Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: October 23, 2011 — present
Series status: Has not been cancelled
Performers include: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge, Meghan Ory, Jamie Dornan, Beverley Elliott, Lee Arenberg, David Paul Grove, and Gabe Khouth.
TV show description:
The premise of this TV series is that many of the storybook tales that we were told as children are actually true, and fantastic characters like Pinocchio’s friend Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge) actually existed.
In Fairy Tale Land, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is truly the fairest of them all. After being awakened from the Queen’s sleeping death by her Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Snow is on her way to happily ever after. Unfortunately, the Queen (Lana Parrilla) crashes the wedding and vows that she will yet enact her revenge on the couple and everyone in the land.
Once Snow becomes pregnant, her anxiety about the evil Queen’s threat prompts her to seek knowledge of the future from the only person who can see it — Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), a malevolent trickster and expert in black magic. Imprisoned in their dungeon, Rumplestiltskin makes a deal; information about the Queen’s plans in exchange for the name of Snow’s unborn daughter.
He tells Snow White & Prince Charming that the Queen created a powerful curse, one that will send everyone from Fairy Tale Land to a horrible place, one where they will be deprived of their happy endings. He also shares that, if they can keep their unborn daughter safe from the curse for 28 years, she will return to them and they will be able to undo the Queen’s curse. Snow honors her deal and gives Rumplestiltskin the child’s name, Emma.
After learning of the curse, Charming allies with other forces of good to find a way to stop it. A wardrobe is fashioned out of a tree that will be able to save one person. The plan is for pregnant Snow to be the one. Their plan is compromised however when Snow gives birth to Emma. Since the wardrobe can only protect one, Charming and Snow decide to place newborn Emma inside alone, hoping that she will someday return to free them. With the curse on the way, Charming barely has time to place his daughter in the wardrobe before he is fatally stabbed.
Flash forward to the present time where we find Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a 28 year-old bail bondswoman from Boston. She’s strong-willed but still not quite at home in her own skin. Abandoned at birth, Emma grew up in the foster care system where she learned self-reliance and to not let anyone get too close.
When Emma was 18, she got pregnant and decided that the best thing to do for her infant son was to give him up for adoption. When Henry (Jared Gilmore), her now 10 year-old biological son, runs away from home and hunts her down, Emma agrees to drive him back home to Storybrooke, Maine.
During the ride, Henry tells her a seemingly outrageous story, that everyone in Storybrooke is a fairy tale character trapped in time by the Evil Queen with no memory of who they truly are. He believes that Emma is the long-lost daughter of Snow White & Prince Charming and that it’s her destiny to free the enchanted inhabitants.
Of course, Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she gets to Storybrooke, she can’t help sensing that the town and its residents aren’t quite as they seem. When Emma returns Henry to her adopted mother, Regina (Lana Parrilla) tells Emma to leave town and stay out of Henry’s life. Emma knows she doesn’t quite belong in Storybrooke, but decides to stay, and strange and mysterious things begin to happen.
Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a charitable, sensitive elementary school teacher who hides a deep personal loneliness. She recognizes her student Henry’s own unhappiness and gives him a fairy tale book with the intent that he find some hope. Henry devours the stories in the book and becomes obsessed with the notion that it describes real characters and events.
Mary volunteers at the Storybrooke General Hospital where she tends for a handsome young man, John Doe (Josh Dallas), who’s been comatose for as long as anyone can remember. Day after day, she cares for him and replaces the flowers at his bedside, oblivious to their romantic connection. Nobody knows if he’ll ever wake up but Henry has some ideas.
Archie Hopper (Raphael Sbarge) is the town’s resident psychiatrist, a bookish eccentric who’s never without his signature umbrella. Tender and sincere, he’s been treating young Henry and is cheerfully welcoming of Emma’s presence in his life. Though Archie is obviously a man of sound conscience, Regina seems to be pulling his strings somehow.
Storybrooke’s dashing lawman is Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan). He’s level-headed, competent, and a man of action. Perceptive and diplomatic, he has an easy rapport with everyone in town. Graham is independent and always does what he thinks is right, regardless of whatever grief he may get from his boss, the mayor. Despite all of these clues, Henry remains unsure of Graham’s Fairy Tale Land identity.
As the mayor of Storybrooke and Henry’s overbearing adoptive mother, Regina (Lana Parrilla) senses a very real threat that Emma presents to her relationship with Henry. She immediately takes action to run Emma out of town, somehow mobilizing the entire town population to hassle Emma during her stay. Regina projects a calm, cool, and collected appearance, but there’s a dark, tempestuous side to her that lies just beneath her Stepford-manicured surface.
The town’s most wealthy and influential citizen is Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle). From real estate to politics and even into the personal lives of his neighbors, Gold’s knowledge and involvement is virtually infinite. In fact, he’s got his hands in so many goings-on about town that it’s downright creepy. In addition to owning just about everything in town, Gold also operates the local pawnshop, where he spends most of his days curating the various items he’s collected over the years and making deals with the townsfolk.
The epic battle for the future of all worlds, modern and fairy-tale alike, is about to begin. For good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.
Image courtesy ABC.