Sunday, January 15, 2012

Once Upon A Time: Where Villains Rule

Once Upon A Time is a terrific series is about cursed fairy tale characters who are living in modern times without any memory of who they really are. The show goes back and forth between past and present to give you a view of who the characters are and what has happened to them. And, the fairy tales all have their twists. There's no HEA.

The Evil Queen is a great villain. The kind you love to hate. The actress does a great job at portraying the queen as quite a bitch. Yet, in regard to the character, there appears to be a reason for her hatred and desire for revenge that has not been revealed yet.

 A big plus to writing a villain is not to make them totally evil or heartless. She does seem to want to love her adopted son, even though she's not capable of overcoming her selfishness. As a writer, I think, she does need to suffer a defeat soon. A villain shouldn't win all the time. Just as you want to see the hero win, you want to see the villain fail. To me, the best stories have the heroes and the villains suffer defeat and recoup before the end. We all know a story almost always ends with a villain's destruction. In this series, Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who is the heroine, will win. So far, she holds her own with the Evil Queen but the more episodes I watch, I realize that isn't enough. Your hero should claim a bit of victory, so the reader  and in this case the viewer cheer his success and anticipate the villain's retaliation. You don't want your reader to become frustrated because the villain never loses until the very end of the book. For one thing, they may skip to the end.

So far, the Evil Queen/Mayor of Storybrooke remains undefeated. I think viewers are hanging on, waiting for her fall.  She needs to stumble soon.

If you are watching this series, what would you like to see happen to the Evil Queen?  And is Mr. Gold going to turn out to be a good guy or the villain? I'm not sure.

Patricia Preston 

10 comments:

Erastes said...

What worries me about American shows is that they tend to be so open ended, and that I hate watching the good ones, like this because I know it could be cancelled at any minute and there would be resolution. I would hope that the Evil Queen keeps going for a good long while, becuause she can't get her comeuppance too early or there would be no good antagonist. Maybe they'll have something happen to her at the end of the first season and then she can bounce back like all good villains only to make mayhem in season two.

Mr Gold is ... well, I'd say he's morally ambiguous, he's no way a goodie, he's out for one person and one person only and isn't interested in total power, just power over others for his own gain.

I'm enjoying it, although it is a bit slow.

Patricia Preston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia Preston said...

I think you're right. There'll be a hook in the season finale. I'm wondering about the stranger who came into town last night. Good plotting on the writers' part to bring in a sudden twist. Maybe he's bad news for the queen.

Linda Andrews said...

I stopped watching the show because there was no progress being made to thwart the evil queen. And if there's no small triumphs, how can I believe that there will be a final victory?

Jamie Lee Scott said...

This is one of my favorite shows on TV. Yes, there seems to be little in the way of progress, but they are giving a history of the fairy tales, and that's my favorite. Last week's show about Mr. Gold and Rumpelstiltskin was written by friend Jane Espenson, and incredible writer.
As for Mr. Gold being good or evil, I think he's a little of both, nurtured by his past.

Renee Pace said...

This is my favorite show beside GRIMM on TV and two of my boys watch it with me. I love Mr. Gold and the evil witch. The kid sort of drives me nuts.

Patricia Preston said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it is time for the Evil Queen to get a little payback!

Jamie: Last week's episode was very good. Sad. I wonder what happened to his son?

At least, they have upped the intrigue by bringing in a new character last night and he's pretty hot! LOL

Claire Robyns said...

Haven't heard of this show before... going off to check if it's available in the UK (prolly not) but I do agree in general that there needs to be steady progress along some threads of the plot to keep interest from waning. Some shows tend to bring this progress in too late...

Patricia Preston said...

Claire: I don't know if you can get Amazon On Demand, but they have it. I have a Roku box and stream in Amazon, Netflix, etc.

Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

I've heard of this show and now I've got to watch it. And I agree with you, Patricia. The the hero needs to win at least a small battle every once in a while,