• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 23, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 348 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 348

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  1. May 16, 2012
    I was expecting this to be more of a MOTW format with each week there being a fairy tale character that needs help to get back to the fairy-tale world. Instead it is a continuous story set in the real world. The story is quite good at first, but the problem is that is all just too lightweight, there is no real sense of threat or importance to anything that happens. The fairy-tale characters are trapped in the real world but they are not in any danger, they don't even know they are from another world. They all have jobs, houses, friends; you could even say they have better lives than before since fairy tales are set in medieval times. Also, the evil queen sent them all to the real world as a PUNISHMENT, so why did she choose to COME WITH THEM? Once the story has established itself, the show becomes a lot more like a soap in which the characters just happen to be fairy-tale characters and the plots are boring. The element of fantasy is mostly gone and its more trivial human life drama. Expand
  2. Oct 9, 2013
    Once Upon a Time is a major network Soap Opera with a secret that's not so secret. All the people living in the town of Storybrooke are actually fairy tale characters who have had their memories wiped as a result of a curse from the Evil Queen. It's a great premise and never fails to have interesting plots. The show has a story-arc that connects each episode but sometimes it fails to make itself noticeable. There are lots of characters, some very likable, and others such as the Evil Queen and Rumpelstiltski, it' who we just love to hate. It's a fun show it's different and it's been renewed many times and got a spinnoff so it must be doing some things right. If you haven't watched this show because you expect it to be cheesy, check it out, it's not cheesy, its whimsical. Expand
  3. Aug 26, 2013
    I absolutely fell in love with this series. At first it comes off a bit bland, but once it kicks into gear it really plays the mythos for all its worth. I adore the overall approach the series had, you are never completely sure if this is all real or make believe, granted that barrier is shattered at the climax of the show, which is a shame, but now it's more a question of what they plan on doing next. I can't wait for the next season. Expand
  4. Apr 19, 2014
    Fantastic show. They take fairytales and myths and twist them to create a thoroughly entertaining story filled with action, drama, and magic. Each episode leaves you wanting more. However, one of the characters, Henry, is one of the most annoying kids on tv.
  5. Sep 9, 2012
    I'm plesantly surprised with Once Upon a Time. On the surface, it's pretty much a complete carbon copy of the comic series "Fables", but it quickly becomes something very different. The pilot was cheesy, and the story starts slow, but it definitely improves over the season. Henry's the most pretentious kid on TV, however.
  6. Oct 24, 2011
    Its Different ......its really good ! Jennifer Morrison is awesome ! Once Upon a Time in Mexico is an amazing mixer with The Brother's Grimm Tales and Modern world ! Abc's best Drama of 2011 !
  7. Nov 13, 2011
    Excellent show with a very unique and creative script. I love the way they integrate the various fairytales into the main plot and I like the fact that the writers do not rigidly adhere to the original stories, which makes them a lot more interesting (for example, the story of Snow White in the 3 rd episode). I'm already hooked on it! If you're avoiding this show because you think that it will be cheesy, I'd recommend giving it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised. The only criticism I have is with the casting of some of the main characters. However, so far, it hasn't really mattered. Expand
  8. Apr 1, 2012
    Despite 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.
  9. Oct 28, 2011
    Only for kids and women. This is for people that love Hallmark channel's type of stuff. I'm surprised OUat isn't shown at 2pm for daytime tv. OUaT is less than lightweight and even though it's concept is based on imagination there is none in the writing what so ever. Lastly when I say it's written for women... I mean no disrespect. It's clearly written for the children and the female audience and makes no qualms of alienating men. So rather than writing something that everybody could watch you have a show that's kicked out half it's viewers by choice. All in all the acting is average to bad and the whole show rather ridiculous Expand
  10. Nov 9, 2013
    This show is very interesting and similar to lost. It is one of the most fascinating shows out these. These days most shows are the ordinary cookie cutter dramas so this is something new and different. The characters are very well written and played, however the story is starting to head in the wrong direction. The show needs to start getting more intense, as so far in the 3rd season nothing super spectacular has happened. Expand
  11. Feb 2, 2012
    The one thing that works in this show is the theme of it, the absolute fresh and new concept that really makes it a good time watch. It reminds me of Lost where every episode had a different character story on the island connected with their past and here ... the storybrooke people and their past where they are story book characters. Story is really good however it needs to improve a bit in writing department and it gets bit dull and hollow at times so not a perfect show but really worth watching. It offers romance, excitement, thrill, drama and everything. Your favorite story characters with twists. Expand
  12. Jan 31, 2013
    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 about some characters. The stuff in the fantasy world is a little cheesy, but I can get over that.
  13. May 14, 2012
    Not a bad show, even after the disadvantages of TV quality CG, the horrible schlocky, talentless production values of everything filmed in Vancouver the stories are not that bad if not majorly influenced by Lost. Its kind of game of thrones for kids but count how many times characters say "lets just say..." it drives me crazy
  14. Oct 24, 2011
    Once Upon a Time (saying thatâ
  15. Nov 2, 2011
    +10 just for being different, than your usual tv show. Plus, I really like that kiddo.
  16. Jan 23, 2013
    It's not absolutely terrible, but I'd hesitate to call it good.

