What I’m Reading Tonight

Got the Yankee – Astros game playing in the background, the fan is whirling and making a steady shwooo noise, and I’m snuggled in bed with a book.

Everland, by Wendy Spinale. It’s this steam punk version of Peter Pan. I love the cross genre and diving into the realm of fiction classics is always fun, too.

What are you reading? Anything good?

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Once Upon A Time Review 12/2/12 – Emma is the True Queen of Hearts

Wow! Much to be said about the fall finale of Once, and while Storybrooke’s fairytale characters got their happily ever afters, did they really?

Spoilers Ahead, (and soon to be rough waters I’m sure!) Arrr!

Photo credit: ABC.

I said it once before and I’ll say it again, Regina has to be my favorite character in this TV show, and she has also made her way into my heart as being one of the best characters ever written on television. It is amazing to me when you are able to write a character that is so well-rounded that one minute she is evil and you are hating her, and the next you feel bad for heartbreak. THAT right there is the mark of good character building. THAT right there is the mark of good writing. I cannot be more in love with this character, ah, thank you writers!

In ‘Queen of Hearts,’ we learn that Regina’s mother, Cora, was banished to Wonderland by Regina, where she becomes the Queen of Hearts. I mentioned before that the Never World reminded me of the Queen of Hearts, but I had no idea how close I actually was, haha. She really is the new big bad!

While Snow and company try to figure out a way to get out of their predicament, Emma surmises that she, the savior, is really a pawn in Rumpelstiltskin’s plan to break the curse. He admits later to getting her where she needed to be, when he needed it, but her strength is all her own. A fact that Cora learns when she tries to rip out Emma’s heart and finds that she can’t. Could it be that Emma really is the savior after all? Planned or not?

Henry is able to convince Regina to stop Rumpelstiltskin’s curse to let Emma and Snow through the porthole unharmed, and while she gained Henry’s respect and appreciation, what did she really gain? She, who loves her son, a son that doesn’t trust her. This is where I feel sorry for Regina. It really is quite heartbreaking!

Meanwhile, Mulan and Aurora are left in Enchanted Forest world, where they’ve decided to set out on a quest to get their Philips’ soul back. And while Snow, and Emma have finally been reunited with their families…Hook and Cora find another way to enter Storybrooke…soon to be rough waters ahead! I can’t wait!

Observations:

  • Hook’s incredible likability. While he’s scheming and doing things for himself, we are reminded that he is also not a complete monster. He has layers this handsome Hook. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I think it was good to leave Mulan and Aurora where they are, as there is a lot that we still don’t know about them. This also gives us more of a chance to see more fairytale characters that we haven’t met yet. (I seriously hope the little mermaid is one of them!).
  • Regina really has lost everything, will it be so easy for Cora to manipulate her back into being our Evil Queen? And what happened between Cora and Rumpelstiltskin?

Ah, much to be learned and viewed and I just can’t wait!

What did you guys think of the episode? ๐Ÿ™‚

Once Upon a Time Review 11/4/12 – What’s so great about Tallahasee?

I know this review is a little late…okay it is VERY late, but look forward to a review later this week of the more recent episode…

Beware…Giants and spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: ABC.

Hook and Emma make a climb up the bean-stalk in search of the magic compass, while in the flashback world, Emma falls in love with a fellow car thief, Neil. A man, who, coincidentally turns out to be the mysterious man in the very first episode of this season.

Meanwhile, down on the ground, Aurora is haunted by dreams, a side effect from her sleeping curse. While Mulan honors her promise to Emma, by marking time in the dirt with a stick. If she’s not back in ten hours, cut that bean stalk down!

There was a lot of character juicyness in this episode and there is definitely no way that I can cover it all, but here’s an interesting plot twist: Perhaps Henry’s father is not as bad as Emma believes him to be. Does this mean that Once Upon a Time’s loneliest character might actually get a chance for a happily ever after?

While teenage Emma in the flashback world definitely appeared wise and more grown up behind her years, the love that she had for fellow thief Niel was believable. It is even more understandable now why Emma struggles with trust. A fact that becomes apparent to Hook, who gets left behind with the giant.

Some other observations:

  • Every character that has been through a sleeping curse goes through nightmares, a side effect, Snow says. Of a red room, fire and someone watching. For some reason, all I can think about is the Queen of Hearts. A coincidence that every one else has the same dreams? I think not! Snow said that they go away after a while, but she turned away when she said this. Dun, dun dun!
  • Now, what is in August’s box of tricks? My thoughts: maybe it reveals the future.
  • We will see Henry’s father again!

Highlights:

  • Hook! His pirate-ness. “Waste of some bloody rum, if you ask me.”
  • The love between Niel and Emma. He’s not so much of a douche after all.
  • The appearance of August. I wondered when he was going to make his appearance. (He so did not give that money to Emma, just saying.)
  • I loved seeing some back story of Emma, and definitely makes me feel more empathetic towards her character.

