Tragedy ever after: Traditional fairy tales twisted, modernized to capture audience

Once upon a time Snow White found her prince charming and she lived happily ever after… except for when their wedding day was interrupted by Snow’s stepmother, the evil queen, and she threatens to curse the entire land so that she’s the only one with the happy ending.

As kids, many people were told stories such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and each character gets their happy ending. But what if someone decided none of these stories deserved happiness? What if someone is standing in their way?

ABC’s Once Upon A Time is the story of how an evil queen curses a magical land of princesses, fairies and monsters and sends them to our world. The series takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine where the mayor is the evil queen and the well-known shop owner Mr. Gold is Rumplestiltskin. These two serve as the main antagonists in the series as they conflict constantly with the main characters. Almost everyone in the town is a storybook character from different classic fairy tales, but they are unaware of it. The only hope they have of returning to the magical land is a bail bondswoman, Emma Swan. Reunited with her biological son, Henry, the two use his book of fairy tales to reveal the key to ending the curse.

The first season brings Emma into the town of Storybrooke to get her biological son, Henry back home after he tracks her down in an effort to find his mother. But, there is more to Emma’s purpose than just reconnecting with her son. Henry is convinced that Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming in a book of fairy tales he was given by his teacher. The crazy thing is that he is right, though no one believes him. Still, the last episode of this season ended with the curse breaking and the town people were remembering everything about themselves, while wanting the queen’s head on a platter. During this same episode, Mr. Gold brings magic to Storybrooke for the first time.

This show puts a dark twist on the stories we grew up with. Each episode focuses on one character’s back story as it goes back and forth from the character’s storybook life to their life in Maine. The audience is given insight on both of the characters’ lives, helping to weave a picture of who they really are.

I found out about this show when my mom came home on a mission to get to the screen before anyone else. We watched the first episode together and as soon as I saw that the story was more than just fairy tales, I was glued to my seat and my eyes were focused on the TV as the evil queen barged into Snow White and Prince Charming’s wedding.

The second season started off with a twist, as Emma and Snow White were transported back to the magical land. Charming, left in the real world, along with Henry, is doing all he can to get Emma and Snow back, as they are doing their best to get back themselves. The season is about to end and of course it will leave viewers on a cliffhanger, as usual. Though I am not looking forward to that, the commercial for the last episode has got me pumped for another season of amazing stories and crazy twists. One thing I know for sure is that in any fairy tale, there is always a happy ending so even though this ending is most likely no different, it has me no less excited for the third season.

So forget the stories you thought you knew. They are nothing compared to the stories you will hear on Once Upon A Time.