Once Upon a Time : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 23, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26

Where To Watch

Stream On
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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 21, 2011
    70
    The pilot certainly looks great, and it's hard to imagine better choices for the leads than Goodwin and Parrilla.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 21, 2011
    80
    There's gorgeous fun to be had here.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Oct 21, 2011
    83
    What's best about Time is its ambition; it glows with a near-theatrical shine, challenging viewers to think about TV drama as something other than boilerplate.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Oct 20, 2011
    63
    Give ABC credit for trying something different. But next time, try harder. And better. And maybe shorter.
  5. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 21, 2011
    75
    Once Upon a Time is both family-friendly and smart enough to win viewers of any age and level of sophistication.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 21, 2011
    83
    Once Upon a Time gets off to a bewitching start.
  8. 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.
  9. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 20, 2011
    63
    The cast would do well to have more fun, but the layered storytelling has it charms. [31 Oct 2011, p.35]
  10. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Oct 21, 2011
    63
    Somebody should kiss a frog or something to break the evil spell and let this show be as much fun as it should be.
  11. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Oct 21, 2011
    70
    Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.
  12. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 21, 2011
    70
    For now, it's an enticing cupcake, but I want to see if it's more than frosting all the way down.
  13. 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.
  14. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Oct 24, 2011
    63
    Horowitz and Kitsis are clever and playful in how they insert the fairytale characters into the present day, which kept my interest even when, as I said earlier, I was chuckling.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Oct 24, 2011
    63
    The series isn't very original (at one point, it even steals Lost's now-iconic eye-opening shot), but that doesn't stop it from being relatively satisfying on its own terms.
  16. 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).
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 470 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 100
  2. Negative: 27 out of 100
  1. Oct 26, 2011
    3
    There are some decent ideas here, but you have to wade through some mediocre acting and truly awful writing. Even some of the CGI isThere are some decent ideas here, but you have to wade through some mediocre acting and truly awful writing. Even some of the CGI is surprisingly bad. What was with the fairy godmother character floating around in one scene? She was lit incorrectly to fit in with the main scene. Just not well done.

    I was truly curious about some of the big questions in this story, but the overall vehicle is so clumsily done that I just can't give this show any more time.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    1
    I'm shocked this is rated so highly. The dialogue is dreadful. The acting sucks, but since the script is so bad, we probably shouldn't placeI'm shocked this is rated so highly. The dialogue is dreadful. The acting sucks, but since the script is so bad, we probably shouldn't place too much blame on them.

    For a show with such an ambitiously conceived setting, everything looks cheap. No exaggeration: the costumes look like they were harvested from a thrift store bin. Also, the special effects are embarrassingly bad. [C'mon guys! If you're going to make a fantasy series, and you refuse to pay for good writers, then the least you can do is splurge on good special effects and costume design.]

    It's a shame, because the idea of this show is so appealing. Unfortunately, the idea alone is not enough for me. This series fails in every category of execution.
    Full Review »
  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. Full Review »