    The thing I thought was the absolute funniest was how the wicked stepmother gave them worst fate she could imagine, and that was living in a quaint upper-middle class town in Maine. There are a lot of times where the progression of the story just doesn't make sense, and requires a very generous suspension of disbelief.
    Other times, the protagonist makes unethical decisions and the show paints it as a "noble" thing to do.

    I could see how people would enjoy this show if they're enamored with the idea of larger-than-life romance, but it falls short in worthwhile content.
  17. Zal
    Dec 14, 2012
    While the fairytale reimaginings and characters are hit or miss, I genuinely enjoy this show. I don't love all the characters, but all of the actors are phenomenal.

    My favorite character backgrounds include those of Red, Grumpy, the Hatter and Belle (okay, so it's based heavily off the Disney version, but it was still done well).

    The best character reinvention was that of
    Rumpelstiltskin. I love how creative this character. I especially love Robert Carlyle's performance and the contrast between Rumpelstiltskin and Mr. Gold.

    Regina is also a great character. She's not just some evil witch with no real motivation. There is depth to her.

    Season 2 is kind of meh so far. I like that they brought back Cora, but I'm who came up with Sexy Captain Hook. Not that I can complain too much since he is a fun, well written character, but it gets distracting.

    Also, I ship Rumbelle hardcore.
  18. Dec 30, 2011
    I came into this show a little late, catching up on Hulu right now. Its pretty good. I enjoy that its a pleasant mix of the fairy tale world and RL. It avoids the vanity of going heavy on CGI to do the fairy tale stuff. It has the feel of Lost-Lite which is fine. Pretty solid acting, especially from the woman playing the Wicked Queen/Mayor. Once I get caught up I am putting it on the regular viewing list. Good job ABC. Expand
  19. Jul 11, 2012
    loved this series i can't wait and am hoping for a season 2 i love how Rumpelstiltskin is the beast in beauty and the beast and how everything is tied together through him and the queen/mayor
  20. Apr 24, 2014
    I really love this series. The character developments are done to perfection. I cannot stand the wicked witch which means great casting. Cannot wait to see the season finale. Wish they would have continued Once upon a time in wonderland. I liked that show too. Love the Disney Characters.
  21. Oct 30, 2011
    It was much much better than grimm by far and I am so addicted to it. ABC's new show is the falls best highlight in drama by far. I love the story line and the Acting is believable, I just cant believe something could be so good. I can see being around 5 or 6 seasons and it could totally be Emmy worthy.
  22. Oct 23, 2011
    There have been many comparisons between this show and Grimm, I assure you, this is the superior series. An extremely good Pilot; definitely the best of the year. I just watched it again and again and again.It was stunning;the sets and production value, with an amazing Cast, all breathing electric life into their roles, and Intriguing storyline. I cannot wait for more.
  23. Nov 18, 2011
    Original, 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.
  24. Dec 5, 2011
    This is one of the new shows this season that is actually really good. When I first saw commercials, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Now I see its clever, compelling storytelling as a work of art. The show reminds me of lost, as it was created by a few of its producers. It lives in the present and the past, which keeps me so intrigued. I hope this show is here to last.
  25. Dec 31, 2013
    esta série foi esculpida por deus finalizada por jesus e mandada pra terra por anjos
    uma das melhores que eu ja vi se nao a melhor regina meu amorzinho s2
  26. Dec 2, 2011
    I have to give this show a 6 because it is bad very bad. However some small part of you actually enjoys it. it isn't so much a guilty please because the work in it is actually pretty good. Maybe it is the fact of seeing Jennifer Morrison doing something completely different or Lana Parrilla as the evil queen (who by the way is the one brightest spot on the show) not to mention Rober Carlisle as Rumpplestilskin or Mr. Gold; I don't know at all but you do find yourself engrossed when you watch. Now back to the Evil Queen talk about you above average baddies. Holy crap this woman has got the guns and she is blazing up this show like it was high noon. This is that show you will curse for watching but keep coming back too. Expand
  27. Nov 11, 2011
    I really like this show! It's unique & different & the plot has me wanting to see what's going to happen next! I really like how they flash back on every show to show the lives of popular fairy tale characters. I can't wait to see it next Sunday!
  28. Nov 28, 2011
    Very cleaver! Like the details, like the storyline, actors, charactors, etc. what a fun show. I have told several people about it and they are watching now. Cant wait to see more.
  29. Mar 14, 2013
    “Once Upon a Time” is about fairy tale characters that get trapped in the real world because of a curse by the evil witch Regina. None of the other characters besides Regina, has any recollection of their life before the curse. However, there is a savior who can save them all, but she doesn’t believe. Emma Swan is this savior, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, but because of her troubled childhood she doesn’t have time to believe in fairy tales or curses that is until her son Henry comes back into her life. Emma and Regina go head to head as the mysteries of Storybrooke unfold in front of us.

