My favorite new show this past year is Once Upon a Time. Some people tell me they like it as a guilty pleasure, but I just like it. I’ve always been a sucker for fairy tales with an adult twist, and my favorite is quirky one-hours (I’ve spent this summer re-watching Buffy, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, etc.). So of course I love this show. And then they posted this to their Facebook:
Here’s the thing: we’ve been to Wonderland. And they actually found a really cool way to do it, where Wonderland was another world parallel to Fairy Tale land, the same way our world is. (Incidentally, are we all in agreement that the Queen of Hearts is Regina’s mother? Good.) It was a way of incorporating a story that fit into the same genre, but not seamlessly. It was creative.
Now cut it out.
Because saying that every story that’s *kind of* like a fairy tale also has its own world parallel to our world and Fairy Tale world brings up a question they don’t want to answer. Specifically, which came first: the story or the world? If the story came first, and the act of telling it caused the world to spring into being, then regular humans are imbued with god-like powers and no, just no. South Park did it, and did it better than OUaT ever could, because South Park is ridiculous and this notion is ridiculous. If the world came first, and the story of that world happened to make its way to people who retold it, then our greatest literary accomplishments, as a species, are moot. The great imaginations that we can cultivate, the stories we are capable of, are really just an act of plagiarism. I have to hope that a room full of writers knows better than to take us there.
The magic door to another world was brilliant. Once. But that’s why the show isn’t called “Over and Over Again Until It Loses All Novelty Upon a Time.”