We can compare and contrast three different behaviors that we will leave to the intrepid viewer.
1. characters in the stories with a modern interpretation.
2. characters in the modern village of Storybrooke.
3. characters in the Classic stories.
The modern twists have Snow White as an aggressive woman, a Huntsman who cries at killing woodland creatures (I appreciate the disclaimer that no squirrels were injured in the filming.) and Prince Charming being emotional in all of his scenes. With the all knowing child, Henry, we see the fulfillment of Modernity’s promise of woman being equal to men and children being equal to women.
Virtue, by definition, is the realm of men alone. Woman can not be virtuous and all the attributes that are associated with virtue. The men are not manly, that is stoic or virtuous, but lead by their feelings of true love. Regretfully, “true love” is never defined in OUAT, therefore, true love is a constant chimera. That is always referred to as “true love” presumes that “love” is inherently false, therefore the qualifier of “true”.
With Modernity’s call to equality, the traditional gender roles become muddled. The classic stories clearly defined the gender roles are recast. We are tempted to state that men and women be equal. Clearly, this is not true and will never be true. Fortunately, the traditional stories contain a hierarchy, complete with Royalty and commoners.
The only saving grace of this show is the repeated, although only implied, idea that justice is the interest of the stronger. The Queen possess magic and, since the modern setting is magic free, she is the Mayor and politicians have influence in many spheres of interest. Mr. Gold restores Magic to the town, so he, too, can use the Power that he formerly had. In the first season, he was a pawn shop owner and landlord, so although without magic, he too was influential in the city.
Because of a hierarchy, not all magic has the same power or influence.
When we read between the lines, OUAT is a thought provoking morality tale of Politics, Power and the lack of clearly defined Purpose. True love is the end and the means to an end (The End?) to the first season of the series. We can expect more of the interest of the stronger (Magic) in season two.
After the curse is lifted, the villagers were preparing to kill the Major and Prince charming come to the rescue to say that victims are better or have a better morality than the evil Queen and can not lower themselves to her level. The influence of Christian weakness at this point is overdone. Only a “wretched idiot” would nod in agreement to allow the Queen to live after losing 28 years in this magic free world of forgetfulness of their previous lives.
The banality of mixing gender roles, coupled with Christian mercy and the prime mover of “true love” leaves this reviewer wondering how sick one has to be not to question this TV show.
A la Martin Luther, we love it, then we criticize it and then we hate it.
This series could be renamed “Once Upon a Crime” as it killed a weekend.