Monday, September 29, 2014
In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (4x1)
Because my opening was so negative toward the show, let me start the proper review off with something more positive: the casting. If there is one thing that OUAT gets right about 95% of the time, it's casting. And by right I mean they pick people who are literally carbon copies of the Disney version. Wait. Did my positive just go negative? Whoops. Actually, I admit this is a fuzzy area to criticize. It's hard for a show that sells itself as your favorite fairy tales (read: Disney movies) come to life and then not have those fairy tales look exactly like their Disney counterparts. Ariel without red hair would have been a disaster; Tink not being blonde and not in green wouldn't jive for the audience. The one time they did break the mold with Rapunzel, it came off as forced and a way to silence critics about ONCE's overwhelming race issue. So when it came time to cast Elsa and Anna, they went for the actresses who look exactly like the animated version. Even down to the costuming, they are straight off the DVD cover sitting on your shelf. It is what it is. Georgiana Haig, whom I know from Fringe, is a good actress and a good choice. Newbie Elizabeth Lail is sweet and endearing though I found the way they wrote Anna to be taxing. I won't give the show too much grief over this. I know...shocking. So, what is happening in Arendelle? Well, it's important to note that this isn't strictly Frozen. I mean, it is in the sense that Elsa, Anna, ect are coming to ONCE but we aren't going to see the movie Frozen play out before our eyes. Rather, the events of the flashback are actually after the events of the movie. So post-Frozen, pre-Regina's curse. Because we should make this as wibbly wobbly timey wimey as possible, apparently.
And now we're back in Storybrooke. And this portion of the show is called: check in the with the ships people care about! I'm not kidding. Most of this was about the various couples circling each other and and going on little side adventures. Charming and Snow appeared for maybe five minutes in total because while they are the original couple on the show, the fandom doesn't really care about them. They aren't flashy enough. You must have flash. Or leather. Or a cross bow. Or be morally reprehensible. Snow and Charming are both heroes. BORING. Neal and Emma are both heroes. BORING. But ooooh, morally corrupt bad guy/girl and a hero? SCORE. I hate this show. Let's just get the shipping nonsense out of the way. Elsa is in town and causes havoc through a giant snowman that had terrible CGI. Though, Marshmallow's CGI wasn't as bad as the fake snow that kept falling around Elsa. That was some truly terrible CGI.
--Ok, so I avoided talking about the Rumple scene in which he talks to Neal's grave. I did this for a reason, namely...I don't know how I feel about it. On the one hand, it was nice to see Rumple finally acknowledge that he lost his son. On the other hand, it felt very random and out of place. Like the writers knew how upset we were by it and decided to respond with this scene. And I can't help but be angry at some of what Rumple said. He killed Zelena to avenge Neal but that is obviously NOT what Neal would have wanted. It also felt very selfish: the entire speech was about Rumple and his feelings about what he must do now to press onward, not about Neal himself. I don't know. It doesn't sit well with me at the end of the day.
--"There is no frosting."
--"She was going to die anyway, what did it matter?" Dear God. This is why you don't get a happy ending, Regina.
--Sven was really cute. I like him. Let's keep him.
--I almost threw my TV out the window because of Adam and Eddy's line that came from Charming: "maybe we should have named him [the baby] Baelfire." Shut up, writers. Just take the flack from the audience that 90% of us are livid that Snowing named their baby Neal.
--Robin only staying with Marian because he made a vow is ludicrous. This is Robin Hood and Maid Marian. They are epic true love. Marian is not just the ball and chain.