Once Upon a Time Creators – Ask The Fans

Recently on Twitter the creators of Once Upon a Time put up a fan survey by way of Yahoo TV. On a side note is yahoo still a thing? I thought that had gone the way of MySpace, oh wait no that was Geocities and maybe yahoo groups, I digress. Anyway, they said they wanted the answers emailed by Monday 29th February and they’d publish the best/most interesting.

I’m me so I don’t really dare to email but I found the questions interesting and thought I would make it the subject of a blog post. I love this show so much and part of me wants to email. I doubt that they will read the responses, I’m sure they will have thousands, but I do want to scream at them to be careful, to not wreck the wonderful show they made.

The last part of 5A, the conclusion to the Dark Swan arc, was very difficult to accept. I can usually rationalize away anything that they do, I can make the logic work. However, what happened was just so wrong in terms of who I believe the characters to be, that there was no excusing it unless they do something to address it on screen.

However, whatever is done, is unfortunately done in terms of 5B. That begins airing again, a week tomorrow, so nothing will change it’s course now. All I have are my hopes and dreams, and if necessary a steady supply of ‘fix-it fanfic’ as I have read some really good ones for different points in the past.

Anyway, the questions, they are seven of them.

1) Tell us about what gets you excited to watch a new season or episode of television — is it new plot developments or character introductions, anticipated storylines for characters you love, community with friends? What brings you to the tube?

Definitely anticipated storylines for characters I love. That obviously involves new plot developments but at the heart of every story are characters. It’s all about the characters journey, them learning something about themselves or resolving issues. If events happen then it’s about the impact it has on the character. Sure I love exciting plot reveals as much as the next person. However, you can’t have that without character.

I love expanding lore but I love consistency even more. As a storyteller I know the importance of leaving dangling plot threads, it gives you somewhere to go with a sequel at a later date. However, as a reader I like resolution. Therefore the happiest medium is to make progress with the plot threads, and every time another one gets resolved, open up another situation to leave for next time.

I have my favorite characters of course – Rumplestiltskin is my favorite with Regina a close second. However, I don’t mind what characters get their time in the spotlight, so long as it’s done fairly to “character”. By that I don’t mean fairness in terms of equal screen time, I mean fairness in terms of the characters only being themselves, not going ‘out of character’ in order for another character to shine. I hate stupidity, I loathe it and so I especially hate it when all the characters who should be awesome are useless, just so one particular character gets to shine.

An example that comes to mind is how Once Upon a Time treats Rumplestiltskin. I get that they have a problem with him, he’s really powerful and really smart and he could totally own every situation. Therefore, just like with the X-Men films and Professor X, they take Rumple out of play. Professor X can end any fight by just freezing everyone, way too powerful.

So Rumple in Neverland, shining moment of awesome when he said “Neverland is a place where imagination runs wild, and sadly yours doesn’t”, spins his cane and disappears off to get Henry. I was thrilled, I thought we were going to see Rumple take care of business, showing that villains make better heroes as they know how to get things done. However, he then spends the next eight episodes or whatever it was just wandering round the island, taking to a hallucination of Belle. I mean, really? Then Pan tricked him and I know it was all emotional, what with Pan being his dad and all but Rumple is smarter than that.

I think I might be getting a bit off topic but basically what draws me to a show is character, but you have to treat those characters with respect. If you establish that they are smart and powerful, then you can’t have them be really stupid just because it’s convenient. It’s not just stupidity either. I love Once Upon a Time, I really do, but the writers absolutely do not know what to do with Belle. She’s supposed to be Rumple’s true love, and sometimes she says the right things, occasionally she does the right things, but a lot of the time I just don’t see it. I say that as a RumBelle fan but I’ve complained about this before, how can there be true love without true acceptance?

Anyway, moving on.

2) Which Once character would you like to meet in real life?

None of them, I doubt they’d be very impressed with me. They are all very strong, smart and witty and I would just be in awe, jaw dropping, forget how to speak kind of deal. However, yeah I would love to meet with Rumplestiltskin. He would probably turn me into a snail for talking to him but I feel so bad for him, no-one understands what he’s been through and what an impact that has had.