    This is one heck of a show. It has strong writing and tackles themes of true love, motherhood, friendship, and believing. The show adds a new twist to the fairy tale lore as we get to see classic characters interact with one another. Stories jump back and forth from the present, which take place in our realm, to the past, which takes place in the fairy tale world, in a single episode. Each story event in the fairy tale world tells the story of what is happening at this moment or a back story of a particular character(s). It is interestingly done and keeps us involved as we try to piece each event together to the point of when the curse takes place. The part is finding all the references to the Disney version of these stories and characters. Disney/ABC put a lot of money into the show as the special effects and visuals are top notch for television. The costumes and make-up are extravagant as well. The musical score is at the heart of the story as each character or group of characters have their own themes.

    Actors range from good to decent. Emma and Henry are the weakest parts of the show for me. Henry comes off as annoying and a bit of a brat, but the writers and produces grow aware as his appearance becomes less and more tamed as the show progresses. The standout by far and worth watching are Regina and Rumpelstiltskin. Regina is vicious, but there is heart to her. Rumpelstiltskin is flamboyant, but very understated in the real world. One thing particularly great about this show is how no one character is just one note. There are layers to each character, even the most evil of them.

    Overall, “Once Upon a Time” is a really great show with some strong writing and high production values. Each character is highlighted well in their particular episode and we’re left guessing what happens next. As the season comes to an end, we learn more and more about certain characters that change our perspective on them. And the finale answers a lot of questions, but leaves us with a bunch of new ones. I give it 4.5/5, great writing, impressive production values, and a cast of colorful, but relateable characters.
  30. Oct 13, 2012
    Absolutely love this show. One of the few I hate to miss. And as Dessy states; although I also like Grimm, this show is far superior and much more entertaining. To each his own, I guess.
  31. Oct 28, 2012
    "Once Upon A Time" is a very interesting television show. I love how it incorporates all of the fairy tales. It's a very good show and I'm looking forward to the next few seasons. :D
  32. Dec 19, 2012
    Yeah, I love this show. I like the way they take characters from fairytales, mythology, etc & put a new spin on them. Sometimes the episodes are a little too cutesy but heck that's to be expected given the genre & premise of the show. A really great cast here: Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrisson, Lana Parilla to name a few. Shot in Vancouver at some gorgeous locations. Go Canada! Can you tell I'm a Canuck? Expand
  33. Dec 26, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I believe this show has/had a lot of potntial. Unfortunatley though, due to the terrible acting and poor special effects, this show rates below average for me.

    First of all, the casting is somewhat atrocious. Robert Carlysle and Jennifer Morrison's characters are the only ones I can stomach. Snow White, Prince Charming, Henry-everyone else is completely intolerable. Regina is probably the worst villain I've ever seen and don't even get me started on Peter Pan. And all the gushy, mushy 'romantic' 'true love' moments are just purely revolting.
    With bad writing, terrible casting, and even worse acting, this show gets a bad score from me.
  34. Nov 23, 2014
    Once upon a time, ABC was in talks with an amazing creator named Bill Willingham, whose comic series "Fables" is a long line of brilliance, mature exploration of character and fairy tale tropes blended into a modern setting. It is hands down one of the best series I have ever read, and it's still going (at least into 2015 when the story comes to a close).

    At some point, those talks
    fell through. Then, half a year later, ABC announces Once Upon a Time, based on the same basic conceit as the Willingham comic from Vertigo (DC). I'm sad it's not Fables, but I'm excited at the idea.

