Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Once Upon a Time Preview

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this particular post, I need to speak to a couple things about this. First, this is a PREVIEW as opposed to a REVIEW. That little 'P' makes a world of difference, as this is my thoughts about this series based on two things: a press release/synopsis of the particular series and then a "First Look" video, which is basically what amounts to a trailer. This is NOT a review, as I've not seen so much as a single entire episode yet.  Second, I was sent the opportunity to discuss this via Technorati-Media's Blogger Outreach program. I was actually sent two series to do this for, the other of which held exactly 0 interest for me.

Now, for the nuts and bolts of what's happening in this series. To start, I'll just provide the press release I was given:


Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy) invite you to a bold new vision of the world where fairytales and the modern day are about to collide.

Anna [sic] Swan (Jennifer Morrison) knows how to take care of herself.  She's a 28-year old bail bonds collector who's been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby.  But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything will change.  Henry (Jared Gilmore) is 10 years old now and in desperate need of Anna's help.  Henry believes that Anna actually comes from an alternate world... and is Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White's (Ginnifer Goodwin) missing daughter.  According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen's (Lana Parilla) curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time.  Of course Anna doesn't believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town.  Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems.  It's a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close... where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don't remember who they once were--including the Evil Queen who is now Henry's foster mother.  The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Anna will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

Brace yourself for a modern fable with thrilling twists and hints of darkness.  Brimming with wonder, and filled with the magic of our most beloved fairytales, Once Upon A Time is a fitting follow up to Lost from two master storytellers.



Welcome to a world where fairytales are real.  Anna Swan is like any other 28 year old, until she discovers she's a lost princess destined to save her world from darkness.  Experience the passion project of executive producers/creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron).  Once Upon A Time is a thrilling twist of our most beloved stories.


  • Robert Carlyle – Rumplestiltskin
  • Josh Dallas - Prince Charming/John Doe
  • James Dornan - Sheriff Graham
  • Jared Gilmore – Henry
  • Ginnifer Goodwin - Snow White/Sister Mary Margret Blanchard
  • Jennifer Morrison - Emma Swan
  • Lana Parilla - Evil Queen/Regina
  • Raphael Sbarge - Archie/Jiminy Cricket


  • Production Company - ABC Studios
  • Executive Producer - Edward Kitsis
  • Executive Producer - Adam Horowitz
  • Executive Producer - Steve Pearlman
  • Executive Producer/Director - Mark Mylod

There. That's out of the way.

Now, my first, instinctual reaction is: BOOYAH! I CAN'T WAIT!

I mean, I am a dedicated geek in regards to all things SF/F related. It's part an parcel of who I am. And this show plucks at a lot of those particular points of interest for me.  I'm excited about this television show.

Which, honestly is something that scares me. Let's consider the other TV shows that I've been excited over for the past few years:

  • V
  • No Ordinary Family
  • Stargate Universe
  • BSG: Caprica
  • The Middle Man
  • Dollhouse
  • Harper's Island

Yes, notice something interesting about that list. It's all of genre TV shows, and then Harper's Island. Notice something else about said list: they were all cancelled; again, with the exception of Harper's Island. Of course, Harper's Island really doesn't count since it was a murder-mystery with a pre-defined plot, and static length for the series. One KNEW before starting, how long it was going on, which made it more along the lines of a season of an anime from Japan than a standard American series.

That's what makes me scared, because I'm not sure that I can trust ABC to do the series justice. As that would require a few things: 1) give it at least a season to gain steam before tinkering with timeslots and/or cancelling and 2) actually end it when the story is wrapped up.

Now, with that digression aside, let's look at this intellectually and with a dab of some pseudo-post-modernism.

Once Upon a Time is, at its fundamental, both a standard good-v-evil fairy tale, as well as a sequel of sorts to Snow White. We're being provided a glimpse of what happened after Snow White's wedding night, as seen through the a mash-up of the comic-book series Fables and Disney's Enchanted.

