Tag Archives: Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time Character Review: Robin Hood

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Once Upon A Time. I am only writing up to the end of season 6. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the previous seasons.

*I am choosing, for the purpose of this post, to only focus on FTL/Storybrooke Robin, not the AU Robin that appears in the 6th season.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Once Upon A Time to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Robin Hood is one of the noblest characters in our culture. He is the selfless hero who takes from the rich and gives to the poor. He always does what is right, without question.

But what if doing what is right was not so easy? This was the question posed by the Once Upon A Time version of Robin Hood. Played briefly by Tom Ellis and then played by Sean Maguire for the remaining seasons, Robin is the soul mate of Regina Mills/ The Evil Queen, teaching her how to love again years after the death of her childhood sweetheart. But there is a catch.  Up until a certain point in the narrative, Robin was presented as a single father grieving the loss of his wife, Marian (Christie Lang). It took some time, but Robin broke down Regina’s walls and it seemed like they were headed for their own happily ever after.

Then Marian returned and Robin had to choose between his family and the woman he loved. But Marian was not Marian, she was Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and she was also pregnant by Robin. In the end, Robin gave his life to save Regina, proving that it is possible to do what is right and follow your heart.

To sum it up: sometimes a character’s journey can be boiled down to the question of what is right or what the heart wants. In life, this is often a murky question. The best writers are able to manipulate this question into a narrative that forces the character to go on the journey to answer that question. That journey, when presented properly to the audience, can not only take them on a ride, but also teach them how to answer what can be a very delicate question.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Character Review, Fairy Tales, Once Upon A Time, Television

Once Upon A Time Character Review: Regina Mills/The Evil Queen

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Once Upon A Time. I am only writing up to the end of season 6. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the previous seasons.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Once Upon A Time to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

No one goes through life without heartache.  The question is, do we let the heartache consume us or do we let it fade into memory? In the world of fairy tales and Snow White in particular, The Evil Queen is the female villain we love to hate. Her main goal is to kill Snow White, she will stop at nothing to see Snow White dead. On Once Upon A Time, The Evil Queen or Regina Mills as she is known in Storybrooke, is played by Lana Parilla.

As with the original fairy tale, The Evil Queen hates her stepdaughter, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and will like nothing more than see Snow White in the ground permanently.  But in this version, The Evil Queen/Regina Mills goes beyond the 2D character we think we know.

Regina does not hate Snow for her youth or her beauty, but blames Snow for the death of her first love and her forced marriage to Snow’s widowed father. We are introduced to Regina as she interrupts Snow’s wedding to Charming (Josh Dallas) and curses all of the inhabitants of the realm. Their memories are wiped clean, they remember nothing of their lives before the curse.

But as everyone who watches Once Upon A Time knows, “magic comes with a price”. The price, for Regina is her inability to move forward with her life and not let the past hold her back. She will eventually find love again, with Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), but not before facing her demons and confronting her past. She will also become the mother to Henry (Jared Gilmore) that she was unable to be when she was consumed by anger and grief.

 

 

To sum it up:  The reason that fans have latched onto Regina’s character arc over the first six seasons is because despite the world she lives in, we can relate to her. No one is all good or all bad. A good writer is able to flesh out a character in such a way that both the good parts and the bad parts of the character’s makeup are given the chance to be in the spotlight. While Regina has done some bad things in her life and made some mistakes (and truth be told, haven’t we all?), she has proved to be loyal and loving to those who knew her best. That is why we love her and that is why we remember her.

Leave a comment

Filed under Character Review, Fairy Tales, Life, Once Upon A Time, Television

You Might Be A Once Upon A Time Fan If….

You might be a Once Upon A Time fan if…..

  • Unless there is a dire emergency, Sunday night at 8PM, you are home, watching OUAT.
  • You ship one of the following relationships: Rumbelle, Captain Swan, Snowing, etc.
  • You have read or written Once Upon A Time fanfiction.
  • You look at the previous Disney adaptations of the fairy tales with new eyes.
  • You wait with baited breath for the footage and the interviews from comic-con.

 

 

  • You  have a new appreciation for Lost (if you don’t have one already).
  • You thank Adam and Eddy for writing strong, smart, capable female characters.
  • You follow the actors on the various social media platforms.
  • And finally, you are counting down the days until September 27th, when season 5 premieres.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fairy Tales, Fanfiction, Feminism, Once Upon A Time, Television, You Might Be A Fan If....

San Diego Comic Con Once Upon A Time Season 5 Previews

The lovely people behind Once Upon A Time gave fans two small, but tantalizing clips to wet our appetites for season 5.

All I can say is that simply based on these clips, it’s going to be a good season, especially with the addition of Merida.

