Is it Once Upon a Time Yet?

*Up until the Primetime Emmy Awards show telecast, this blog focused on the returning TV shows I’m most excited are coming back.  The first entry…ONCE UPON A TIME.*

Necklace I designed, inspired by one of my favorite fairy tale princesses.
Necklace I designed, inspired by one of my favorite fairy tale princesses.

If you’ve read some of my prior blog posts, then you’re familiar with my affinity for fairy tales.  When I first heard about Once Upon a Time, I was thrilled and quite intrigued at the premise.  I love when artists/novelists/TV showrunners take a concept that everyone thinks they know then create a product that has us second guessing our preconceived ideas.  This was the case with OUAT, and they threw in a bonus!  Even though they ingeniously came up with backstories and re-imagined some of the fairy tale characters, they ALWAYS respected the stories that made the characters so beloved in the first place.  This show doesn’t make fun of, or belittle, fairy tale princesses; it recognizes their strengths and enhances them.  Led by the creative minds of Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis, the talented cast weaves their characters through two different worlds and does so effortlessly.  In doing so, they have given us a television program that I find utterly enchanting to watch each and every week!

SPOILER ALERT:  If you haven’t watched all of Season Two’s episodes, you may not want to read on!

When we last left Storybrooke, Maine, the curse was lifted but danger was imminent.  Our brave heroes and heroines joined forces with their adversaries in order to save the most innocent among them; Henry.  Will they find him before Peter Pan does?  What sorts of hurdles will they encounter along the way?  Will Mary Margaret/Snow and Regina/The Evil Queen be able to heal some wounds through their shared grief for Henry?  As Emma mourns the “loss” of Neal/Baelfire will she continue to butt heads with Hook or soften her distrust when, or if, she learns of his connection to Henry’s father?

Plus, now that we’re headed back to the fairy tale world, will Mulan and Aurora be able to bring Philip back?  What does Pan want with Henry?  What other beloved fairy tale characters will we meet this season and how do they tie in to the interconnected storylines? How will Bae deal with being back “home”? And who is this dreaded group that’s pulling all the strings? (No pun intended!)  I have my guess on who they are, but I’ll wait and see if I’m right.

I can’t wait to find out what will happen next to these complexly written characters, performed with subtlety and humanity by each of the cast members.

By the way, how in the world did Bailee Madison NOT get a Guest Actress in a Drama Series nomination for her flawless performance as “Young Snow”?  This is one talented young lady, who had me in tears on more than one occasion this season.

Cinderella: A Dream Come True

I have a Cinderella complex.  There, I’ve said it.  Phew!  In all seriousness, my connection to this particular fairy-tale spans decades and has yet to diminish.

By the time I was seven years old my family had made numerous trips to Walt Disney World.  It remains a place that brings me great joy, inspires creativity and fosters imagination.  From a very young age, Cinderella quickly became my favorite Disney movie.  Was it the representation of a character so kind, thoughtful and caring that moved me?  Perhaps it had to do with the beautiful melodies that instilled a deep love of music that has yet to loosen its grip on my soul.  Or, maybe I identified with this film and its title character because she looked like me.  Regardless of the whys, the fact remained that “Cinderella” was my favorite Disney character, and the seven-year old me was about to meet her idol.

Sitting on the Main Street curb in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, I waited with anticipation for the evening’s parade to commence.  The music started, the lights illuminated the night sky, and the crowd erupted in cheers.  I waved with excitement alongside my fellow parade-watchers.  Then finally she arrived!  Strolling down Main Street in her silver carriage, “Cinderella” greeted the onlookers with a wave and a smile.  Then she pointed at me and mouthed “You look like me.”  Me?  Did she really just speak to me?  With my long blond hair and tiny stature.  A girl who would shy away from attention was just recognized by her favorite Disney princess?

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That moment means so much to me, nearly three decades later.  I think about the graciousness of the young lady riding in that carriage.  I wonder if she realized just how much a single moment of kindness and attention mattered.  As an adult I still look for those moments but seldom find them through external means.  When I go to concerts, stand outside Broadway stage doors for a picture and autograph or attend award show red carpets, I do so with an appreciation, respect and connection to those who choose the remarkable power of artistic expression and am inspired to create my own.

For my 36th birthday in a few weeks, I’ll be visiting NYC in the company of dear friends and family with hopes to attend a Broadway show.  There’s still that 7-year-old girl inside who lights up with the mere mention of Disney World and combined with my long-time love of musical theatre here’s hoping that Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella will be one of the shows we’ll be able to see!

To all those young girls out there who sit on that Main Street curb waiting for their favorite Disney princess, keep dreaming, wishing and believing.

*DISCLAIMERA reminder that the opinions stated above are mine alone and do not reflect any other person, company or entity’s position.  I simply share my appreciation and respect for those stories and characters that helped shaped my childhood.*