I would want to tell him that I get it and that he’s not a coward, that Belle is wrong to emotionally blackmail him to do it her way, that darkness isn’t always the wrong choice. I would ask him why the hell he hasn’t killed the Blue Fairy, as she really deserves it. Villains are more pragmatic than heroes and that’s a good thing. No-one has ever supported him, or taken his side, or trusted him. It’s appalling how they treat him, he’s the demon, scourge of the realms unless they need something. No wonder he doesn’t want to help them, he’s family but it’s not like they ever treat him like that.

I could rant about this all day, so next.

3) Of all the villains to visit Storybrooke, who would you like to see return the most?

That’s difficult because there are several people I would like to see return, however I don’t think the show classes them as villains. I mean who have we had as villains causing trouble in town?
– Hook, who is now a hero.
– Cora, who is dead.
– Ursula who wasn’t much of a villain anyway.
– Zelena, who is still in it.
– Maleficient, who would bring back that awful Lily plot which I prefer to forget ever existed. – Greg and Tamara, also both dead.
– King George, it’s presumed that he was arrested for Billy’s murder but it was never stated and unlike Sidney Glass we haven’t seen his name on a door in the asylum.
– Pan, who’s dead.
– Cruella De Vil, dead.
– Snow Queen, turned sort of good and dead
– Isaac Heller (the old author), which would bring up the author plot which I didn’t like because I felt it took away free will and made them less like real people.
– King Arthur, his story never really got resolved and Excalibur is gone now for good, what that means for the ambitious and obsessed king I don’t know.

I think that’s pretty much the whole list, though I might have missed someone. In all honesty, dead should stay dead, I have a problem with the whole Underworld plot because of that. Therefore that really cuts down the list. I’m thinking I would like to go for King George if he’s still around.

I’ve always thought it was disappointing that the curse broke, and all these royals/nobles who had their own kingdoms in the Enchanted Forest, never made any kind of fuss about Storybrooke. They just live simple lives of no power and let Regina and the Charmings get on with it. For people used to power, it just doesn’t make sense.

However, I would like to see King Arthur’s storyline concluded. In fact rather than bringing back villains I would just like to see them conclude some hanging storylines. I mean even if they only just do the more recent ones. Did the third curse break? You know I don’t think it did though the dreamcatchers restored the main characters memories, though I’m not sure that’s true for the people of Camelot. Does that mean Dopey is still a tree outside the town line? In that vein Merida is trapped in Storybrooke, she’s supposed to be Queen of her people. She’s going to want to get back to them, her people weren’t caught in the third curse, just her because she went to get revenge on King Arthur for killing her dad. Which brings up another point – her revenge.

However, they have never even mentioned the Frozen people after 4A was concluded, which is a shame as I liked Anna. Therefore I suspect it will just get lost like the myriad of characters they have introduced for one episode, given a backstory too, and then never seen again.

4) What inspires you to tweet about a show you’re watching? How often would you say you watch live so that you can participate in the conversation on Twitter?

I’m British so I watch on Netflix, which hopefully will air three days after the US on Wednesday’s again. Therefore I can’t ever watch ‘live’ and I don’t tend to tweet because of spoilers. However, I do sometimes tweet my reactions, and just be non-specific about the cause, just because I can’t help it. I’ll have a reaction to something character related, that will make me happy/sad/angry etc. and I’ll need to say something. The stronger the reaction, the more I have to say and to be honest I blog about Once Upon a Time more than I tweet.

The more I love a show, the more I care about it, the more I talk about it. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and that is just not enough.

5) Which new fairy tale character or world that we have not explored would you like to see on Once Upon a Time?

To answer this question as it stands I would say Aladdin. It’s one of the few big Disney animated films that hasn’t got the ‘Once’ treatment yet. They’ve alluded to it several times but we’ve not seen the titular character or Princess Jasmine. It seems like a logical inclusion, to be honest I’m surprised it wasn’t done season one.

However, to answer the question with my gut answer I would have to say – none. I want the constant introduction of new characters to stop. I want more development of the characters I already love, not episodes dedicated to characters that will disappear at the end of the half season. Bring it back to basics, focus on the main cast once more. Have Zelena be the villain (as they have to have one to fight) when she returns from Oz, as I’m sure she will do at some point.

