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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' Set Visit: The Cast Explains How They're Breathing New Life Into Old Stories

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 21st 2011 1:15PM
Jennifer MorrisonI'm not being hyperbolic when I say that ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' is unlike anything you've seen on television before. Its closest relative is probably a little-watched NBC miniseries called 'The 10th Kingdom' which aired in 2000, at least in the way it blends classic fairytales with the modern world to offer a whole new interpretation of pop culture's most familiar yarns.

'Once' also shares a certain amount of DNA with 'Lost,' since it was created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who wrote for the mystery series for the duration of its run (you can read Mo Ryan's recent interview with the duo here). But in its ideas, execution, and undeniable sense of whimsy, 'Once' is a unique creature, accessible to viewers from ages eight to 80.

Earlier this month, AOL TV visited the Vancouver set of the fantasy drama, wandering through the enchanting streets of fictional Storybrooke and talking with the cast about how the show is evolving so far. Join us after the jump for a hint of what you can expect when the show premieres on Sunday (8PM ET, ABC), and come back next week for a deeper look. Mild spoilers ahead.

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TCA Report: 'Once Upon a Time' Panel Talk Magic, Disney and Playing Two Roles

by Laura Prudom, posted Aug 7th 2011 7:15PM
While NBC's 'Grimm' focuses on the creepy side of fairytales, ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' is much more concerned with the whimsy of the fantastical stories we grew up with, and seems far more enchanting as a result.

Created by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis of 'Lost' (the pair called Damon Lindelof "the Godfather of 'Once Upon a Time'" on the panel -- promising!), the show blends characters from Disney, Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and more with the real world, offering a new take on familiar tales in a way ABC hopes will connect with audiences of all ages.

Once Upon a Time

Check out our highlights from the panel after the jump.

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Ginnifer Goodwin Mounted Bill Paxton in Her Audition to Get 'Big Love' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 11th 2011 3:19AM
Ginnifer Goodwin, 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'If you noticed great sexual chemistry between Ginnifer Goodwin and Bill Paxton on 'Big Love,' it's because they got started working on that right away. In fact, Goodwin started working on it before Paxton even knew what was going on, according to her recollection on 'The Tonight Show' (Weeknights, 11:35PM ET on NBC).

It's not entirely her fault, though. She was given a love scene for her screen test and then brought into a conference room with Paxton and "25 dudes in suits," according to Goodwin. What would you do in that situation?

"I was very confused about how I was supposed to go about performing this love scene in this chair," she said of the moment.

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Ginnifer Goodwin Wigs Out on 'Regis and Kelly' (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted May 6th 2011 6:30PM
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin of 'Big Love' normally keeps her hair very short, and always wears wigs depending upon the part she's playing, she said on 'Live With Regis and Kelly' (weekdays, syndicated).

"I'm always wearing a wig," Goodwin whispered, adding that she prefers this to growing her hair out between parts.

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Ginnifer Goodwin to Play Snow White in ABC Pilot

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 3rd 2011 4:30PM
Ginnifer Goodwin to Play Snow White in ABC Pilot'Big Love' star Ginnifer Goodwin has joined the cast of ABC's 'Once Upon a Time.'

The project, from 'Lost' veterans Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, cuts between two parallel worlds -- one where a little boy believes "things aren't what they seem," and a seemingly parallel world with similar characters and where fairy tales are real.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Goodwin, who is coming off five seasons of HBO's 'Big Love,' will play the dual role of Snow White / Sister Mary Margaret Blanchard.

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How to Fix 'Big Love'

by Gary Susman, posted Mar 5th 2010 4:00PM
Has 'Big Love' jumped the shark?

'Big Love' has been so over the top this season, with so many plot twists and shocking revelations crammed in, that it's seemed to take a perverse pleasure in its own excess. Some fans (like Time critic Richard Corliss) relish the Emmy-nominated show's game of "can we top this?", while others balk at the show's more head-scratching developments. What may be most frustrating about the current season is that it provokes both responses, awe and irritation, at the same time.

With the season coming to an abrupt end this Sunday, March 7 (after just nine episodes), it's worth looking back at the new problems with 'Big Love' that emerged this season -- and how the show can solve them in season 5.

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'Big Love' - 'Next Ticket Out' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 1st 2010 9:02AM

(S04E08) "There is nothing about us that's the same and you know nothing about me." - Barb Henrickson

"Oh I know some...and I'm just getting started." - Marilyn Densham


The season is winding down and usually the plot endings that come to a predictable end do so just before the big shockers do. And that's what happened this week.

