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The Storybrooke Daily Mirror: OUaT in the Media, Cons and Other Real Life Encounters

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What did A&E have?  Vision, creativity, brilliant world-building, deep character-driven material and intelligent plotli.... lol, sorry, I can't go on any longer.

Okay, being serious now, A&E had a good premise, goodwill that extended beyond the premise, a cast which could spin straw into gold, and a long line of well-known properties such as fairytales, Disney movies and fantasy novels they could draw from and draw viewers with.  Success doesn't necessarily equate quality, since a large part of success for TV is playing the game of promotion and teases and doing what will entice various couple fandoms to a show, and A&E were able to play that game reasonably well.  And yes, this is the type of compliment that the Blue Fairy generally throws.

Edited by Camera One
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I think that you have to look at Once when it was a freshman drama and ABC's relative positioning in terms of ratings at that time which was much, much better than now. New shows tend to do better on networks that have larger viewership. Once was the lead in to Desperate Housewives. Its competition on Sunday was The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss, Sunday Night Football, Dateline, Harry's Law and The Simpsons. It was offering alternative family programming to football and competing against non-dramas. The rest of ABC's lineup was limited in new dramas. However, new dramas that season included Scandal (still airing) and Revenge (4 seasons). 

It had a prominent Disney tie, a very strong cast and an interesting premise that grabbed audiences and provided a niche demographic of entire families. This unique family demographic was referenced by multiple sources as a very positive and lucrative market for Once even as ratings dropped like a rock as early as S2. In S4, this show was able to pull from Disney's biggest property ever in Frozen, what show out there can use a multi-billion dollar franchise to pull back viewers in its fourth season? 

I loved Season 1, but the show lost me (and millions of others) in S2.  However, a show that's been proven and still has a decent, albeit shrinking, viewership will always have a better shot at continuing over a new show. ABC's fortunes have declined dramatically in the last few years, so there was always something doing worse than Once to cancel and a need to have some sort of anchor in the lineup. I was shocked at the renewal for S7, but it seems like ABC was banking on a new story making the show accessible to new viewers and the small, but passionate, fanbase remaining. Neither of those things happened because they couldn't capture lightning in a bottle twice.

Edited by KAOS Agent
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I half wondered if A&E knew Season 7 would fail, and were just milking the show for what it was worth. But it seems as though they were expecting another renewal. They should have waited to launch the series as a limited-run spin-off à la Wonderland and Galavant; there would've been a chance for it to get 2-3 seasons. But I guess they wanted to retain some of the original cast. JMo leaving was a definite blow to them. There again--if you want someone to stay, treat them well. And don't keep stringing along viewers for the sake of "drama". Both strategies blew up in their faces. Now, they're bitter against JMo and blaming viewers for the cancellation. 

They managed to offend and alienate most of their fanbase by the end of Season 6. How can you be successful without the goodwill of your base viewership? Maybe they assumed the vocal naysayers were in the minority, but the ratings have been steadily declining for years. It really should not have come as a surprise to them. I'm not saying they should have made all viewers happy--that's impossible. But even the happy endings they doled out to their characters managed to be offensive, confusing, or unsatisfying. It was too much pain for limited payoff.

Edited by Rumsy4
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IMO, starting in S2, the show tried too hard to be "edgy", with redeeming Regina and turning Snow's heart black. Whenever the writers have gone out of their way to be "progressive", it has always fallen on their faces. (Such as the abrasive heroines like Merida or Murderella, or the instant LGBT romance between Red and Dorothy.) Also, redeeming villains is not new or unprecedented. Countless other stories have done it thousands of times before. What the writers needed to do was be more subtle with their groundbreaking. In S1, it wasn't flaunted in our faces that Snow had a sword in her hand. She just did, but she didn't lose her original character's qualities of kindness and purity. In the present, the realism and Emma's reaction to everything kept the show very nuanced. The audience wasn't steamrolled with "LOOK WHAT WE'RE DOING! IT'S REVOLUTIONARY!"

Audiences enjoy and even appreciate the more traditional Disney route - straightforward good vs. evil storytelling with some nuances here and there. Families, which were the demographic, weren't interested in having their heads twisted around by "innovative" turns. Just give me Snow White's daughter fighting off a dragon, dammit. 