    Then, I watch it. I tried. I really did. It's so watered down, trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator, with annoying leads (though I liked Jiminy Cricket and I liked Rumpelstiltskin for what they were worth). It had a less-intriguing premise. It was far too soft and Disney-fied. They basically took this amazing mature story and tried to make it have mass appeal to the family audience. Already not what I wanted, but hey, I like a good family show on occasion, so I stuck it out.

    And the writing sucked. The plotting, the dialogue, the generic tropes done with a straight face, bland as could be. The kid is obnoxious. Snow's 'daughter' is obnoxious. Snow is less interesting than a bottle of Ambien (and it's sad, too, I loved the actress in Big Love).

    Jiminy and Rumpel are the only reason this review didn't get a '0'.

    If you want something that's actually good in this vein, go read Fables. Or watch Grimm.
  35. Dec 1, 2011
    Essa série é ótima e divertida . Faz uma boa adaptação dos contos infantis, sem ser maçante ou estereotipada. Bons atores também! Não tem como não gostar.
  36. Oct 26, 2011
    I think this show is more for kids. It's ok but not one I would worry about watching again unless there was absolutely nothing else on. The concept is different from anything else on TV right now and at least it isn't a reality show...is it? LOL
  37. Oct 26, 2011
    There 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. Expand
  38. Nov 4, 2011
    The show feels slightly August Rush, with extra cheese and fairy tales. The concept is interesting but not up to the standard set by Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods which moulded the familiar stories together rather brilliantly whilst continuing their journeys thereafter. Jennifer Morrison is rather uncharismatic as the Debt-collecting protagonist, She needs someone with the balls of Tilda Swinton to pass off that type of character, however, she doesn't stay her profession for very long as August Rush, sorry, Henry, the male protagonist of our story, locates her to begin the series properly. As I say the concept is interesting but it feels a little corny, the whole thing stinks of cheese but whether that is yummy, cheesy pizza cheese or rotten garbage bin cheese is still being decided. The mark of a great show in my eyes is one that makes me say "HURRY UP NEXT WEEK!" and unfortunately I didn't have this reaction. As it is, it seems the other fairytale inspired TV show, Grimm, has a more "case of the week" approach, I am unsure so don't quote me on that, and if that's the case then I hope that Once Upon A Time steers clear of that generic path. Lana Parilla is a favourite of mine from Swingtown and I am really rooting for her to survive the entire season/series. I loved the LOST references but they seem out of place given the extreme 180 in direction, had this show been more sci-fi, they would not be out of place, but they're still worth a smile or too. Apartment/House #108 for example. Hoping for the show's growth but given the current state of TV, I don't know how likely that is. 5 Grouse points for casting Robert Carlisle as Rumplestiltskin. But I'm a bloke, I need more from my shows than cheesy sentimentality. Rooting for the Evil Queen and Maleficent all the way! Expand
  39. Nov 24, 2012
    It is a decent show, once can't deny that. I would never not recommend it, but as a forewarning: this is a soap opera melodrama under the guise of a contemporary retelling of the classic fairy tales. Not to say it does not do a good job of it, but if you were to take at least some of the themes seriously (such as adoption and birth mothers, legal system, and some relationships), it will drive you up the wall with it's inaccuracies. The concept it still great, though could never call it unique (as this has been done so many times before), but it is entertaining and addictive. Looking for quality, you will definitley find it here, but those with a more discerning eye will see what I am talking about. Collapse
  40. May 20, 2012
    Robert Carlyle is wonderful... the best acting performance on the show. What turns me off is the use of a trite acting vocabulary by Jennifer Morrison. She has moments when it seems she wants to show depth, and then, "yuck," another little unconvincing move or facial expression that feels hollow and unconvincing. The same kind of cheap "Disney school of bad acting" that permeates other shows like Terra Nova, and just about all of Disney's TV shows. Come production staff. I know you can see it because you shorten many of the shots on Morrison's face at times. Give her some coaching if you want to invite the audience to really get into the story. Expand
  41. Jun 23, 2014
    There was some good and bad with this show. It felt a bit weak to me like the story teller could've tied up a lot of loose ends and managed the characters better. I understand the difficulty in writing that many characters into a story is difficult and it's easy to see you did a bad job if you can't juggle them all properly.

