Once Upon a Time : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 23, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Once Upon a Time Image
Metascore
66

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

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 482 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

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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: 61 out of 102
  2. Negative: 27 out of 102
  1. Dec 30, 2015
    10
    One of my favourite shows, as it incorporates all those childhood fairy-tales we loved as a kid but produces it in a more enjoyable way byOne of my favourite shows, as it incorporates all those childhood fairy-tales we loved as a kid but produces it in a more enjoyable way by combining each individual story into 1 fabulous one, that is enjoyable for the more older crowd. Expand
  2. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    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. OnceSome 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. 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. Jan 15, 2015
    8
    This show is pretty good. Yes, some of the couples are cliched, like Snow White/Mary Margaret and David Nolan/Prince Charming. JenniferThis show is pretty good. Yes, some of the couples are cliched, like Snow White/Mary Margaret and David Nolan/Prince Charming. Jennifer Morrison's character, Emma Swan, is the only one I absolutely cannot stand because she's always in denial about everything. The character Henry played by Jared S. Gilmore is occasionally annoying with his eternal optimism, and utter naïveté, but in the end he's just a sweet kid. However, OUAT has done a fantastic job of creating interesting and layered villains. Regina played by Lana Parilla and Rumplestiltskin played by Robert Carlyle are the main reasons that I keep coming back to this show. Expand
  5. May 4, 2016
    6
    Confusing and Toothless
    The show is interesting, its a twist on classic fairy tail stories with new over arching plots thrown in. Seeing how
    Confusing and Toothless
    The show is interesting, its a twist on classic fairy tail stories with new over arching plots thrown in. Seeing how stories get combined, different fairy-tale characters turn out to be the same person and how the drama becomes more moral grey then the original Disney story is really interesting to watch. But the main problem with the show is all drama and audience relation is lost when too many big supernatural elements get thrown in. Every season ends with the heroes having to dig deep down and believe in themselves after finding some rare magical thing needed to stop some big supernatural plague that only been briefly explained is really bad. Because this is a retelling of a fairy tale and its already been explained in the show that good-guys always win. The audience can safely assume that the problem will be resolved adding to drama. then because the show is about magical stuff and our heroes digging down within themselves. The audience has no grasp of what they are going thru and the show makes no attempt to make us feel it.
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  6. 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.
    Expand
  7. Jul 30, 2016
    0
    Basically, think of every bad thing about fairytales, every single thing you dislike, the things that make you hesitate to watch them, andBasically, think of every bad thing about fairytales, every single thing you dislike, the things that make you hesitate to watch them, and this show is all of those things rolled up in a poorly dressed package.

    The only redeeming features this show has are Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin and Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills/Evil Queen.

    Otherwise, unless you like cheesy, poorly written, poorly acted, childish romances between unlikable characters in unlikable couples doing things for no apparent reason, stay far, far away from this show.
    Expand

See all 102 User Reviews

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