My Love-Hate Relationship with Once Upon a Time

Today I feel like talking about something just a little lighter. You know, I quit writing on this blog before because I’m a very opinionated person, and when family members started calling me because they were angry about stuff that I wrote I shied away from continuing.

I am definitely the dirty hippy in an otherwise mostly conservative family.

But today I don’t want to think about Issues. I want to think about fiction, and what better place to start than one of my basic obsessions: Once Upon a Time?

What I love about this show:

Some time ago, back before I chickened out on blogging in a big way, one of my fellow writers wrote a nice review on Backlash called What Are We Teaching With Our Fiction? Lewina Solwing is the author of The Secret of Flight, a book that I adored because it so completely subverted the “combat myth”–this idea that every problem in the world needs to be solved with violence. In fact, every time her characters resorted to violence they ended up the worse for it. Her story was one in which compassion and understanding for “the enemy” defined heroism. It’s beautifully done, and if anyone is hungry for something different they should check it out.

I actually see some similar themes in Once Upon a Time. By far, the most compelling characters are Regina, the Evil Queen, and Mr. Gold, a.k.a. Rumplestiltskin. They have done terrible things, but they are also redeemable. You don’t see them as horrible monsters to be put down. You cheer like crazy when it looks like Regina might get her happy ending at last–or at least, I do. I want that woman to find true love like whoa, and I cry for her every time her heart twists over her son. I want Belle and Rumple to go off into the sunset. I want Emma to realize she loves Captain Hook so he can get his Happy Ending too. It’s not that they get off the hook for their choices. They don’t. They make their own beds in a lot of cases. But they’re just so very human, and often a lot more easy to identify with than some of the rest of the cast, who fall into the Lawful Stupid trap a little more than I’d like.

Both stories hit on something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time–this notion of “scripts.” A long time ago I read this book by a psychiatrist (I don’t remember whom) who mentioned that our culture, our media, our everything–teaches us scripts for how we think we should react in a situation. How you react in a plane hijacking, for example, will depend largely on the script that you have been taught. You don’t have any other reference for how to act in that situation, so you revert. (I think it was a book about hijacking. Maybe? I read a lot).

Anyway, our fiction teaches more scripts than anything else, and I think the predominant script that’s been taught is usually: bad guy does wrong, hero rides in, hero kills bad guy, order is restored and everyone lives happily ever after.

That’s a terrible script really, even though it’s hard to break out of. Hell, I love stories where you kick the ass of the enemy all over town. The problem is, that’s the same script that sends us to bomb civilians and children in unjust, expensive wars. It literally plugs into the violence and fear in our world. Why is that?

Because in the movies of our lives, we are all the heroes. We never, ever just up and decide we’re the villains. In fact, in Once finally acknowledging their lives as villains were major turning points for Hook, Regina, and Rumple.

I note that Jesus gave us a different script–villain wrongs you, and you forgive, because you’ve done wrong in turn. You pray and show them love, and that love draws people naturally into the redemptive light. Someday I will figure out how to put that script into my fiction without mimicking fundamentalist propaganda. I want, desperately, to figure out how to tell great stories on that script. Once provides me with a good blueprint for that, because that is what Snow, Henry, Charming, and even, to some extent, Emma, are very good at doing.

What drives me crazy about OuAT:

Siiiiiiiiiigh.

The inconsistent characterization is terrible. One minute Snow is a savvy badass bandit. The next, she’s this wide eyed innocent who can’t exercise even basic deductive reasoning. She is the worst culprit for not exercising her survival instincts at all. David/Charming isn’t much better.

Spoiler alert.

I’m sorry. Okay. You know that someone we haven’t identified yet cast this new curse. HMMM. And you know it’s probably the Wicked Witch of Oz. HMMMM. So this unidentified female wearing a GREAT BIG EMERALD GEM shows up and wants to be your midwife. The right answer is: “I’m sorry, until we find this witch I don’t feel comfortable letting anyone into my home or near my baby/wife.” It is NOT “Let me drink your tea, your OJ, and let me let you into my house and become besties.” David almost got it, and then he spaced out and drank the freaking tea. I mean. WHAT?

This is not the first time I have seen characters who are supposed to be savvy and smart adventurers just completely space out.

Also, Did Not Do the Research.

Spoiler alert again.

Emma is a bail bondsperson. Apparently someone with basic skip tracing skills–she’s supposedly good enough at her job to afford a very expensive New York City apartment.

Regina is the Mayor of Storybrooke.

So um…okay. You have this farmhouse. You’re sure it’s the bad guy’s farmhouse. Well, every home in the state is registered at the County Clerk’s Office. It records who holds the deed to that home and the assessed value of that home for tax purposes. Skip tracers use this all the time, either to locate assets or to locate people.

Either one of these women should have been able to think of that. They’d have had the name of that witch in about 30 seconds. They could have done that while standing in the yard on their smart phones or, if the county clerk was not online, with a simple phone call. I know Storybrooke is a special curse town, but there are indications that whenever it’s on the map it keeps records and observes the laws like any other town.