    The second flaw is a very atmosphere intrusive flaw. The
    COSTUMES! I honestly wasn't a fan of some of the costumes. Some of them I felt were very tacky. Some had too much bedazzle in my opinion and far too much "boob". I feel like sequins and silly accessories like the cowboy hat on Regina really threw me off. I can appreciate the intricate detailing but some of the accessories appear to be from a jewelry store that imports cheap plastic for preteens to wear. For the most part Abigail, Regina and Sleeping Beauty have been the ones throwing me off. The show will not attract the type of men that are dim witted TV boob obsessed so there is no reason to throw the boobs in there constantly, every now and then is okay but ease up! It is very obvious that the designer was a man or a burlesque queen. Which is fine but not when you are trying to show royal costumes. I feel like fairies are supposed to be intelligent and versed in magic...not grasping for attention with their boobs.

    My overall opinion is:
    The men all look fantastic, the commoners clothes are on par, the earth clothes are on par, less cleavage, less sequins and cheap looking jewelry/accessories, needs work on the writing, Rumple was amazing, although I'm an artist I could tolerate the bad CGI it wasn't as bad as the costumes, the acting needs work, character development needs work, the main villains motives are flimsy, also why can't Americans make films in BC and just let the story be in BC is it another pride thing?

    I'm into the 2nd season now and I am still watching it because I love Disney, fairytales and I enjoy seeing their spin on things but it isn't a show I'm in love with. I feel like they should choose to market more towards teens or adults not an in between.
  42. Sep 22, 2014
    Once upon a time is full of surprises! I'm completely hooked and it's perfect for the season it premiers in. It gives me those warm fuzzies and gets my mind going. I remember when I first began watching this show, I was a little taken back by some of the silly play outs in fighting scenes and even some of the acting, though there is just so much dept to the story and characters that I can't help but be hooked! I love this show very much and I'm always waiting for the next episode. Thanks ABC, yet again! Expand
  43. Nov 14, 2011
    This show just doesn't appeal to me. Maybe it's because I'm a guy or something, but I just can't watch it. The kid seems annoying to me and the concept of this whole town trying to get back to fantasyland doesn't seem interesting to me. People compare this show to Grimm, but Grimm is much more entertaining and more appealing to men, I think.
  44. Dec 29, 2011
    I would have preferred that this show keep the angle that this is all in the boys head avoiding his dreary life. The evil queen is such a baffling cartoon without any depth. Or maybe she is just a bad actress?! I wished the writers would have allowed her to express real attempt at wanting to be the best mother to her adopted son. Instead the show is now asking the audience to suspend all belief that the town somehow wants to get back to fairytale land, or someplace else?! Expand
  45. Dec 16, 2011
    I love it. It's so smartly written and brought to the screen so well. Not predictable. Nothing with this type of mystery and whimsy has ever been brought to our tv screens with such dept. I aplaud the creators
  46. Oct 21, 2012
    This show took a while to find its way. From the 7th episode on, the show found its arch and has been going smoothly since. This is the best fairy tale adaption I
  47. Apr 23, 2012
    I finally found a show based on a book that I enjoyed when i was a child. Snow White should have a TV series. I am thoroughly enjoying the producer, director's & writers of this series idea to tie-in other Disney characters from other fairy tales. I think its wonderfully done and I cannot wait to see where the show will take us.
  48. Jun 2, 2012
    My first impression of Once Upon a Time was that it was going to be some lame drama that got canceled after the first season, or even a couple of episodes.
    However, that is not the case! Once Upon a Time is a family friendly drama that will tug at your heartstrings and that is definitely worth watching. The characters are amazing, and built well, even if the secondary characters may be a
    little flat. However, their backstories make up for it. Expand
  49. Sep 4, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've been hooked since the trailers came out! Toward the middle of the season, I ignored everyone and was in my world. After reading the synopsis out loud to one of my friends, I thought the writers were crazy and on drugs! It is an AMAZING series and I can't wait to see how they incorporate everyone's new found memory in the second season! :) I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS SERIES! Expand
  50. Dec 26, 2013
    This show had an amazing start with great character development and potential, but by season 2 it appears that the writer has no idea where they were going. Instead of focusing on the main story and characters, the writers kept introducing new characters to keep providing the twists that it did in the first season. The third season is a major improvement from the last, but I think they need to continue with focusing on the main characters and the relationships they have with one another, as well as giving the show an clear objective to what it's about. Explaining this show to anyone at the moment gives me and the other person a headache. Expand
  51. Jun 25, 2014
    I think that emma should get cursed as a swan like her last name says but I don't think regina should get the blame so the only question that will remain is who wants to punish emma or her parents by doing this to emma
  52. Oct 12, 2014
    Generic is probably the word that best describes this series. It was extremely painful for me to sit through all 22 episodes. I'm having a hard time believing some of the critics called this show "clever" or "smart" because it is anything but smart. I wanted to like this show as I'm a huge fan of The Wolf Among Us, a video game with a similar premise. However, the show proved to have just far too many problems:
    - The story often lacks logic, and the characters make unintelligent decisions all the time.
    - The show is too inconsistent. There are few episodes that have some fresh stories, and the majority of others that are totally unoriginal and thus unbelievably boring.
    - The characters are comically one-dimensional, and the acting often feels extremely soapy.
    - Production values are horrifically low. Everything looks ridiculously cheap, and the CGI is just horrible.
    - The Storybrooke events are too slow-paced. The finale was a good payoff, but why couldn't they just speed things up before?
  53. Oct 1, 2014
    Word on the grape vine is this show is being compared to 'Grimm", which, I have not seen. Therefore I have nothing to compare it to.