That said, this looks like it will be a fun ride with the skeptical Emma Swan having to come to terms with who she is in this series' mythology—and what that will mean for her life. Part of me hopes that the press releases haven't given up all the secrets for this series. I'm hoping for some set-backs in regards to Emma Swan's status as a fairy tale princess, at the least.

All that said, this series will definitely get added to my DVR—and I may actually take the time to watch it in real-time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

[C] - Thoughts Almost Right...

Well, I had gotten things almost right in my thoughts the other day regarding [C] episode 3.

Yes, the Financial District does impact the real world by making folks disappear, but it's not tied into the amount of Midas Dollars in the Real World the way I had assumed. Instead, it's based around the concept of people's futures.

Which, as a parent is incredibly terrifying. One is left with the option of ignoble suicide or the disappearance of your children. That's deep, harsh and just plain evil.

What's interesting is the fact that they came right out and smacked folks with this concept. No bush-beating, no hiding, they let the audience and the protagonist know that these are the options for those that go bankrupt in the Financial District.

 I for one can't wait to see how they go about getting this storyline hashed out....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sick Wives & "Baby Mine"…

The Beloved Wife has been a bit under the weather these past few days, and as is the case with mother's everywhere, she pushed herself a bit hard, insisting that she was well and that I should head off to work while she went about her routine. Of course this meant that she was in bed, asleep, by 7pm tonight.

Which sadly meant that she was unable to participate in the usual rituals which are associated with bed time in our household. Surprisingly the little monsters were actually understanding about this. I read the littlest one his story, then took them both into our bedroom to kiss the Beloved Wife, and then it was time for the elder's story. There was no crying or whining about needing mommy which has often accompanied bed time rituals when the Beloved Wife is on one of her rare "Girl's Night Out" shin-digs.

Of course, the 4 year old being who he is, and having been threated with dire punishments if he woke his mother, about twenty minutes after they were both tucked into bed, he came wandering into the living room.  His mission, was to find someone who would sing him Baby Mine.

Now over the past 8+ years of having children I must have heard this song thousands of times. It's long been a part of the evening ritual that a child will call for the Beloved Wife and request an evening serenade. I think it nigh upon broke her heart when the eldest decided he was too old for it, and though she grumbles at times, it will do the same when the youngest finally makes that decision.

Of course none of that mattered at the moment when I had a four year-old, crawling onto my lap wanting an evening song.

After all, there were two very real issues with this.

The first is that I'm not my Beloved Wife. I do not have a good singing voice. While (with the appropriate amplification hardware) I can speak somewhat eloquently (sadly, that's a skill that's a bit rusty the last time I tried pulling it out for use), the truth is, that I can't sing.  There's no rhythm in me. I can't stay on key. And the closest I ever got to harmony was this girl I met in the mountains on a business trip with my parents when I was in the seventh grade. The thing is, that I'm not talking about I can't sing in the slightly funny way that normal people can't sing. I'm talking about the American Idol outtakes version of "I can't sing." I'm talking FRIDAY-level catastrophe when I sing. I'm talking that I can get dirty looks at church level of "I can't sing." The only thing going for me in that department, is the fact that I know it.

The second is that despite hearing Baby Mine thousands upon thousands of times, I'd never really LISTENED to Baby Mine. I love listening to my wife sing. It could be the grocery list for all I care, so long as she was singing it. Quite often the words don't matter so much as the sound of her voice. So, having never really listened to the words for Baby Mine, I quickly realized that I only knew the first two lines of the song.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation.

I asked the four year old if he knew what the words were.

The Look My 4yo Gave MeI think he wanted to smack me. At least that's the vibe I was getting when he looked at me.  I'm not sure though. I mean, if he had been a teenager, I would have known instantly, as I'm certain I would have been met with a roll of the eyes, and a half-snarled, "really, Dad?"

Finally, I cajoled some of the verses from him. And attempted to sing.

At which point he interrupted me with the fact that I was supposed to be singing this.

Then at the second attempt, he quickly informed me that the third stanza did not begin with the phrase "Baby mine" the way the first two did.

