• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 23, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 378 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Henry locates his birth mother, whom he believes can save Storybrooke, which is a town of fairy tale characters that do not remember their lives in the fairy tale parallel world.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 21, 2011
    100
    Once Upon a Time is a smartly-crafted reward for fans of light fantasy, with the right mix of cleverness, action and romance.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 20, 2011
    83
    Fans of the fantastical can do far worse than Once Upon A Time, which manages to both stir the pulse and please the senses with its beautifully imagined medieval times.
  3. Reviewed by: Lynnette Porter
    Oct 24, 2011
    70
    In its premiere episode, Once Upon a Time offers a mix of hope and cynicism, coupled with familiar television and film allusions (not unlike the Shreks).
  4. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Oct 20, 2011
    63
    I don't see this fairy-tale fantasy having broad enough appeal to conjure up the kind of viewer numbers it will need to stick around.
  5. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Oct 24, 2011
    60
    No other new show this fall is attempting to tell a bigger story, and we're hoping the rough patches smooth out and it fulfills the potential that's there in its very strong cast and premise.
  6. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Oct 21, 2011
    60
    There are times when the enterprise lacks a certain heft and when the fantasy realm seems a little generic. Also, some characters, especially Lana Parrilla's Evil Queen (who is also the mayor of Storybrooke), are one-dimensional in kind of maddening ways, though Robert Carlyle makes up for that with his charismatic turn as both Rumplestiltskin and a Storybrooke resident named Mr. Gold.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Oct 21, 2011
    40
    To draw out the story by looping it through subplots and minidramas runs the risk of turning it into a fairy-tale soap opera--when what we really want to know is whether the tragic Snow White or the lonely Emma can in the end live happily ever after.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 84
  2. Negative: 22 out of 84
  1. Mar 2, 2015
    10
    This show has everything. Intricate story lines, cleverly formed relationships. Amazing acting. Humor. Amazing character development andThis show has everything. Intricate story lines, cleverly formed relationships. Amazing acting. Humor. Amazing character development and relationship development. There isn't much not to not like about this show. Sometimes they go with a story line for way too long (like the Never-land story line with Peter Pan that just seemed to go on forever) but I must say this show is really brilliant. Expand
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    Original, well acted, beautifully shot and directed. This has to be one of the best new shows on TV. The creators ofOriginal, well acted, beautifully shot and directed. This has to be one of the best new shows on TV. The creators of ¨Lost¨proved once again that they can grab our attention hopefully they keep a hold on it. Expand
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    10
    I loved the concept of the show its different from what's on television at the moment and it makes you want to watch it and the cast does aI loved the concept of the show its different from what's on television at the moment and it makes you want to watch it and the cast does a fantastic job! I can not wait to continue watching the show and see how the storyline develops. Expand
  4. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    Despite its plot issues. Once Upon a Time is a creative, entertaining visually beautiful, fantastically acted ,piece of art. Once Upon a TimeDespite its plot issues. Once Upon a Time is a creative, entertaining visually beautiful, fantastically acted ,piece of art. Once Upon a Time is soon to be one of the best shows on television. Expand
  5. Jan 31, 2013
    7
    This is a decent show. The premise is a good one, even if it isnt as well executed as I hoped. The acting is good and makes you care aboutThis is a decent show. The premise is a good one, even if it isnt as well executed as I hoped. The acting is good and makes you care about some characters. The stuff in the fantasy world is a little cheesy, but I can get over that. Expand
  6. Nov 30, 2014
    0
    My wife loves this show, I am fairly certain all of the green reviews are from women/girls. For me, the plot is stale, the characters areMy wife loves this show, I am fairly certain all of the green reviews are from women/girls. For me, the plot is stale, the characters are uninspiring/unbelievable, and the whole premise of the show sort of puts a dagger in the originating stories of each character.

    Snow White is ugly, let's face it. Many people are going to get mad at this, but let's face the facts. Her part should really be recast. Much like the boy, he really hasn't aged well. I see prince charming standing next to Snow White, and I swear that his eyes wonder to Elsa constantly.
    Expand

See all 84 User Reviews

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