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October 20, 2014

AdamHorowitz

Review: 'Once Upon a Time's' Admirable Attempt to Bring Magic to Primetime

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 21st 2011 2:45PM
There's an earnestness to 'Once Upon a Time' (8PM ET Sunday, ABC) and while I find that quality winning, I can see how some people might be put off by not just the show's sincerity but its fanciful premise.

TV's finest dramas tend to feature modern (or modern-seeming) characters of ambiguous morality who often give in to their worst impulses. There's really not a Prince Charming in the bunch, but one of the leads of 'Once Upon a Time' is the actual Prince Charming. He's not what you'd call edgy.

In some ways, though, 'Once Upon a Time's' square-ish optimism is what sets it apart from everything else on television at the moment. Well, that, and the fact that half of it is set in a universe populated by fairy tale characters such as the Evil Queen, Snow White and Jiminy Cricket.

Toto, we're not in regular primetime any more. And that alone is reason to give this show a shot.

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'Once Upon a Time' Creators on How Their New Show Is and Isn't Like 'Lost,' Plus a Video Preview

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 20th 2011 2:45PM
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz joined the 'Lost' writing staff midway through season 1 and stayed with the landmark ABC drama until it ended in 2010. Along the way, they penned island favorites like 'Tricia Tanaka Is Dead' and 'Everybody Hates Hugo,' just a couple of their many Hurley-centric outings (and with the Nikki and Paulo kiss-off 'Expose,' they helped win back many wavering fans during the dark days of season 3).

Once the show wrapped for good, they knew what they didn't want to do. "We weren't going to write the cheesy [procedural, i.e.], 'Young D.A. balancing her life and work, here is the case of the week,'" Kitsis said in an interview in the pair's Los Angeles office two months ago. "We don't think that way."

Instead of going that route, they revisited a fairy-tale script that they had first shopped around many years earlier, way back when they were staff writers on 'Felicity.' Nobody wanted it then, but ABC eagerly bought their revised pitch for 'Once Upon a Time,' which premieres 8PM ET Sunday, despite the fact that, as Horowitz joked, the pilot script is a compendium of elements that often make network executives freak out.

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