Mirror, Mirror: Cassie-la Pits “Once Upon a Time” Against “Grimm”

TV Show: “Once Upon a Time
Genre
: Fiction, fractured fairy-tale, fantasy, this is the show that pushed out “Fables”?
Rating
: 2.87 out of 5 stars

Summary: From the writers of “Lost” comes this new ABC drama featuring fairy tale characters trapped in a powerful curse brought on them by an evil witch. 28 years later, Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter returns to them, fulfilling her destiny to break the curse and rescue the town of Storybrooke from a life of no happily ever afters.

In the magic land of fairy tales (I’m assuming that’s where fairy tales come from), Snow White and Prince Charming have fallen in love, but the Evil Queen (who is much prettier than Snow White- that mirror had it all wrong) curses them for their happiness. The curse she brings makes them forget their previous lives, freezing them in time to never grow old, and sends them to the town of Storybrooke where there are no happy endings. Thankfully, before she can do that, Snow White and the Prince send their daughter in a magical wardrobe to Narnia our world, making the infant promise that she will return and save them in 28 years.

28 years later lady bail bonds-woman Emma (AKA Snow’s baby) is brought back to Storybrook by her abandoned biological son to save the fairy tales from their imprisonment. I think I just got a brain aneurysm typing out that description.

When I first heard about this series, I was excited. A fractured fairy tale series for television would be right up my alley! I even forgave it for being the show that put the nail in the coffin of the “Fables” TV series being planned. Unfortunately, it’s not that good, and it doesn’t help that the “Lost” writers, who thought this series up threw a smoke-monster in there for good measure. No lie. THERE WAS A SMOKE MONSTER.

“Once Upon a Time” features Rumpelstiltskin, Geppetto, the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood, Red Riding Hood’s Grandma, Snow White, the Evil Queen, Prince Charming, Jiminy Cricket, the Magic Mirror (who works for the Daily Mirror– actually quite clever), Cinderella, Maleficent, and the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Hopefully their stories will be more interesting than boring Snow White and even more boring Prince Charming. Is Cinderella’s husband also called Prince Charming then? Will this be tongue in cheek like Fables and have Prince Charming be a multi-divorced bachelor?

As a whole I’m not sure how this premise is going to provide stories for multiple episodes, much less multiple seasons. Considering that the entire pilot felt forced and the CGI was painful (if you don’t have the budget, change the script accordingly) I don’t have much hope for this series.

However, I wouldn’t mind being proved wrong.

TV Show:Grimm
Genre: Fiction, fractured fairy-tale, fantasy, crime-drama, Big Bad Wolves are sassy
Rating: 4.36 out of 5 stars

Summary: From the producers of “Buffy” and “Angel” comes this NBC crime-drama centered around a descendant of the Grimms, hunters who keep the world safe from the supernatural fairy tale monsters who populate it. This hardened police officer, with the help of his comic relief Big Bad sidekick bring this darkly comedic news series to life with an episode based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

“Grimm” has a completely different storyline than “Once Upon a Time”. Instead of a community of fairy tales (stop stealing all your ideas from Fables!) fairy tale characters are living among us- so far we’ve only seen the baddies- dispersed around the world. In order to keep this chaos in control, we have Nick, a Grimm descendant charged with protecting society from these creatures. In this episode, Nick is tracking a man tearing apart girls who happen to be walking through the woods alone in red hoodies. Think “Charmed” meets “Supernatural” meets “Law and Order”.

Basically, it’s a crime-drama with fairy tales. And who doesn’t love a good crime-drama? No one. The answer you’re looking for is no one.

It appears that rather than an overarching plot as with “Once Upon a Time”, “Grimm” will have a monster-of-the-week/case-of-the-week format. And no matter what happens or where the series takes us it HAS TO be better than The Brother’s Grimm.

I first noticed this series when a promo featuring a cover of the Sam the Sham and the Pharoah’s song “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” came on TV. I fell immediately in love. Check it out for yourself and see why. There are similar stylized crime scenes focusing on Snow White, Cinderella, and Prince Charming, but the Red Riding Hood spot is perfection. It helps that at one point in time I wanted to write a songfic with Wolverine and Jean Grey, and that this cover is amazing. Good marketing job NBC!

This series has a lot going for it, and since it’s produced by the same people who brought us “Buffy” and “Angel”, they KNOW what they’re doing. I’ve read complaints that the show is a little dark, but they fail to take into account the reformed Big Bad Wolf, also known as a blutbad named Eddie. Blutbads are a species of wolves with misappropriated names leading them to be called Big Bads. If I ever speak to you about “Grimm”, I will refer to Eddie as the Comic Relief Werewolf (AKA the Sokka of “Grimm”), and henceforth refuse to learn his character’s real name.

In addition to all the amazingness I’ve already discussed, this episode opens with the Eurythmic’s song, “Sweet Dreams” and ends with the Marilyn Manson cover of the same song. You can tell the writers are thinking about an interesting plot that is different but not too different (fans of fairy tales and fans of crime-dramas can both enjoy it) and that a lot of thought is put into music and cinematography. There’s even an amazing “OH SHIT!” moment in the opening that had me shocked, and it takes a lot to startle me.

There really is so much to love in this ultra dark series. If you know anything about me, I love my morbidity, and this show has it in droves. ABC can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

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6 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror: Cassie-la Pits “Once Upon a Time” Against “Grimm”

  1. I hate Snow White stories (well all except Fables) so it sounds like I should pass on Once Upon a Time. ALSO I can’t believe they put another Smoke Monster in. They need a new schtick! Or they can just steal something good from Fables.

    And wooooo I can’t wait to watch Grimm!! 🙂

    • I will watch the first episode just to see if maybe it gets better somehow, but I’m definitely not holding my breath. Snow White is just so boring, and in her Storybrooke life she’s a school teacher. EVEN MORE BORING.

      I saw on twitter that you were watching “Grimm”. Did you like it!?!

      • She couldn’t be like a racecar driver or a badass librarian or the mayor of …F-er, Storybrooke? Sigh, it just reconfirms my general dislike of Snow White. Domesticity blaaaargh.

        And holy crap I loved Grimm. The opening was so freaking good – the red against the forest and all the subtle names. And the song – the song!! You are so right about how it pulls you back at the ending. Gah, I can’t wait for more. Also looking forward to more sassy werewolf.

  2. So Grimm is totally awesome!!

    But….I am also going to admit that I love Once Upon a Time. Like I totally know it is lame, but I LOVE Margene and I love stupid shit like this, hahah. So…I’m really excited. Although I also don’t get how they would maintain a series – it seems more like a movie that would last an hour and a half and that would be it. But we’ll see. I like it, wah wah 🙂

    • The 4th episode had a neat preview and it looks like they’re getting into the whole Prince Charming had multiple wives thing, but I don’t know, watching it feels like a chore to me.

      My boss called asking if I wanted to view the cast and I was like, “I kind of hate that show. Lol.”

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