina, otherwise known as the Evil Queen. After being given a book of fairy tales and discovering the truth behind Storybrooke, he runs away to find Emma and bring her home, helping her to find her true identity – and everyone else’s – along the way.

An Evil Curse

It’s probably a good idea here to explain what the key problem is. As part of her revenge on Snow White (Emma’s mum – yeah, the family tree gets a bit complicated…), Regina casts a curse on everyone in the kingdom, so that they’re transported to a land with no magic or happy ever afters: our world. What’s worse, they now have no idea who they are – except, of course, for Regina, who has cast herself as the Mayor of the town. It’s up to Emma to break the curse and give everyone back their happy endings; but it’s not going to be easy, if Regina has anything to do with it. Sword-fights, magic, cold-blooded murder and political intrigue…pretty nail-biting stuff.

Amazing Casting

As has already been shown, some great casting has gone into this, but you won’t get an idea of how good it actually is until you’ve seen how they dealt with characters in ‘Frozen’ and ‘Brave’. Although not traditional fairy-tale characters, they’ve been included in later seasons, and the choice of actors and actresses for them are exceptional. From their looks to their mannerisms, they match their animated counterparts exactly. If Disney continues in its trend of creating real-life versions of their films, this should be their first port of call when searching for the lead roles!

Fairy-Tales with a Twist

Everyone loves a good fairy-tale, especially when there’s a twist involved – and that’s precisely what ‘Once Upon a Time’ does with its stories. Even better, you get to see the preludes to all your personal favourites that helps you to understand how the characters became the way they are. If you ever wanted to see Snow White as a sword-wielding guerrilla warrior whose first meeting Prince Charming ended with her robbing him, or learn how Jiminy Cricket became friends with Geppetto, then you certainly won’t be disappointed. And the less said about the true story of Little Red Riding Hood, the better…

The Crossover to End All Crossovers

Ever wondered what would happen if you put a whole bunch of characters from different stories in the same world as each other? If so, then you’d love this! Mulan and Sleeping Beauty teaming up to save Prince Philip, Belle falling in love with her ‘beast’ Rumplestiltskin, and the friendship between the Evil Queen and Maleficent are just some of the many examples where fairy-tale favourites live alongside each other – or not, as is often the case. FanFiction has nothing on this!

Magical Lands

If the crossover of characters got your interest, then this is just the icing on the cake. Dragons in the Enchanted Forest, fairies in Neverland, a whole host of terrifying creatures in Wonderland – all of these exist side-by-side in the ‘Once Upon a Time’ universe. Most recent additions to the show’s geography include Oz, Arundel, and, in the upcoming series, the underworld itself. Ambitious stuff, but it works perfectly.

The Hope of Redemption

One of the most important qualities of the show is its message that, no matter what you’ve done, you can always choose a different path. It’s hard to give examples of this without giving away major spoilers (sorry!); however, what we can also say is that the flashbacks convey the idea that evil is created, not innately present, in its characters. From Regina to Rumplestiltskin, all of them have understandable (and, in some cases, tragic) reasons for the choices they made, meaning that all of them have the hope of redemption; a very powerful message indeed, especially for viewers who may feel that they’re beyond this themselves.

The Power of True Love

But the core foundation of the show is that love trumps all. Yes, yes, it’s an extremely cliché expression, but it still holds a lot of power. Whether it’s family, friends or romantic relationships, ‘Once Upon a Time’ demonstrates how the bonds between us are stronger than the ones which try to tear us apart: a message which seems to be increasingly lost in this time of suspicion and fear. No matter what the situation, love still wins – and that’s exactly what we need to hear, more so than ever.

So if any of these points has you itching to start another Netflix marathon, grab your snacks and get started: I promise you, you won’t regret it.