Happy Wednesday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fairy Tales, Once Upon A Time, Television

What Message Does Beauty And The Beast Really Send?

In July, a very interesting interview appeared on youtube that has very recently brought up a question that I think needs to be answered.

At the San Diego Comic Con,  a reporter asked Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestilskin in Once Upon A Time) about the impending hallmarks of domestic abuse that appeared to her in Skin Deep, the episode that introduced Belle to the Once Upon A Time Universe and launched the onscreen couple moniker that is Rumbelle.

Some might argue that the story of Beauty and The Beast has not only the signs of an abusive relationship, but also of Stockholm syndrome.

Stockholm syndrome is defined as:  a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.

I can see where the argument is valid. However, if one was to examine the fairy tale genre, they would discover that the messages that these stories are sending to girls are the same. They are just packaged differently, depending on the story.

Let’s examine a few of them:

  • Snow White is the victim of her stepmother’s jealousy.  She is being taken care of, first by the dwarves and then by her prince, who whisks her away to a life of luxury and royalty.
  • Sleeping Beauty is the victim of Maleficent. It is, again, the prince who kills the sorceress and wakes her up from her sleep. It is then that her life is complete.
  • Cinderella is the victim of her stepmother’s jealousy (Am I sensing a pattern here?).  After she runs from the ball, she does not go the palace and announce that she is the young woman that the prince is seeking. She has to wait for him to find her.

What I like about Beauty and The Beast is that these characters seem the most human of the leading romantic characters in the genre. The Beast’s emotional wounds and extreme external appearance could be considered as an allegory for the emotional scars we have and the mistakes we wish we could undo. Beauty is the most active of the fairy tales heroines.  She is no one’s victim, and certainly not waiting for some prince to rescue her.  She takes her life into her own hands and makes her own decisions.

The overall problem is that fairy tales are part of our culture. Feminism has certainly helped to alter the way that girls see themselves and their futures. But change does not happen overnight.

To answer the question, what message does Beauty and The Beast send? I would say that, if told properly, proves that we can change and move on from what was holding us back.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, Feminism, Once Upon A Time

In The Mirror

*-Contains spoilers for Once Upon A Time. Read at your own risk if you are catching up on previous episodes.

The story of Beauty and The Beast is a familiar one. A woman agrees to take her father’s place at a beast’s castle when her father steals a rose, the only gift his daughter asked for.

While much of commentary is focused on the female lead, I would like to focus tonight on the male lead. The Beast is a tortured soul. Depending on which adaption one is reading or watching, the beast is either directly punished for his wicked, selfish ways or indirectly punished for others’s mistakes. His punishment is the loss of his humanity. While he retains his fine home, a kitchen full of food and fancy clothes, his cursed exterior reflects his inner turmoil.

On Once Upon A Time, Rumplestilkin (Robert Carlyle) is known the Dark One.  Make a deal with the dark one and he will want something in return for his services. But underneath the scaly green skin and the magic is a man whose scars run deep and long.  Loosing his parents to death and abandonment at a young age, he was branded a coward. His marriage to his first wife, Milah was rocky, even after the birth of their son, Bae. When Milah abandoned her husband and son for Captain Hook, the mortal Rumplestilkin was replaced with the immortal dark one.

In Skin Deep, Sir Maurice will do anything to end the Ogre Wars. Rumplestilkin is happy but help. But in return for his services, he wants Belle, the king’s only daughter as a serving girl. As time passes, Rumplestilskin begins to see Belle in a new light. But their first kiss reveals his deep un-healed scars.

What strikes me about this scene is that I understood him at that moment, when he is yelling at himself in the mirror. I understood his pain, his turmoil and his fear.

Sometimes, when we look in the mirror, that is all we see.

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Life, Once Upon A Time

Ballroom Scene

For this post, I am going to temporarily abandon the mature, college educated, career professional that I am and descend into complete fangurl-dom.

The latest teaser trailer for the 4th season of Once Upon Time includes an extremely brief clip of Belle and Rumpelstiltskin dancing in a ballroom. She is wearing the iconic gold ball gown and he is in the blue suit.

I can’t find the trailer on you tube, but instead I give you Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin’s interview at Comic-Con.

I completely agree that Rumple is an addict. As much as he loves Belle and is willing to commit to her, he has a mistress who has been in life long before he met Belle. She is a very demanding mistress who will stop at nothing to keep her man.

Frances O’Connor (known to some as Fanny Price, Lucy Burns or Rose Selfridge) is joining the OUAT cast as Belle’s mother, Colette.

Definitely looking forward to Fanny Price becoming Belle’s mother.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program and the mature, college educated, career professional that I am (for the most part).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Once Upon A Time

Frozen Review

I gave in this weekend. I finally saw Frozen.