    So first off, I think this show is great, I absolutely love Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla. Both I feel are strong, actresses and possess a certain charm in this series that keeps my interest. They also seem to, as the two main characters the entire
    show is built around, have a strong chemistry.
    They make up, I think, for a lot of the bad acting, which there is a mixture of throughout the episodes.

    There are some cons I would like to get by, right away.
    First, the acting, the acting can be somewhat frustrating. Just last night I watched an older episode and saw a 'fight scene' which made me cringe. It was, by far, awful. Simply put.
    Another major MAJOR thing, which in this day in age as far as we have come when it comes to computerized green screen, electronics and CGI stuff.... I can NOT wrap my head around how they have managed to mess up time and time again. It's almost like they purposely want you to be able to tell the characters are running in place in front of a green screen, choppy CGI and photoshoping... its borderline ridiculous.
    The acting. Itself, with some characters, NOT ALL, is also, terrible. New comers, frustratingly struggling through their lines. Some of the characters are just FRUSTRATING. PERIOD.

    BUT, if you can get by some of that, even WITH those things I just complained about I still believe this is a great show. I'm currently watching it through, again, I saw it once, a year ago and have since picked it up for another go.
    And I'm pleased. There's so many little aspects you forget, that it's still fun to re-watch.
    You get to know the characters and once you think you KNOW them and feel a certain, like or dislike, the next episode can spin you a 180 degrees and make you think something completely different. You gather feelings for the characters, start to feel bad in certain situations.

    You may even catch yourself rooting for the evil side once or twice just to spite a character who did something you disliked.

