Once Upon a Time Starts Sunday

Art Attack will be bringing you coverage of the new ABC drama Once Upon a Time starting on Monday, October 24.

We've been intrigued by the show ever since it was announced. Originally we believed that the show was the rumored television adaptation to Bill Willingham's acclaimed comic book Fables, the story of refugees from the fairy tale worlds fleeing an oppressive dictator to live in modern day Manhattan. Development on an adaptation has been kicking around since 2005, first at NBC and then later on ABC where there hasn't been any news for some time.

Once Upon a Time shares some similarities with Fables, and creators Edward Kistis and Adam Horowitz have admitted to having read an issue or two, but the two projects diverge pretty far from one another. In Once Upon a Time, Jennifer Morrison is a 28-year-old bail bond collector who encounters the son she gave up for adoption ten years ago. The boy drags his mother into the town of Storybrooke, where fairytale characters are frozen in time with no memories of their enchanted counterparts.

We guess the frozen in time bit is meant to explain to us how a 32-year-old Jennifer Morrison is the daughter of Snow White, played by the 33-year-old Ginnifer Goodwin, who was the last reason to keep watching Big Love as it jumped the shark and the shark's many wives. By the by, Lana Parilla, who as the evil queen from Snow White serves as the show's main antagonist, is only 34.

Visually the show looks sort of disjointed in its previews, like they can't decide if they want to emulate Game of Thrones or do a series about the Silent Hill video games. We're also somewhat underwhelmed by the costumes and the looks of the characters. In fact, we're kind of wondering what Goodwin said to the hairstylist to make her do whatever it was she did. Everything seems dreary, and you sort of start to wonder if Stephen King turned out to be a horror novelist from spending one too many days in the bleak Maine climate.

That being said, the idea is still very intriguing. It's nice to have something otherworldly to watch that doesn't involve vampires, and speaking of which there is at least two very good reasons to tune in. One is Emma Caulfield from Buffy the Vampire Slayer who has a recurring role as the Hansel and Gretel witch. The other is that the stunning and awesome Kristin Bauer van Straten of True Blood will appear as freakin' Maleficent, the evil queen's main rival. You could've sold us on watching the show on that casting choice alone.

We're looking forward to reviewing the show for you folks, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention our greatest fear about the show... namely that we'll love it. See, it's ABC. What do My So-Called Life, Twin Peaks, and Pushing Daisies all have in common? They were all critically-acclaimed shows that ABC cancelled. Holy crap! Did anyone else just imagine a show where Angela Chase, Ned, and Dale Cooper all work for the FBI investigating paranormal phenomenon after being fired from television? No? Just us? Ya'll are so boring.

This unfortunate track record means we rarely invest our time in the network, but seeing Pam play the baddest villain in Disney history is just too tempting to pass up. So Charlie Brown is going to try to kick the football again, and if ABC goes all Lucy and yanks the football out from under us again, we're going to have to have words with the frozen head of Walt Disney.

Once Upon a Time airs 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on ABC Sundays starting October 23.

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