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There will be excitement and enchantment galore in the second season, as the backstories of yet more characters are revealed, and as characters travel between their two worlds. Emma and Snow make a dangerous trip back into the land of enchantment, only to be stranded and left in mortal danger. Their journey will give Snow a chance to teach Emma about motherhood and magic. Along the way, Emma will finally begin to understand that her own powers may extend past her street smarts and pluck. Her journey, and the viewer’s, will be enhanced by meeting THE Captain Hook (who comes with his own complicated backstory) and Jack’s bean stalk (and the Giant). Prince Charming will be acting sheriff in Emma’s absence, and face his own challenges, including a missing Henry and the framing of Red for murder. Regina will struggle to keep a promise to foster son Henry not to use magic, while she and Rumplestiltskin may be compelled, unhappily, to cooperate to face a truly dangerous opponent from their collective past, an opponent who will force life-changing choices on a number of characters.
One of the attractions of the show is its creative mixing of fairy tales from any genre. How else, for example, to explain Ruby (a werewolf in her alternate identity) talking Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein into performing life-saving surgery on an auto accident victim? “Once Upon a Time: The Second Season” is very highly recommended to its fans, who are likely to enjoy more good storylines and excellent work by a solid ensemble cast.
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This show has almost limitless possibilities and (at the writing of this review) is creatively satisfying the potential of an ever-expanding setting while maintaining continuity with previous episodes. To date Once Upon still hasn’t sold out to the HBO/Showtime/AMC paradigm of dark/edgy/gritty; a thematic bandwagon I’m so sick of I could literally vomit and more importantly they stick with the main characters from season one, continuing to develop them in a huge way (e.g. the welcome “manning up” of Charming) while constantly introducing new ones.
Also, I’ve sort of come to expect sub-standard or straight-up cheesy FX from television as a given and this is where Once Upon just continues to amaze me. What I really find astonishing is when I hear other people actually labeling the CG as bad… I guess I just don’t get it. I mean if we see a dragon on TV we already know it’s not real; we just hope it’s convincing enough to maintain the illusion that the events we’re watching might actually be taking place somewhere… out there. I say kudos to the producers for their frugal reliance on CG which is inherently a technology always one step ahead of being outdated and overly scrutinized as more people become fluent in graphics tech. In other words, too many people know how the trick is done to maintain the illusion if it’s the only trick up the sleeve, so to speak, and so I guess it’s a good thing that Once Upon excels in the areas of camera-work (including green-screen), costumes, sets, lighting, makeup, fighting and action choreography.
This is a bigger season with more action, lots of unexpected and clever plot twists, new realms and more fantasy than season one with just enough added drama to enhance adult appeal without detracting from the original premise; less emphasis on Emma, spotlight on Charming and Snow as their characters are reinvigorated, less of Henry, much more of The Dark One (i.e. Mr. Gold), sllightly less screen-time for the Evil Queen as new dangers and villains are introduced and based on the way this series is gaining momentum, I’d predict it may very well be a five year run because it just “feels” like the writers, producers, actors etc. actually enjoy what they’re doing. :o)
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