Beyond all reasonable expectations, the ABC show Once Upon A Time is shockingly good. The premise of the show sounded like a sure train wreck: Fairy tale characters are all banished to a small town in Maine to live miserable lives, unaware of their origin, after the evil queen places a curse on them all. The just-born daughter of Snow White avoids the curse, and grows up an orphan in Boston or something. Then her own son, adopted by the mayor/evil queen of the town after he's given up for adoption, finds her and brings her back to town.
At first, the only incentive I had to watch the show was that two actresses I really like, Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin, were the leads. Morrison was the first "House hottie" on that show, and I was always kind of into her, especially when they took her character to darker places. Goodwin is the single most underrated actress in the current 30-something club. Despite all of the A-list actresses, she made Mona Lisa Smile. I loved her in He's Just Not That Into You.
But still, if ever there was an opportunity for awful writing to make an awful show, this was it. We allowed six or seven episodes to pile up on the DVR, hesitant to even start watching. The other night, we gave it a shot, and we were instantly hooked.
As it turns out, the writing is pretty solid, hot chicks do battle, and the fantasy stuff recites classic tales without being a caricature of a mockery of bad Shakespeare performance stereotypes. The characters are fairly well drawn, and a cast of female leads and a likable kid make it fun to watch. Morrison even pulls off a little sarcastic humor.
So we're pretty into it. There are a few head scratchers here and there, like why they chose to make Little Red Riding Hood a waitress who is half-naked most of the time (+1 for the red streaky hair though). Overall, it's a hit.