A great episode and now off to this weeks episode! Expect a review for that one in a few days at the latest. Did I mention how much I love this TV show? ๐Ÿ™‚

Once Upon a Time Review 10/14/12 – Ogres, Emma and a Parent’s Love

Well, after going on hiatus from here for a while, I’ve come back with an idea. I will now only review shows that I think are worthy of viewing. I like trying new shows and giving people a heads up on great TV and what to avoid – but this girl just doesn’t have the time. After wheedling out the shows that I think will make or break it this season, I think I will stick to my reviewing of Once Upon a Time and a new one I have high hopes for – Arrow.

That being said…Once Upon a Time certainly knows how to pull the heartstrings!

Disclaimer: Mild spoilers in this review!

Photo credit: ABC.

Sunday night’s episode of Once Upon a Time seemed to focus on this theme: a parent’s love, and what said parent may or may not do for the sake of their child.

The back story focused on Snow and Charming; and Snow meeting Charming’s mother. Lancelot makes an appearance as a knight for hire working for King George, and admits that he has fallen from grace because of a woman. All I can say is that I am relieved that they gave this Lancelot a new face and have not fallen into the clichรฉ of making Lancelot the Casanova of the Round Table; like what we’ve seen in various movie renditions. More of his story to come, I’m sure!

Snow, Emma, Mulan and Aurora spend some quality time together in this episode and I have to say I am impressed with the way these characters are coming together. Pairing two unlikely characters (Mulan and Aurora) together was a risky business, but I am loving the comradery we are seeing between these two. They are learning and growing from each other and I love how Mulan is just the right amount of bossy and caring for the princess Aurora that we can’t help but care for her some, too.

I also love seeing Emma in a world where she is not comfortable, because it is also forcing her to grow as a character. Emma is hard to sympathize with at best because she has always been so cold. I, personally love her complexity. But in this episode we are reminded again why she is so closed off and the scenes between her and snow are much more poignant because of it.

Some other observations:

  • Regina’s joy at getting a call from Henry. We love the boy, but a woman’s heart can only be broken so many times. Once again we are left feeling sorry for the evil queen.
  • No Mr. Gold in this episode, but that’s alright. Lots of Charming, though, to make up for it!
  • King George is in the Storybrooke world, too! (Alan Dale) Lost fans will recognize him as Charles Widmore.

Highlights:

  • Henry’s new code phrase, “Operation Scorpion.”
  • Snow saving her daughter from the ogre.
  • Snow flipping Princess Aurora over her shoulder and telling her to get over her crap and find new ways to channel her anger. Will be interesting to see how she finds ways to do this.
  • Emma loaning the jacket to the princess, who says, “What kind of corset is this?”
  • Jefferson’s reunion with his daughter.
  • Cora, Regina’s mother. The big bad is also in the Enchanted Forest world, huh, go figure.
  • And lastly, Emma admitting her anger to Snow and her realization that she is not good at being a daughter, because she never had someone to put her first before.

This scene between Snow and Emma really moved me. (It’s also because I am a sap and get too attached to characters that I love.) But there were a few times in this episode where the tears were just at the surface. Another great example of good character development and growth. Another great episode!

Here’s a sneak peek of the next episode:

Once Upon a Time Review 10/7/12 – Why we love these characters

***Mild Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched last night’s “We are Both” episode of Once Upon a Time, I suggest you go do that now before reading this! And it was a great episode, I highly recommend it!***

Photo credit: ABC.

In this episode, we are reminded that if you love your favorite show’s characters enough, you will follow them anywhere. Once Upon a Time’s second episode, “We are Both,” reminds us why, we as fans, love this show so much. The characters are alive and accessible to us; we feel their tension, their heartbreak, their struggle. We love it when we see certain characters conversing with others. Regina and Charming. Charming and “Mr. Gold.”

It is the mark of great writing. To be able to take your characters anywhere. To make them grow. To show their weaknesses, to show their strengths. To remember that a character is loved not because they are perfect, but because of their imperfections.

Because perfect characters are boring characters and no one is as UN-boring as Storybrooke’s very own evil queen, Regina.

The episode focused on her story this time around and I love how we get to see the building blocks of evil and it makes us question and think: What is evil? Who is evil? Because everyone has a purpose of living, or a motivation of some kind.

The Highlights?

  • Granny with a cross-bow.
  • Seeing Rumpelstiltskin’s true golden self.
  • Dr. Whale asking if he can date a nun. And then standing next to Blue in a certain point of an episode. Coincidental? I think not!
  • Charming’s speech. He’s still got it!
  • Regina’s realization that she doesn’t want to be her mother.
  • The dwarfs with pick-axes.
  • Henry and “Gramps” at the diner. So adorable.
  • A glimpse of the enchanted forest.

Last night’s episode really reminded me how much I have come to adore these characters. It’s like with LOST all over again. I feel like I know these characters. They have written them so well that I feel like if they ever had to disappear, I would fight for them. That is the mark of great writing, and great characterization. And something that I think many TV writers/producers forget is the main point of great TV watching. We watch something because we love it. And Once Upon a Time definitely knows how to woo its viewers.