However, the surprise, one of many to come I'm sure, wasn't within the plot or the behavior of the characters or even the duality between good and evil of some of the supporting players in our little bigamy tragedy. It's the emotional reaction to the characters' connections and their endurance to endure that sneaks up on you and knocks your block off as you stand there all smug and self-aware that you were able to predict the ending. And it should. A show like this about much more than its plotlines and story shockers.

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'Big Love' - 'Blood Atonement' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 22nd 2010 1:45AM
Big Love
(S04E07) "My cope container is full. Do you hear me? It is ... FULL." - Barb to Margie and Nicolette after hearing ... well, everything


Believe me, honey, I know the feeling. My cope container is one of those extra large "Big Gulps" from 7-11 that can only be held in a car cup holder the exact circumference as an elephant's foot. And this week, even that wouldn't hold it.

It's natural for a show with 2,000 plus running plot lines to feel more overwhelming than an IRS audit, but it's starting to get a little less believable. That goes for both for the plots' plausibility and the surprise that none of the main characters has suffered the kind of complete nervous breakdown that can create the kind of police scanner activity that attracts the local "eyewitness" news crew.

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Cat Fight on 'Big Love'! (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Feb 8th 2010 5:15AM
Cat fight on 'Big Love'Oh dear. All is not well in the Henrickson household. The claws came out on 'Big Love' (Sun., 9PM ET on HBO) when Barb, Nicki and Margene fought like cats and, well, cats.

"You're a flirt, Margene!" yelled Barb. "And that's a polite way of putting it! Just like your floozy mother. You just flirted your way into our marriage as the babysitter, and now you're a cradle robber!"

"F You, Barb!" said Margene. And Nikki added, "Slap her to her senses!"

Watch the video after the jump.

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HBO Gives 'Big Love' Big Love

by Scott Harris, posted Feb 4th 2010 11:15AM
In the world of HBO's polygamist drama 'Big Love,' three's company but four's a family. But what does five make?

Five seasons, that is, not five wives: According to the Hollywood Reporter, HBO has already renewed 'Big Love' for a fifth season after just four episodes of its current arc. Despite the alacrity of the decision, however, it comes as little surprise given that the season premiere posted a 49 percent ratings increase over last year, while the season as a whole is up 13 percent compared to season 3.

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Do you have any love for Big Love's new opening credit sequence?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 12th 2010 11:30AM
The new season of HBO's Big Love also brought with it a new opening sequence for the first time in its history and not everyone is in love with it.

Some readers of my review of the show's season four premiere made some well reasoned arguments both for and against the new sequence, something I didn't do because it wasn't included in the screener review HBO sent out before the show hit the airwaves last Sunday. It not only has a much different look and feel but it also has a new theme song, "Home" by the Engineers replacing "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys.

It's still early in the season, but I like the new sequence just as much as the old one. As for the song, well at least they didn't go with Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'."

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Do You Love New 'Big Love' Opening Credits?

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Jan 11th 2010 2:45PM
Big Love on HBOFans of 'Big Love' were greeted last night with an unexpected change: the usual opening sequence in which Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) skates around with his three wives to the tune of the Beach Boys' 'God Only Knows' was replaced with a much darker opening sequence.

In the new opening, which is similar to the season 4 teaser trailer below, we're greeted with Bill falling towards the camera, surrounded by nothing but black.

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'Big Love' Season Four Spoilers and Predictions

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 8th 2010 4:30PM
Big Love, Bill PaxtonSeason four of 'Big Love,' HBO's juicy drama about volatile life in a Mormon community, premieres Sunday, Jan. 10 at 9 PM. The tagline for the new season is "Hold on Tight," and we can't wait to do just that.

If you prefer not to know a single thing about the new season, do not read any further! Spoilers ahead ...

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Big Love season four premieres in January

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 15th 2009 1:01PM
big_love_family_HBO
It feels like forever since Bill Hendrickson announced that he and his family would form their own religion and live apart from Juniper Creek and LDS and the rest of the state of Utah. And we also know that Roman Grant is dead, and unless Big Love is going in the direction of resurrecting the prophet like he's the real deal, that means Alby will be taking over for his father. Then there's all the business with the casinos, Nicki's teenaged daughter and her weird former husband, not to mention Margene's new business, Sarah getting married to Scott...

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