At the very least, there should have been some dialogue like:

Emma: Here, let me check the county clerk’s office. We can find out who owns the house.

Regina: Storybrooke doesn’t really do that since it exists in this kind of bubble. (Or whatever).

Something to at least explain why these women were not using what is otherwise a basic, take-10 knowledge check for either one of their professions. Sure, it’s more exciting to go riffle through her crap and to look for “magic traces,” and I certainly enjoyed the budding Robin Hood romance (I love how Robin chooses to see Regina) but…c’mon.

Of course, maybe I only notice that because I spent a year skip tracing, and it was one of the first things I thought of when they found the house.

Taking lessons back to my own fiction.

There’s really no point to being a critic of someone else’s fiction if you’re not going to take the lessons back to your own. Lesson #1 is of course in different ways that the script can be reversed or subverted without sucking the element of adventure out of your plot.

The second lesson is consistent characterization matters. Either you’re a kung-fu bow bandit who survived a man hunt or you’re a wide-eyed innocent with no survival instincts. You cannot possibly pull off both. Snow can still see the good in everyone while maintaining some basic caution. She can even be polite about it.

The third lesson is that you need to be careful about explaining how heroes solve problems. They could have called a real bondsperson to ask how they’d handle the problem, for example, just to get and write that perspective.

#WickedAlwaysWins is a pretty believable tag when the heroes are fumbling about like they just fell off the turnip truck.

Share

193 thoughts on “My Love-Hate Relationship with Once Upon a Time

  1. Hi blogger !! I read your blog everyday and i must say you have hi quality posts here.
    Your website deserves to go viral. You need initial traffic only.
    How to go viral fast? Search for: forbesden’s tools
    91Angie recently posted…91AngieMy Profile

  2. Hello,I log on to your new stuff named “My Love-Hate Relationship with Once Upon a Time | Carmen Rane HudsonCarmen Rane Hudson” on a regular basis.Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about اغانى جديدة.

  3. I see you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra bucks every month because you’ve got hi quality content.

    If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for: Mrdalekjd
    methods for $$$
    FirstBrayden recently posted…FirstBraydenMy Profile

  4. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  5. Фонд Mubadala из ОАЭ может инвестировать более млрд долларов в российские аэропорт и медцентр.
    [url=http://exillium.ru/bolgar.html]паспорт болгарии для россиян[/url]
    [url=http://exillium.ru/bolgar.html][img]http://tagfly.ru/cache/images/1085x1500_ЋЂќ_Working in the United Arab Emirates.jpg[/img][/url]
    ОАЭ может инвестировать в Россию 1 миллиард долларов. Суверенный фонд Mubadala из ОАЭ может инвестировать более 1 млрд долларов в российские аэропорт и медицинский центр. При этом инвесторы могут получить льготы на приобретение долей данных предприятий. Первая сделка касается реконструкции аэропорта Пулково. После завершения первого этапа работ Mubadala намерен приобрести долю в ООО «Воздушные ворота Северной столицы» у банка «ВТБ». Второй объект инвестирования &#8211, проект ООО «ПЭТ-Технолоджи Балашиха» и ООО «ПЭТ-Технолоджи Подольск» по созданию в МО двух высокотехнологичных медицинских центров для пациентов с онкологическими заболеваниями, которые позволят жителям региона получать качественное лечение по месту жительства. По инициативе РФПИ на ближайшем заседании правительственной комиссии будет рассмотрен вопрос о предоставлении инвесторам из ОАЭ льготных условий приобретения долей в компаниях. Ранее «Инвест-Форсайт» уже писал о сотрудничестве РФПИ с другим суверенным фондом из ОАЭ &#8211, Public Investment Fund, которое началось два года назад. Как сообщалось, суммарная стоимость запланированных совместных проектов оценивается в 3 млрд долларов.
    http://exillium.ru/bolgar.html
    Арабские инвесторы вложат в Россию млрд долларов
    [url=http://exillium.ru/free-zone.html]инвестиции в недвижимость оаэ[/url]

  6. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I
    appreciate you spending some time and energy to put
    this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both
    reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  7. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.

    I am quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!

    Good luck for the next!
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  8. What i do not realize is in truth how you’re not really a lot more well-liked than you might be right now.
    You’re so intelligent. You recognize therefore significantly in relation to this matter, produced me in my opinion consider it from numerous
    numerous angles. Its like women and men are
    not interested until it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga!
    Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always handle it up!
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  9. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less.

    I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am anxious
    about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?

    Any help would be really appreciated!
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  10. It’s really a cool and useful piece of information. I am happy
    that you shared this helpful information with us.