    It's worth a watch. The idea's are there, the concept of spinning these fairy tales into something more sadistic and masochistic is pretty amazing. They basically took a child's dream and turned it into something that everyone can enjoy.
  54. cfh
    Mar 24, 2013
    I love this show, I watch it whenever I can. Yes sometimes the plot does not move along, but the show is kind of like a mystery on how the characters are always changing and new twists and turns every episode. I suggest that anyone who like mystery stories or puzzles should watch this show.
  55. Oct 25, 2011
    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 a fantastic job! I can not wait to continue watching the show and see how the storyline develops.
  56. Nov 5, 2011
    Some people may not have a sense of imagination or fun, but this show is a way to escape from the bad economy or your family issues etc. Once Upon a Time is a creative, imaginative, interesting show. It keeps you on your toes for the entire week, waiting for the next episode. The story line is is "out-of-the-box" and the acting is well done. I am addicted.
  57. Jul 13, 2012
    After watching a fair few episodes I've decided to not bother watching this again. The writers have realised they need to create 22 episodes so instead of actually telling stories they just give you enough with the inevitable cliffhangers that force you to come back to see what happens. The word Soap opera is appropriate.
    The main antagonist, the Queen(Regina) is just a shallow one sided
    disney style evil character that we are expected to accept without any real insight into the hows and whys of her obvious anger at everything.
    Robert Carlysles **** character is about the only saving grace in the whole show and the only character with any real depth. The rest you can pretty much take or leave. Its a shame as the story had potential but the writers just don't have the talent to make 22 episodes of interesting content. Maybe if they had made it 10 or 12 episodes they could actually have made it work.
    The telling of the Enchanted forest stories is not bad, with some interesting twists on the stories we know, but anything to do with Storybrooke is just static.
  58. Nov 14, 2011
    I am loving this show! I like the way the story telling is being handled. Love that they have taken fairytales and brought them back closer to the real story. Not everything has a happy ending. I am all for happy endings, but the original fairytales where stories of warnings. If you strayed from the straight and narrow road, you will be eaten by a wolf. Keep up the great storytelling ABC. Please don't solve the mysteries too quickly. Keep us guessing! Expand
  59. Nov 16, 2011
    I'm in love with the fairytale world this show has created. just wish there was more of it. this show is amazing. i've been waiting months for it to come out and when it did i wasn't disappointed. Goodwin and Dallas are wonderful as Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchet and Prince Charming/David Nolan and they have such amazing chemistry. So much potential here and i can't wait to see how this story unfolds Expand
  60. Jan 31, 2012
    The idea of taking fairy tales and deconstructing them is a very original idea, I totally disagree with the other reviewer, no one has done it quite like Once Upon a Time. The writers of Lost have found another niche that the American public can consume. The story lines of people that, from the outside, look normal, but their back story goes on forever. We have been promised Sherlock Holmes and possibly other fictional characters, as well. Which is intriguing. My only gripe would be a few of the supporting "bit" actors that are truly BAD. Whomever is doing the casting is either deaf and blind, or has a lot of favors to pay back. But that is a small complaint. I think the series will do well, and is one of the few shows I record on my DVC. I recommend this for kids 12 and up and the Mom of the family. :) Expand
  61. Mar 15, 2012
    This is an amazingly entertaining show. My girlfriend and I are obsessed with catching every minute of every episode. I am amazed that some people think this show is just for kids. Most kids will not get it. Why someone would take the time to rate it a "0" is more astonishing. Must be a hateful person. Keep these episodes coming!
  62. Jun 16, 2012
    I wanted to give this show a fair shot but after five episodes I wonder if I must be watching a different show than everyone else. The characters are well thought and the casting is okay, but the show is so very dull. Not a lot happens at all, I was expecting more of a drama than a soap. Interesting concept, but too boring for me. The comparisons with Grimm need to stop too, they are worlds apart.
  63. Dec 24, 2012
    This show is wonderful. One of the best shows on television. The writing is amazing, and the way the intertwine the fairy tales with the modern day is brilliant. How anyone could watch this show, and not like it is mind boggling, and actually shameful. You must not have any sense of imagination, and I might even question if you have a heart.
  64. Feb 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Okay... where to begin. First of all let's kill a certain cliche that claims all women like this show. I didn't, and that's because I found it pretty boring and poorly written. It's an interesting idea that all the fairytale characters are put in the real world, but it has been done before, so I expected something original. All I got were plot twists that were unreal and characters I didn't find interesting at all. For example the protagonist, Emma, she's supposed to be some kind of detective or people finder or whatever and one day her kid Henry (that she left for adoption after he was born) pops up at her door and says she has to help him. So she finds herself in a small town called Storybrooke (ugh what a lame name) and it's run by a mayor who is really the Evil Queen from Snow White and her curse brought every fairytale creature in there so they could suffer and she could have a happy ending. I don't get it. Where is the suffering or the happy ending. Just a lame town with lame people. And suddenly Emma and Regina(the Queen) start to fight over Henry. Their dialogue is just ridiculous, like in Days of Our Lives or something. Also the huntsman who was supposed to kill Snow but didn't and then the Queen got mad and took his heart so she could make him her bed slave and then he kisses Emma and starts to remember and then the Queen kills him by crushing his heart while him and Emma make out??? I mean what? Why? And why is Red Riding Hood a slutty waitress? The plot is just awkward, there's so many things missing and so many things that need not to be there. It reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean movies or the Hobbit. Too much but at the same time too little. In the series even the costumes remind me of how sentimental it is. What I wanted was the world of forgotten fairy tales. Myths all over the world. What about stories we don't hear often? And there could have been a world more like in Snow White and the Huntsman (even though it wasn't a great movie it was visually awesome, more darker and stranger). Finally, there was only one character in the series that I liked and that was Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (I'm from Finland so here it's "Tittelintuure"). Mostly I think because he was played by Robert Carlyle who is one of my favorite actors. I'm truly disappointed and hope that the Grimm will be better, starting to watch it now. Expand
  65. May 2, 2013
    This show is okay. It is nice to see a series drama like Lost, but this show is definitely no Lost. The casting is not very good at all.
    Firstly, Jennifer Morrison playing Emma as a supposed 28 yr old is a terrible joke! She looks every bit her age of 34 not a 28 yr old daughter of Snow White.
    Secondly, Snow White is supposed to be the fairest in the land and anyone who has seen the show
    can see she is not the beautiful perfect 10 we grew up thinking she was.
    Next, was the budget so small they didn't even try on the CGI? Finally on a good note the only interesting thing going on would be the Evil Queens and Rumplestilskins back stories.
  66. Aug 9, 2013
    Once Upon A Time Season One Review Originally posted at http://www.yeahyeahcool.com/2013/08/06/once-upon-a-time-season-1-review/ by: Carla Valdes @Karluccia While waiting in lines you get to meet many interesting people who are passionate about the things that brought them to Comic-con. Multiple attendees advised that I really need to watch ABC’s Once Upon A Time because it’s super wonderful. A viewing marathon later, I have been able to watch the entire Season one on Netflix. So, were they right or will I have to hunt them down at next years Con to punish them?