So, I did what any reasonable person did. I suggested a different song. After all, Baby Mine was the special song that Mommy sings.

When I stumbled across another realization.

I didn't know any lullabies.

I mean, it's not like the things are exactly in my repertoire of things I do daily. Need, I remind you about my chronic case of no musical capabilities?

The first suggestion I came up with was Jesus Loves Me. I thought this would be a perfect thing, and at least it wasn't the ABC song or Baa Baa Black Sheep (fun useless fact: ABC, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all have the same tune). Well, there was going to be zero of the hymnals going on. Apparently, they weren't bed-time enough for the 4 year old.

I racked my brain a bit, and then came up with the brilliant idea of suggesting Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I could see his four-year-old brain working, trying to come up with a good reason why that wasn't an acceptable song, and I realized that he was just milking this to stay out of his bed.

His response was that TTLS had to be sung where one could see the stars. This was despite the fact that he's been singing this song inside during daylight hours for most of his life. But, dear old Dad was one step ahead of that. I plucked him up, and we stepped outside so that we could see the stars.  Not as clearly as during the winter, but still good enough for this purpose.

And I proceeded to sing to him.

Once that was done, we returned inside, and I checked to make sure his ears weren't bleeding (one can never be too careful when I sing), and then sent him off back to bed.

Where he stayed for like ten minutes before he was back in the living room concerned about a missing toy (that was hiding under his pillow).

Ahhh…. the joys of parentage.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

[C] (Episode 3) Thoughts

I can admit that when I first read the synopsis for this series, I was very hesitant about it. It sounded like an insane riff on the magical beast battle thing. Fundamentally, that's true, though there are other aspects that actually make it interesting.

But that's not what I'm left considering here.

Now, there's going to be spoilers in here for episode 3, and this isn't really a review, so much as a drop area for thoughts on the episode, and some things that happened within it.

Now, this episode was narrated by Jennifer Satou. Her character is an entre that also works for an "Organization" which is investigating the Financial Districts. It's a somewhat over-bearing way for us to get details about how the Financial District (and the related concepts) works in this world.

Anyways, Jennifer Satou is investigating the flow of MIDAS MONEY from the Financial District into the real world because her organization is worried about the impact of MIDAS MONEY on the various economies of the world.

[C] Episode 3 Oddity #1Yet, while I watched this episode, I had to wonder if there wasn't something else going on as well. If the Financial District wasn't tinkering with the real world on an even larger aspect than just shifting its money into the world of the real.

The first hint of something being off happened around the five minute mark of this episode, and is encompassed by the three screenshots to the right there.

This set is basically broken down into three distinct actions.

  1. Jennifer Satou gets into a line at a DONUT shop
  2. The screen does this weird digitizing effect
  3. Random NPC disappears into the digitizing effect
  4. Jennifer is now in line at a TAIYAKI shop

What's more interesting is that Jennifer seems to EXPECT these shifts in reality.

She seems to realize that something has changed. She is able to observe (and additionally is unaffected by) whatever is the root cause of the digitizing effect. This is evidenced by her comment on the fact that the donut shop has turned into a TAIYAKI shop (see the subtitle in that third screen cap).

Now, exactly what's happening here, I'm not 100% certain, as the characters haven't seen fit to tell me yet.

Of course, I wouldn't be writing this today if I didn't have a random possibility to consider here.

And that random possibility is that the there is a correlation between the amount of MIDAS money in the real world and the underlying structure of the real world.

Consider, X amount of MIDAS DOLLARS were shifted from the Financial District to the real world, and that was the cause of the random NPC disappearing.

And of course, Entres are not affected by it, and worse, they remember the world prior to the change.

Cop Encounter with JenniferThis can be concluded from when the police officer approaches Jennifer's van, and Jennifer doesn't recognize the officer, while the officer doesn't recognize the name of the person Jennifer expected to be patrolling this area.

These are both subtle disconnects which present a darker point behind the already dark aspects of the Financial District. Additionally, it's one which the characters don't even seem to realize or consider.

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