• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 23, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
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 512 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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Once Upon A Time

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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: 66 out of 108
  2. Negative: 28 out of 108
  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 13, 2011
    10
    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 theExcellent 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
  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. Aug 27, 2018
    8
    Personally one of my favourite American TV series that I have seen. I think this TV series has really good casting. Full of imagination andPersonally one of my favourite American TV series that I have seen. I think this TV series has really good casting. Full of imagination and adventure. The first 4 seasons were really interesting to me. I ended up watching it till the very end. Expand
  5. Jun 23, 2014
    6
    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 managedThere 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.
    Expand
  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. May 10, 2018
    0
    Une idée qui semble originale et audacieuse mais qui semble seulement... ça s'empêtre en effet très vite dans une niaiserie et une bêtiseUne idée qui semble originale et audacieuse mais qui semble seulement... ça s'empêtre en effet très vite dans une niaiserie et une bêtise intolérables. Les épisodes s'enchaînent sans conviction alors qu'on s'emmerde à qui mieux-mieux au milieu de ce fatras d'improbables conneries écrites n'importe comment par des scénaristes drogués.

    On voit bien trop peu l'estimable Robert Carlyle qui a l'air de bien se faire chier là-dedans et on le comprend. Le pire est sans nul doute cette blondasse qui cumule l'antipathie, une sale gueule et une absence totale de talent : tout simplement atroce. Laissez donc les contes là où ils sont, ils n'ont pas mérité un tel traitement.
    Expand

See all 108 User Reviews

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