I rented it mainly because Once Upon A Time will be incorporating several of the Frozen characters into season 4, so I wanted to understand what I was watching. I was also a little curious about this movie that has become cultural phenomenon in a very short of amount of time.

Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) are sisters. Elsa has the power to turn anything she touches to ice. When she accidentally injures her sister when they are young girls, their parents make the decision to lock up the castle, with their daughters in it.   Years later, when Elsa is to be crowned Queen, her power is revealed.  She runs away, building an icy kingdom, separated from her sister. Anna goes after her sister with the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), leaving her kingdom in the hands of her very quickly chosen fiance, Hans (Santino Fontana).

I surprisingly enjoyed this movie. I’m not part of Disney’s standard demographic, I haven’t been for a long time. But I still enjoyed this movie. As time goes by, the writers and producers at Disney seem to not be just rewriting fairy tales for re-writing’s sake, but there is an underlying message for kids and adults. I also like that the true love aspect was not the standard Disney happily ever after.

Would I see this movie again? I don’t know. But in the anals of Disney movies, it certainly stands out.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Fairy Tales, Movie Review, Movies

Skin Deep- One Of The Single Greatest Hours Of Television

*-This post contains spoilers about Skin Deep and Once Upon A Time. If you are catching up on season 1, read at your own risk.

Half way through the first season of Once Upon A Time, the character of Rumplestilskin  (Robert Carlyle) was a villain with a capital V. He was the trickster, the dark one, making deals with people who were desperate enough to seek him out.

Then Skin Deep aired. Skin Deep put this villain with a capital V in a new light, a man who was tortured by his past and hid that tortured past under a mask that no one could crack. That was until Sir Maurice of Avonlea, desperate to end the Ogre wars, called upon the dark one to end the war. As usual, there was deal to be made. Rumplestilskin does not make deals without getting something in return. That deal was Sir Maurice’s daughter, Belle. She would leave her father’s kingdom forever and become a servant in Rumplestilskin’s castle.

This episode was written by Jane Espenson, and introduced Belle (Lost and Roswell’s Emilie de Raven) to the Once Upon A Time universe.

This episode, is best episode that this show has ever produced and I would like to tell you why.

  1. Carlyle and de Raven have incredible chemistry. They just work on screen.
  2. The psychology of Beauty And The Beast translates perfectly to the twist and turns that the Once Upon A Time gives to their fractured fairy tales.  In the original tale, Beauty is the youngest daughter of a now impoverished merchant who was once very wealthy. Her older sisters are very spoiled and selfish, Beauty is relegated to the role of servant. The Beast lives in an isolated castle, surrounded by material wealth. In the very well known 1991 Disney movie, Belle is an outsider in her small town, longing for adventure. Beast was once a human prince, cursed by a sorceress for his selfish ways. The psychology of both characters: the Beast, broken and bruised by life and Belle, selfless and loyal, while looking for adventure plays perfectly into the Once Upon A Time idea of twisting the basic fairy tale into something far more interesting.
  3. The title is absolutely perfect.
  4. The line “No one decides my fate, but me” ties in with the idea of female empowerment, a theme running throughout the show.
  5. The final scene between Belle and Rumplestilskin is heartbreaking. It echoes in the hearts of everyone who has ever given up an opportunity or a relationship out of fear and low self esteem.
  6. This episode launched the on screen roller coaster of a relationship that is Rumbelle, it has kept fans hooked since February of 2012 and wanting more.  As of the end of the third season, they have married and Mr. Gold has not told the new Mrs. Gold about a secret that will cause ripples in season 4.

And that is why Skin Deep is one of the single greatest hours of television.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, Once Upon A Time

Belle, A Once Upon A Time Fanfiction

*-These characters belong solely to the creators of OUAT. I simply a humble fan.

*Takes place during Quiet Minds.

 

Belle

It was too much for Rumplestilskin. The voices, the memories were all jumbled up in his head. Except for one.

His Belle. The thought of her was his only hold on his sanity.

Belle, with the sweetest lips he had ever tasted.

Belle, with the bright blue eyes.

Belle, who shared their bed, night after night, not afraid of the beast inside of him.

Belle, the only person beside Bae who could call his bluff.

Belle, who continually reassured him that he was not a beast, but a man. He was her man.

Belle, who helped to heal the scars of his past. Belle, who helped him forget that Millah and his father abandoned him.

Belle, who helped him to forgive himself for putting magic before his son.

Belle, the woman he wanted to marry, the one he should have married a long time ago.

Belle, the woman he wanted to have children with, to have the opportunity to be the father he couldn’t be for Bae.

He would find a way to make Zelena pay for what she did to him. And when his task was completed, he would return to Belle and have the life that they were meant to have.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fanfiction, Once Upon A Time