Keep the focus on the characters we know and love, the Charmings, Henry, Emma, Regina, Rumplestiltskin, Belle and Hook. Bring in the regulars of Granny, the dwarves, I would also say Ruby if they hadn’t sent her back to the Enchanted Forest. I’m still mad about how they ‘excused’ her absence from the show.

Each episode should already be triple the length to cover everything that should be covered. So much is already not seen on screen, they could make this better by not bringing in new people all the time. Don’t get me wrong I sometimes love them – Anna as I said above was a real treat – but I would take more Regina or Rumple screentime over Anna in a heartbeat.

6) If you could move to Storybrooke, who would you want to be your next door neighbor?

That town just attracts trouble, it would certainly never be boring. To be honest I’m not sure. If you live next to one of the main characters then you’d be in the line of fire, it wouldn’t exactly be a quiet area. However, you’d have them to defend you if something went wrong. Living on the outskirts sounds more peaceful, until you get some demon running around, in which case the safest place to be is right next to the people with magic/swords.

Although there is something to be said for the red shirt principle. The main characters always manage to escape unscathed, however to show the ‘seriousness of the threat’ that is not true for the people around them. I remember watching a Stargate episode once, I think it was the first one with the Kull warrior supersoldier. It completely bypassed all the main characters, and shot everyone else around them. I mean, it was just ridiculous and so obvious.

I’m going to go for Regina I think. There isn’t usually much fighting at the house, it all takes place on Main Street by the crossroads/clock tower. Can you imagine the insurance for a place there?

7) What was the most heartbreaking moment of the past 100 episodes?

Oh wow, how to choose? There have been so many that it’s impossible. Therefore I’m going to say not just heartbreaking in terms of what happened, but heartbreaking in terms of it potentially breaking the show. That brings it down to the two biggest last moments for Rumplestiltskin and Belle.

There’s the final scene, they’ve obviously reconciled to a certain extent and Rumple leaves Belle to go and see Emma. The next thing we know they are going to the Underworld. How heartbreaking that is depends on what Rumple told her. If he just walked out, not even leaving a note and has now left the dimension – that is truly terrible. However, if on the other hand he told her that he was going to the Underworld (and I’m hoping about being the dark one again) then that’s not heartbreaking at all.

Which means that the true answer is when Rumple and Belle met at the well after Rumple fought Hook. He said that if she came then he would know that she wanted to try again, and instead she came and said that she didn’t know “if she wanted to make it work”. To be honest I’m not surprised that Rumple took the darkness back. He’d tried to be a better man for her, to be the kind of man he thought she wanted, and then she went and left him. He had better luck with her when she was trying to change him, perhaps once he was good, he wasn’t the ‘bad boy’ anymore. You know sometimes I wonder if I actually do like RumBelle because Belle is really not good for him.

However, he loves her so much. They are true love (supposedly) and since they killed off his son, who was his reason for everything, then Belle is all he has left. He doesn’t have a relationship with Henry, though I think he would like one, but he’s not welcomed by the ‘heroes’. It was sickening really, they were excusing everything Emma did because she was the ‘dark one’, well Rumple was the dark one for a couple of hundreds of years. Why does he have to be fully responsible for all his actions if Emma isn’t? Anyway, that’s why I want Belle to work out for Rumple, because he loves her and she is all he has, even if she’s no good for him.

I’m really not looking forward to this Underworld arc. If they can bring Hook back then how is that fair? Dead is supposed to be dead, if it’s not then why can’t they bring Neal back? or Graham? or Regina’s first love Daniel? or anyone, that anyone has loved who is dead? Why should Hook get an exception? Also, if the Underworld is so terrible when they were marked to go in exchange for the dark ones, why is it suddenly not so bad a day later when they are running down there for Hook?

Yeah I really don’t like this, but then I didn’t like the whole author angle either yet I still love the show. I guess I have got pretty good about ignoring the bits that don’t fit with my own head canon. Just over a week to go before it begins, I really want to watch but I am afraid of what I might see. I love this show and I don’t want to see it go in a direction I can’t support.

Only time will tell.