Edited by KingOfHearts
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21 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

Just give me Snow White's daughter fighting off a dragon, dammit. 

Well said! Nobody likes watching characters be mopey dishrags for seasons on end. The Show lost most of its "fun" by the end of S3. It's been near-relentless angst and plot idiocy interspersed with moments of happiness. I'm not a fan of Game of Thrones-style gritty realism (which is stylized than authentic realism, anyway). But at least it doesn't seem to be disingenuous about the kind of book/show it is. OUAT is a false advertising of its premise. Or maybe the writers think that an offscreen assurance of their characters' happiness at the end is enough to make up for six seasons of angst. I'm genuinely curious why the writers thought it was a good strategy.

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14 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

Well said! Nobody likes watching characters be mopey dishrags for seasons on end. The Show lost most of its "fun" by the end of S3.

As cheesy (but well sung) as the musical episode was, I did enjoy it largely because it looked  like people were having fun.  It was a bit more swashbuckly and less funeral dirge.  That is why I kind of liked Hook and Charming's beanstalk adventure in the finale.  It ultimately meant nothing, but the show had been lacking scenes like that for years.   They kind of strayed away from fun adventure swashbuckling  scenes in the later seasons.  The one they had this year involved Cinderella killing a bunch of innocent guards.

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12 minutes ago, CCTC said:

It was a bit more swashbuckly and less funeral dirge.  That is why I kind of liked Hook and Charming's beanstalk adventure in the finale.  It ultimately meant nothing, but the show had been lacking scenes like that for years

@CCTC, you know the rules. You are not allowed to like anything from the S6 finale. You're being kicked out of the Coven. :)

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5 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

@CCTC, you know the rules. You are not allowed to like anything from the S6 finale. You're being kicked out of the Coven. :)

I guess I will have to go all evil due to the rejection and come back as a murderous coat hanger looking for a redemption arc.

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1 minute ago, CCTC said:

I guess I will have to go all evil due to the rejection and come back as a murderous coat hanger looking for a redemption arc.

If the black gloves don't kill you first.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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9 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

You are not allowed to like anything from the S6 finale.

You mean we aren't allowed to like the way Charming and Hook had a swashbuckling adventure with lots of banter while they got the magic bean, and then when Hook fell off the beanstalk, in a desperation move he threw the bean and fell through a portal to Storybrooke, where he was able to help Emma remember and believe? At least, that's how it happens in my head.

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22 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

At least, that's how it happens in my head

That's how it happened in the Show. ;-)

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11 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

You mean we aren't allowed to like the way Charming and Hook had a swashbuckling adventure with lots of banter while they got the magic bean, and then when Hook fell off the beanstalk, in a desperation move he threw the bean and fell through a portal to Storybrooke, where he was able to help Emma remember and believe? At least, that's how it happens in my head.

This would have made so much more sense, made the beanstalk adventure relevant and made the finale more fun!

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On ‎3‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 6:01 PM, KingOfHearts said:

IMO, starting in S2, the show tried too hard to be "edgy", with redeeming Regina and turning Snow's heart black. Whenever the writers have gone out of their way to be "progressive", it has always fallen on their faces. (Such as the abrasive heroines like Merida or Murderella, or the instant LGBT romance between Red and Dorothy.) Also, redeeming villains is not new or unprecedented. Countless other stories have done it thousands of times before. What the writers needed to do was be more subtle with their groundbreaking. In S1, it wasn't flaunted in our faces that Snow had a sword in her hand. She just did, but she didn't lose her original character's qualities of kindness and purity. In the present, the realism and Emma's reaction to everything kept the show very nuanced. The audience wasn't steamrolled with "LOOK WHAT WE'RE DOING! IT'S REVOLUTIONARY!"

Audiences enjoy and even appreciate the more traditional Disney route - straightforward good vs. evil storytelling with some nuances here and there. Families, which were the demographic, weren't interested in having their heads twisted around by "innovative" turns. Just give me Snow White's daughter fighting off a dragon, dammit. 

Very well said! That's exactly it.  

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On 3/6/2018 at 6:13 PM, KingOfHearts said:

@CCTC, you know the rules. You are not allowed to like anything from the S6 finale. You're being kicked out of the Coven. :)

There's always an exception made for musical episodes.. [side-eyes "Once More With Feeling" being the exception to another show's Season Sux]

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2 minutes ago, jhlipton said:

There's always an exception made for musical episodes.. [side-eyes "Once More With Feeling" being the exception to another show's Season Sux]

Season Sux is when I stopped watching Buffy. I got lazy because it wasn't exciting me at all, then it got taken off of Netflix. I'm sure we can use the same moniker (Season Sux) for OUAT, too... but then again, it's been sucking for a long time. S6 seems to have the most universal hate, though.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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11 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

Season Sux is when I stopped watching Buffy. I got lazy because it wasn't exciting me at all, then it got taken off of Netflix. I'm sure we can use the same moniker (Season Sux) for OUAT, too... but then again, it's been sucking for a long time. S6 seems to have the most universal hate, though.

 

I watched all of Season Sux and Season SuxMore.  But I only have the DVDs up to Season 4.  I might someday get Season 5, but I will never get either of the last two seasons.

Season 6 is really more of the same for OUAT (unlike Buffy where the show changed dramatically, for obvious reasons).  Season SuxMore is where OUAT had a major shift.

Edited by jhlipton
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It's such a surprise that this episode also had a drop halfway through.  2.67 --> 2.05, and 0.6/3 --> 0.5/2.  Meanwhile, "MasterChef Junior" went up in viewers at the 30 minute mark... I wonder if some people were so inspired by Tiana's delicious treats that they turned away to a real cooking show.

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On 3/6/2018 at 8:01 PM, KingOfHearts said:

IMO, starting in S2, the show tried too hard to be "edgy", with redeeming Regina and turning Snow's heart black. Whenever the writers have gone out of their way to be "progressive", it has always fallen on their faces. (Such as the abrasive heroines like Merida or Murderella, or the instant LGBT romance between Red and Dorothy.) Also, redeeming villains is not new or unprecedented. Countless other stories have done it thousands of times before. What the writers needed to do was be more subtle with their groundbreaking. In S1, it wasn't flaunted in our faces that Snow had a sword in her hand. She just did, but she didn't lose her original character's qualities of kindness and purity. In the present, the realism and Emma's reaction to everything kept the show very nuanced. The audience wasn't steamrolled with "LOOK WHAT WE'RE DOING! IT'S REVOLUTIONARY!"

Whats especially hilarious is how much they really seem to think that they're super duper #woke and are just SO PROGRESSIVE and REVOLUTIONARY with their "sassy, badass" heroines, their token minorities, and their five second LGBTQ romance, and its like, bitch please. Your a few years late to join that bandwagon first thing, guys. Not that we dont need more diversity on television, but bragging about how awesome they are for their half assed stabs at diversity is pretty pathetic when you see how poor these attempts are, and how many people are or have done it better. So many of their "sassy, badass" heroines instead come off as "one note, assholes" because these guys dont understand character, most of their POC characters exist in supporting roles that exist to say "look how progressive we are!" instead of writing them as actual characters, and dont get me started on that Ruby/Dorothy bullshit. They brag in every interview for ages about adding an LGBTQ couple (after like five seasons of all hetero all the time), and what do we get? A couple who`ve known each other for about two days, who we`ve known for about two episodes, getting a True Loves Kiss, between two characters whos whole relationship consisted of bickering (of course, thats how A&E think most healthy relationships form), and are immediately banished to off-screen land. Man, The L Word aint got shit on you, A&E! So progressive and down with the kids, right? Yeah, if people come to the show for interesting female characters, POC characters in major roles, or a well written and engaging LGBTQ romance, I can point those poor suckers to about 70 other shows and movies off the top of my head who can do it a million times better, without all the self congratulation. Hell, if they specifically want a fantasy show or something with magic, I can still name like 30 shows and/or movies that do it better, and did it before Once, or a million times better. They act like they're the first people to cast a Hispanic lead, and thats enough to make us forget about how terribly written their show has become. You need more than tokens now to get peoples attention, A&E. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Does anybody remember that promo Lana did for New Fantasyland, where Regina walked around the park? I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned here. I wish they would have done more tie-in advertising like that. Disney could have taken advantage of this show a lot more than they did. Initially, we might have complained about corporate butting in, but A&E couldn't even be trusted not to run with scissors. IMO, the Disney Police needed to protect their IP better. While the cat's away, the mice will play. (Er, actually it would be when the "Mouse" is away, if you catch my drift.)

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Looking back, I wish Team Mouse had done more with the show. The seasons where they were more involved were the most focused and well put together ones, lacking the scatterbrained randomness of A&Es lack of plotting and ADD storytelling. Say what you will about Disney and their ever expanding media empire, they know how to write a story.

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I think in terms of the Disney empire, this show was small potatoes. It made them some extra cash for a period of time, but nothing particularly consequential. The company has franchises worth billions of dollars, the most successful theme parks in the world, and tv shows that have changed the television landscape. Once is/was a niche fantasy show that peaked five years ago. Disney didn’t need Once. The show had no lasting or damaging effect on Disney’s IP. It wasn’t relevant enough. No one was confusing poor, misunderstood Regina with the actual iconic Evil Queen from Snow White. No one who saw the live action BatB walked in saying “Isn’t Belle the abuse victim from that tv show?” (Frozen was the exception, not the rule.)

Frankly, I’m thinking A&E started desperately putting in some Disney Easter eggs hoping the company would jump back onboard. There’s no other way to explain Hades’ blue flame hair or Madame Leota or anything Aladdin or Merida related. 

Personally, I would have preferred more Disney involvement. They run a tight ship. A&E ran an asylum. I just don’t think Disney cared all that much. 

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 8:58 PM, RolloTomasi said:

Frankly, I’m thinking A&E started desperately putting in some Disney Easter eggs hoping the company would jump back onboard. There’s no other way to explain Hades’ blue flame hair or Madame Leota or anything Aladdin or Merida related. 

I think that was more about laziness.  Making them the most recognizable version imbues characteristics from other adaptations and short cuts needing to take an effort to develop the character.

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I think in terms of the Disney empire, this show was small potatoes.

I don't think potatoes can get very small when it comes to IP. Disney, in particular, is very protective over it. That's where all their money is.

Quote

I think that was more about laziness.  Making them the most recognizable version imbues characteristics from other adaptations and short cuts needing to take an effort to develop the character.

The writers want audience members to "fill in the blanks" with their own pre-OUAT knowledge of the character. S1 handled this well when, in the first episode, you needed to do that to understand what was going on in the Pilot. But later, Snow's story got fleshed out in such a way that it still made sense with what we already saw.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

I don't think potatoes can get very small when it comes to IP. Disney, in particular, is very protective over it. That's where all their money is.

 

My point was, if Disney’s bottom line was hurting because of the show they would have stepped in. It wasn’t, so they didn’t. 

Look at how protective the company has been over the new Star Wars movies. Rewrites and reshoots and changing directors midstream. As you pointed out, Disney is very protective of what’s theirs. They’re not afraid to step in if they feel it’s necessary. If they felt their IP were being negatively effected by the show, financially or just by reputation, they would have done something about it. 

I just don’t think Once has been that important to Disney. Sorry. 

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1 minute ago, RolloTomasi said:

Look at how protective the company has been over the new Star Wars movies.

It's too bad they didn't let A&E play with the Star War toys.  They would surely take care of them... they love Star Wars.

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1 minute ago, Camera One said:

It's too bad they didn't let A&E play with the Star War toys.  They would surely take care of them... they love Star Wars.

Well, Disney did let them play with Tron.

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10 hours ago, Camera One said:

It's too bad they didn't let A&E play with the Star War toys.  They would surely take care of them... they love Star Wars.

Yeah, just as much as they love Snow White and the Evil Queen and we've seen how that turned out. Elsa? I'll let it go. But if A&E touch my favorite princess, I have confidence Leia is going to break their hands with no warning. As it should be.

