Once Upon a Time, Again

“They force fed me something called ‘bologna.'”

That’s a line from yet another episode of Once Upon a Time, uttered by one Captain Hook upon his release from real-world jail. He states that he’s spent time in the “brig” before, but none so horrifying as our standard jail. Bologna can be pretty terrible, especially if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
Yep, I’m still watching this delightful, visual crack-fest. I love it so much. It’s over-the-top, and the special effects are occasionally bad (as in, you can see bits of the green screen that was obviously used to create a LOT of the background sets), and the showrunners don’t give a flying fuck about accents. Belle, for example, is played by Emilie de Ravin, who’s Australian. A pre-iZombie Rose McIver plays Tinkerbell. Both of these lovely actresses use their native accents on the show. It’s a little off-putting, to say the least. I can almost buy the fairy having an accent, but Belle? Is the only one of her family who speaks the way that she does. It’s weird.

What I really love is the fact that the show takes every single public domain work of fairy and folklore that it can find, tosses it in a blender, and then pours out this delightful smoothie of weirdness. The main characters are dealing with the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West as I write this. I watched Snow White and Prince Charming fight Medusa a few episodes ago. Robin Hood and Sir Lancelot have made appearances. Doctor Freaking Frankenstein is in this show (and his episode is shot in black and white, which makes for a particularly fun experience).

Cut for more rambling.

Something that I’m really enjoying is the way that the villains are redeemed and reworked into antiheroes. The Evil Queen has, over the course of the episodes that I’ve watched, turned from being the primary adversary to becoming a kind-of ally to Snow, Charming, and the others. A big chunk of season three took place in Neverland. One of my favorite things about that entire experience was watching Regina roll her eyes at the others and make snarky comments about their actions while just saying that she could fix a lot of their problems with magic.

By mid-season three, she’s actively working with Emma, who is Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter, to fix things. She’s still wonderfully sarcastic and droll, which I love, but she’s not afraid to be vulnerable. Villains and antiheroes are much more interesting to me than straight-up heroes. That’s been true for me for a long time. Saving the day, protecting the innocent, yes, that’s nice. But the people who have more shadowy motivations are more fascinating. I always wonder why they’ve chosen their paths and their actions. WHY are they villains in the first place?

That’s a thought for a much longer time. For now, I’m returning to my vacation in Storybrooke, Maine. The weather’s terrible, but the local color never fails to entertain.

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