    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  11. you’re really a just right webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a magnificent job in this matter!
    minecraft recently posted…minecraftMy Profile

  12. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of
    area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this information So i am satisfied to show that
    I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I
    needed. I such a lot unquestionably will make sure to don?t omit this web site and provides
    it a glance on a relentless basis.
    minecraft free download 2018 recently posted…minecraft free download 2018My Profile

  13. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog
    website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered brilliant transparent idea
    tinder dating site recently posted…tinder dating siteMy Profile

  14. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was
    just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or
    anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.
    tinder dating site recently posted…tinder dating siteMy Profile

  15. You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve read a single thing like this before.
    So good to discover someone with unique thoughts on this
    issue. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the web, someone
    with some originality!
    Coconut Oil Benefits recently posted…Coconut Oil BenefitsMy Profile

  16. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so
    I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.

    I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyways, very good blog!
    Coconut Oil recently posted…Coconut OilMy Profile

  17. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However
    I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it.
    Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anyone
    who knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!
    descargar facebook recently posted…descargar facebookMy Profile

  18. Quest bars cheap fitnesstipsnew1 quest bars cheap 516999410492780544 quest
    bars cheap
    Hello friends, nice article and pleasant arguments commented here,
    I am truly enjoying by these. Quest bars cheap fitnesstipsnew1 quest bars cheap 516999410492780544 quest bars
    cheap
    quest bars cheap recently posted…quest bars cheapMy Profile

  19. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your articles.

    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that cover the same topics? Thanks!
    quest bars recently posted…quest barsMy Profile

  20. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I
    am inspired! Extremely useful info particularly the remaining phase :) I deal
    with such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for
    a very long time. Thanks and best of luck.
    Quest Bars Cheap recently posted…Quest Bars CheapMy Profile

  21. Hello I am so delighted I found your web site, I really
    found you by error, while I was searching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I
    am here now and would just like to say thank you for a tremendous post and a
    all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all
    at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the excellent job.
    Quest Bars Cheap recently posted…Quest Bars CheapMy Profile

  22. I’ll right away snatch your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.
    Quest Bars recently posted…Quest BarsMy Profile

  23. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I
    could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
    trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!
    Sling TV recently posted…Sling TVMy Profile

  24. I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?
    What Equipment is Needed for Sling TV recently posted…What Equipment is Needed for Sling TVMy Profile

  25. Can I simply just say what a comfort to uncover a person that really understands what they are discussing on the web.
    You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people should read this and understand this side of your story.

    I can’t believe you are not more popular since you surely possess the gift.
    What Equipment is Needed for Sling TV recently posted…What Equipment is Needed for Sling TVMy Profile

  26. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many
    options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any recommendations? Bless you!
    What Equipment is Needed for Sling TV recently posted…What Equipment is Needed for Sling TVMy Profile

  27. Admiring the time and effort you put into your website and
    detailed information you provide. It’s good to
    come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old
    rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve saved your
    site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
    Sling TV recently posted…Sling TVMy Profile

  28. I do believe all the ideas you’ve offered to your post. They are
    really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters.

    May just you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.
    Sling TV recently posted…Sling TVMy Profile

  29. We are a group of volunteers and starting
    a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on.
    You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community
    will be thankful to you.
    Sling TV recently posted…Sling TVMy Profile

  30. Sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018
    I have been browsing on-line greater than three
    hours these days, but I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s beautiful value enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners
    and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web will be
    much more helpful than ever before. Sling tv coupons and promo codes for november
    2018
    sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018 recently posted…sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018My Profile

  31. Sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018
    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful information specifically the last part :) I care for such info a lot.
    I was seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you
    and best of luck. Sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018
    sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018 recently posted…sling tv coupons and promo codes for november 2018My Profile

  32. You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve read through anything like this before.
    So good to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject matter.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site
    is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!
    descargar facebook recently posted…descargar facebookMy Profile

  33. I believe this is one of the such a lot significant info for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But should remark on few common issues, The web site style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Excellent task, cheers

  34. Thank you for some other informative site. The place else may just I am getting that kind of info written in such an ideal manner?
    I have a undertaking that I’m simply now operating on, and I have been on the glance
    out for such info.
    descargar facebook recently posted…descargar facebookMy Profile

  35. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated information, nonetheless actually worth taking a look, whoa did one master about Mid East has got extra problerms as well

  36. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nevertheless genuinely worth taking a look, whoa did 1 understand about Mid East has got extra problerms at the same time

  37. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about!
    Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my website =).
    We will have a link exchange contract between us
    Sling TV recently posted…Sling TVMy Profile

  38. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site.
    Studying this information So i’m satisfied to express that I’ve
    an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I most definitely will make sure to do not forget this
    website and give it a glance on a relentless basis.
    Sling TV Save Money Coupon 2018 recently posted…Sling TV Save Money Coupon 2018My Profile

  39. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it
    up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.
    descargar facebook recently posted…descargar facebookMy Profile

  40. Pingback: sexleketøy

  41. Pingback: Libby Adams product reviews

  42. Pingback: Sigaretta Elettronica

  43. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your site in internet explorer, may test this… IE nonetheless is the market chief and a huge part of folks will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  44. Pingback: free slots nj

  45. Pingback: Take my online class for me

  46. Pingback: Tech News

  47. Pingback: affordable home car life

  48. Pingback: best movers in Washington DC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge