Even though my 13-year-old cousin thinks that lately OUAT has fallen off the wagon and isn't "doing enough fairy tale stuff", I for one am impressed/relieved that the show seems to have gotten its mojo back.
I admit, I initially approached the show with a lot of suspicion. I watched the first season, mildly amused and confused at all the weird relatives from other dimensions and wondering when these little insecure weirdos would get their memory back and realize they really were *gasp* princes and princesses. I tolerated the Snow White/Prince Charming storyline mainly because I loved the juxtaposition of the romantic past of the perfect couple compared to the desperate school teacher / philandering husband stealing glances in the present. Unfortunately, though, that and other ironic storylines were cut short when the curse that left everyone in Storybrooke without memory of their previous glory (and cricketness) vanished and suddenly all of us viewers were hit with exactly how drab and boring fairy tale characters would be IF they WERE really in the modern world. Suddenly everything was dramatic and overacted and Snow/Charming made my skin crawl just by looking at eachother. Making out in a room adjacent to their daughter/grandson who are just trying to make a decent meal? NO!! Not cute!
For a while I kept watching just so my friend and I could discuss how ridiculous the outfits were that Belle had to wear to go hunting.
Or wish that one of the few decent actors on the show, i.e. the Mad Hatter, wouldn't have left.
I wasn't sure how long I was going to last. I started lagging a couple episodes behind. I avoided broaching the topic of the show with my friend, just to hear her sigh heavily and say "it's going okay, I guess". I had kind of given up. But then, one afternoon in desperation while prepping for a comic show, I needed episodes to put on the background while I stapled and put together book after book. So I turned on some good old cheese-a-riffic Once Upon A Time.
I have to say it was the moment when Captain Hook punched out Prince Charming that won me back. And now all of a sudden there are surprises and real consequences! Buffy-esque moments of surprise when characters get shot and lose their memory! People who are pure of heart realizing how lame that is! I'm not sure if I'm completely sold yet, but with the last episode featuring Queen Regina in an especially creepy new light (reminding me of nightmares I'd have as a kid of witches craving children to steal) I'm delightfully intrigued enough to keep watching. Now, if they just brought back Graham and his impossibly tight vests, I'd be all in.