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.
'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.
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.
Check out our highlights from the panel after the jump.
The Tim Allen series, now called 'Last Man Standing' comes from '30 Rock' writer Jack Burditt. The official tagline: "Even though the world around him has declared the traditional male an 'endangered species,' Tim Fitzgerald is fighting for his manhood in a world that is being increasingly dominated by women."
'Apt. 23' (formerly 'Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23') tells the story of a young woman who moves to the big city and ends up with a hard-partying roommate. Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter star.
Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh star in the 'Charlie's Angels' reboot.
According to TVLine, Polaha will play Gellar's Siobhan's lover. Here's the catch -- he's currently married to Siobhan's best friend! In the pilot, Gellar plays twin sisters, Siobhan and Bridget, both women with quite a few secrets -- and bounties! Bridget poses at Siobhan, thus romantic entanglements begin. Oh, Siobhan is also married.
Get all that?
In other casting news ...
• HBO has added an impressive list of names to its 'Hemingway & Gellhorn' TV movie. Joining Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman are Molly Parker, Parker Posey, David Strathairn, Rodrigo Santoro, Lars Ulrich, Santiago Cabrera, Saverio Guerra, Peter Coyote, Diane Baker and Tony Shalhoub. [Deadline]
• Jordana Spiro has been tapped to star in ABC's 'Lost and Found.' The former 'My Boys' star will play Jo, a New York City-based bartender/party girl whose life is changed when the son she gave up for adoption 18 years ago shows up on her doorstep. [Deadline]
• Thomas Dekker has joined The CW's 'Secret Circle.' Dekker will play Adam, the oldest member of a coven and a potential love interest for Cassie (Britt Robertson). [TVLine]
Guest star Jorge Garcia (you might remember him from a little show called 'Lost') plays the Blitz, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Marshall's (Jason Segel) old college pal who seems to be a bit cursed when it comes to timing. The Blitz comes back into their lives, and his curse gets mysteriously passed on, rendering Turkey Day a bit of a mess.
I caught up with Garcia, Radnor, Segel, Cobie Smulders and guest star Jennifer Morrison -- who ends up hanging out with all of Ted's pals and even hosting them for the holiday -- to find out what's in store for 'Blitzgiving' (Mon., Nov. 22, 8PM ET on CBS). Skateboarding dogs and Robin in KISS makeup anyone? Yes please!
Whether you've followed her career since she debuted on 'House' or you just found out about her when Carter Bays appeared on Mo Ryan's podcast last week, you knew that Jennifer Morrison wasn't coming on 'How I Met Your Mother' to be one of Ted's girlfriends of the week. No, her character was more substantial, and not one that Ted was going to fall head over heels in love with right away.
Too many of Ted's long-term loves have merely been receptacles for his impulsive moves and too-cute-for-words romantic gestures. And, except for Robin (and maybe Victoria), none were around long enough for us to get to know them or care about them much.
But Zoey is going to be around a little while. And we don't even know if Ted is going to fall in love with her. But she will make his life miserable. Not a bad comedic choice, if you ask me.
Morrison will play Zooey, "the biggest female character we've maybe ever added to the show in Ted's life," executive producer Craig Thomas told EW.com. So, uh, is she the mother?
We don't really know. All Thomas would say is that "This is a big arc -- a huge arc. It's going to be a little less date-of-the-week for Ted, which season 5 was."
More casting news after the jump.
Morrison, who, as anticipated, left the show last month, will co-star in the Broadway revival of 'The Miracle Worker.' She'll play Helen Keller's mother, Kate, according to the Ausiello Files.
Joining her on stage will be Matthew Modine, Alison Pill ('In Treatment') and Abigail Breslin ('Little Miss Sunshine'), who will play Helen herself. Previews for 'The Miracle Worker' kick off in February, with the play expected to run through the spring. (So, in other words: If 'House' writers want to pen even the slightest guest appearance for Morrison, they'd better get on it right away.)
(S06E07) "I'm living my life. For the first time, I'm not going to change that because of how it might affect him -- or you." -- Cuddy to Wilson, who asked her what she sees in Lucas
I just want to shove House and Cuddy into a room together and let them figure out their relationship. It's clear that even though she's trying to be happy in her current relationship, she just can't get House out of her head, no matter how much she declares that she has or is going to.
I feel for her, because once they end up getting together -- if they don't by the time the series ends, I'll be ticked -- she'll have a long road ahead of her. Or not. People change. There's a good heart beating inside House's damaged psyche. It could work.
(S06E07) "Well, I feel bad. I haven't named your testicles." - Cuddy
We're all thinking it, and unlike euthanasia, I see no reason to keep mum -- House is firing on all cylinders right now. Actually, let me clarify that -- House the character, not House the show, is firing on all cylinders right now. Anything going on in Greg's periphery at the moment is sensational, absolutely electrifying drama.
Everything else? Not so much. If anything, "Known Unknowns" did nothing more than highlight something we've seen countless times already. Namely, the paralyzing effect House's absence has on his team. They're inept without him. What did I glean from the case du jour? Some annoying teenager got sick from eating oysters. However, I gleaned plenty from the rest of the hour.
(S06E06) "I've crossed some line and I'm having trouble getting back to the other side." - Chase
Another week, another case that no one cares about... well, almost. Ever since House's visit to the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, it's been tough to get invested in anything other than what he's going through. Each week, the case du jour has been largely disposable (save for Dibala) as nothing really relates to anything else. However, it seems like David Shore and Co. must've realized that too because "Brave Heart" made a good attempt at bringing what's become a very segmented story back together.
(S06E05) "I understand you're a fan. I'll have my guys send over a signed glossy." - House
We're getting deeper into the fall TV season, so it was only a matter of time before even the good shows started to falter a little. Not every episode is going to be an instant classic, and House is no exception. You know it's not a good sign when the only thing you find enjoyable is House comparing himself to Kobe Bryant, which, by the way, is dead on -- especially since he's no longer in charge. Foreman is the Phil Jackson to House's does whatever he wants and still wins #24.
(S06E04) "I thought I had detected the sickly sweet smell of maple syrup and socialized medicine." - House
Early on in this episode, House exclaimed "It's three years ago!" when he realized that he was working with the old team - Foreman, Chase, and Cameron. It became apparent rather quickly, though, that things at Princeton-Plainsboro are still very far from normal. He may be back, but House isn't back. Right now, he's more like the little kid that your co-worker brought to the office and he just won't leave your cube. That and the little kid is way smarter than you are.
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