    The basic premise of the show is pretty simple. The residents of small town Storybrooke, Maine are in fact fairytale royalty like Snow White and Prince Charming (Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas) and other beloved legendary characters like Rumplestiltskin (played whimsically by Robert Carlyle). Sounds ideal, but the problem is because of an evil curse most of the residents cannot remember their previous magical existence, so instead of living it up as fabled heroes, they work in diners and fix cars for a living.

    The show was created by Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, and like Lost it relies heavily on flashbacks. As a Fables fanatic I really enjoyed how they engage characters together by mixing up different tales. My only complaint is I wish the flashbacks had a bit more air time. The backstories are really imaginative and the strongest part of the show. My heart grew with the introduction of more and more fairytale personalities! So yes! They were in fact right! It is super wonderful and I am eager to start season two! When the show returns in the fall I will be happy to add it to my viewing line up.

    The Brothers Grimm would be proud.

  67. Oct 16, 2013
    Wonderful stuff, with a pleasant blend of Disney-esque fluff and Grimm Brothers grit, weighted in favor of the fluff but that is in no way a criticism. If you know your fairy tales and legends, this will all be that much more fun. There are many whimsical and well-written episodes, but the one that sticks with me is "Skin Deep", which is a finely woven tale that threads multiple tales together and is a good example of this show's unique appeal. Expand
  68. Oct 28, 2013
    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 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.
  69. Mar 15, 2014
    I love this show, but I hate the way Tamara acts, it doesn't fit how they both came into the show, I don't like how she came in the show and I dislike the way she acts, she doesn't act good! Dislike Tamara
  70. Apr 27, 2014
    This is my favourite tv programme at the moment. Although living in the UK I am only up to series 2. I love it so much, it is so unique and extremely clever how everything fits together. If you love, disney, fairy tales or fantasy this is without a doubt the programme for you!
  71. May 17, 2014
    Too be honest, although this show seems to bring in good reviews, it is a mainstream fanfiction displayed on television. Not to dis fanfiction but there's a reason it's not simply fiction, it typically amateuristic and gives training wheels to those not too serious or just starting out, it should not be put on television. It's fairly unoriginal and crams nostalgic characters into modern ordeals to attract fairytale fanatics. In the latest episode, a new character has been put in from a very recent film, I'd imagine it would butcher the original film and creating a backstory for this character as the show does would be an insult to the original writers considering this movie came out so recently. Overall, it's entertaining to some but should not be considered a "serious" show. Expand
  72. Jul 13, 2014
    I greatly enjoy this show. While some might find the execution to be on the trite or cheesy side, I find the tone fits perfectly with the concept of a fairy tale world. It is well acted and I love how the smaller arcs feed into the overall themes of the show, such as togetherness and good vs. evil.
  73. Sep 24, 2014
    I like the show, but I'm halfway through season 3 and more and more it seems that the technique they use for weekly casting decisions is to send a team of monkeys onto the street and whoever they throw feces at gets to be this weeks new character.

    Sometimes the monkeys get lucky and hit someone good. Hook does a great job. Robin hood is great. Regina has been good since day one, but
    then other times the monkeys hit annoying teeth lady and we're stuck with Cora for a season. Or they hit Peter Pan or Rapunzel and we go to the "I'm more wooden than Pinochio" school of acting.

    Makes it hard to watch at times. Season 3 has brought us the wicked witch from Auz (It's like Oz, but with a more annoying accent). On the one hand, it's easy to root against her because if they kill off the character we might get a more compelling villain, but it also means that the rest of this season is almost certainly going to feature more of her and I'm not sure it's worth the effort to keep going.
  74. Sep 28, 2014
    Worst show I have ever seen. Disney is ruining every movie they ever made with this stupid show with a bad storyline. I can't even watch one episode. The animation is poor and the show is so bad it's comcial.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Oct 28, 2011
    The series, fueling itself with folklore, proceeds as if no characterization is required.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Oct 24, 2011
    The show is a bold idea, and there's hope for the modern-world portions, but it doesn't quite know what it is (or maybe it does, but the audience won't).
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Oct 24, 2011
    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.