Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

At the start of every year, I make the same new year’s resolutions: get in shape (not going to happen); keep in touch with friends and family (not going to happen); and work/study harder (definitely not going to happen). This year, I’m keeping those same resolutions, but I’m also resolving to make some resolutions that I can actually fulfill. Saying “I’m going to start the day with sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks” is a far more concrete goal than “getting in shape,” for example.

I’m applying the same principle to my pop cultural resolutions this year. Usually, I simply say that I want to watch “more” movies and “less” TV, or something of the sort. But this year, I’ve decided to lay out some clear, attainable goals. I doubt that I’ll achieve them all, but at least I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved some of them by year’s end. Continue reading “Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012”

Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E06, The Shepherd

With Henry’s presence minimized to just one scene and a focus on Mary Margaret and David’s relationship, one of the strongest aspects of the show, “The Shepherd” should have been a good, if not great, episode of Once Upon a Time. Instead, though definitely not the worst episode of the show so far, it ended up being the most boring. I’ll explain why after the jump. Continue reading “Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E06, The Shepherd”

Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E05, That Still Small Voice

This scene happens in every episode of Once Upon a Time:

Henry: [matter-of-factly] You are <fairy tale character>.
Adult character: [exasperatedly] No, I’m not. You have a very active imagination, Henry.
Henry: But you are <fairy tale character>! The Evil Queen put a curse over this town! You have to believe me!
Me: GO DIE IN A DITCH YOU LITTLE PIPSQUEAK.

Since Henry obviously isn’t going to die, I wish that Once Upon a Time would spend a few weeks away from him, because honestly, everything Henry-related about last night’s installment made me want to stab unicorns. And that’s coming from someone who happens to like unicorns. Seeing as “That Still Small Voice” was very Henry-centric, that was a huge problem. Continue reading “Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E05, That Still Small Voice”

Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E02, The Thing You Love Most

Pilot episodes tend to be clunky. They have to do a lot of work to establish the story, the setting, and the characters. That early on in a show’s life, the folks who work on the show often haven’t yet figured out what works and what doesn’t. Some of that spills over into the second, third, heck, even the fourth episode. Sometimes, it takes a whole season for a show to figure itself out entirely. That’s not a major cause for concern, as long one can see progress being made over the course of those episodes.

What is cause for concern, however, is when the second episode of a series takes almost everything that was wrong with the pilot, amplifies it tenfold, and then does nothing to advance the story. “The Thing You Love Most” squandered most of the potential of Once Upon a Time’s pilot, and now I’m starting to think the series might not be worth watching on a weekly basis. Continue reading “Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E02, The Thing You Love Most”

Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E01, Pilot

Blogging about TV is a funny thing. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to write and have no trouble at all expressing it. Other times, I have no clue what to write and have a hard time putting my disjointed thoughts into words. But on rare occasions, I come away from a TV show not knowing what to think at all, but knowing exactly why I don’t know what to think. That’s exactly how I feel about ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

On paper, Once Upon a Time sounds absolutely ridiculous. Its premise is that all of our beloved fairy tale characters were real and were living happy lives until an evil queen (Lana Parrilla) banished them to live in present-day America with no knowledge of their previous existence. However, a young boy named Henry (Jared Gilmore), the biological son of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming’s (Joshua Dallas) daughter, Emma (Jennifer Morrison), knows about what the queen did and attempts to get Emma to help him lift the queen’s curse. Understandably, I felt skeptical that a premise like this could be executed with any degree of quality.

Luckily, Once Upon a Time pulled it off with some success, delivering an enjoyable – if slightly clunky – pilot episode. What gives me pause, though, is that I have no idea what the series looks like going from here. If it sticks to the aspects of the pilot that worked, it could really be a fun show. But if it sticks to those that didn’t, then it could be a catastrophe in the making. Continue reading “Episode Review: Once Upon a Time, S1E01, Pilot”