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It wouldn't surprise me if A&E wanted to play with Star Wars, and Disney Inc straight up told them not to. A&E clearly love Star Wars and have even established that it exists somewhere in their multiverse, but the fact that they haven't really messed with it says to me A. They were too lazy and uncreative to write something so far out of their vaugly medieval magical land comfort zone or B. They wanted to, and Disney said no, probably because they didn't trust them to do it justice. Maybe they...watched the show? 

I dont think Disney has totally abandoned the show, but they clearly have it on the back burner these days, compared to their earlier seasons. When they did Frozen, you could tell that Team Mouse was there the whole time taking care of their beloved franchise, but now? They dont even seem to care that Once made Rapunzel (the one from their own blockbuster!) a villain than killed her off pointlessly. Disney is paying attention to their multiple critically acclaimed billion dollar franchises these days (they're probably planning their Black Panther ride as we speak), Once is so off the radar, it probably just gets noted on budget meetings now. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Disney should have intervened more in S2 when the show was at its height. If it had, I don't think we would have gotten the "Snow has a black heart" business.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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According to a Hollywood Reporter article tweeted by Jane, the finale will be May 18. Of course, while I'm out of town. But the event that conference normally puts on Friday night has been moved to Sunday afternoon, and I don't know what else will be happening that night, so I may be able to hide out in my hotel room and watch. Otherwise, I'll probably have to wait a whole week until ABC unlocks it on their web site.

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7 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

Wow. Adam is beating a dead horse that turned into a fossil. 

This show is progressive. I'm glad the writers are supporting LGBT representation through promoting some random poll about two characters who haven't been on screen together all season. Adam's pretty ballsy.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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1 minute ago, Rumsy4 said:

Oooh, got it. He’s likely baiting the slash shippers into watching the upcoming episode. 

They're hoping for Jacinda/Regina shippers.

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10 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

Oooh, got it. He’s likely baiting the slash shippers into watching the upcoming episode. 

LOL, good luck with that.

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I won't complain about Zelena's return, but... I'm pretty sure this show has three main showrunners - Adam, Eddy, and Lana. Sometimes, I wonder what Lana is like to work with since she has so many, ahem, suggestions.

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Why did she wait so long to fight for Zelena to come back?  Unless ABC only allowed three returnees so Adam, Eddy and Lana had to wait half a season to bring her back.

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21 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Why did she wait so long to fight for Zelena to come back?  Unless ABC only allowed three returnees so Adam, Eddy and Lana had to wait half a season to bring her back.

Maybe Lana didn't realize how little story they were going to give her and realized she needed a familial connection to have more story.

For all of the mutual appreciation society going on with Lana and A&E, it was rather shocking how little story they gave Regina early in the season considering that her fans were the ones they had the best chance of holding onto with Snowing gone and half of the actors that made up CaptainSwan and Rumpbelle gone.

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22 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

Maybe Lana didn't realize how little story they were going to give her and realized she needed a familial connection to have more story.

I think too she wanted to show two happy sisters, like how she wanted a happy adoptive mother and son. If you look at the evolution of Zelena and her relationship with Regina over time, it's not too different from Regina and Henry's. All of a sudden their troubles got retconned.

As a Zelena fan, I would have preferred Regina and Zelena reluctantly growing closer, as opposed to being ad odds with each other, then being best buddies after years of offscreen time. Zelena moving in with Regina in 6x01 was a step in the right direction, but sadly it didn't take.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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14 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

Zelena moving in with Regina in 6x01 was a step in the right direction, but sadly it didn't take.

I was kind of looking forward to an odd couple like relationship for them, but alas.

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45 minutes ago, daxx said:

I was kind of looking forward to an odd couple like relationship for them, but alas.

It could have made Regina interesting..2 completely different style of murderers and rapists under the same roof..LOTS of comedy gold to be mined in that scenario...sadly they wasted it..

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2 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

I'm pretty sure this show has three main showrunners - Adam, Eddy, and Lana. Sometimes, I wonder what Lana is like to work with since she has so many, ahem, suggestions.

It’s so odd to me, tbh. Right from the beginning, with Lana pushing for a better mother-son relationship between Regina and Henry, Lana’s multiple requests/demands have been accepted by abc/A&E. She must have a golden tongue.

I assumed most actors who took credit for storylines went the way of Joey in Days of our Lives. But apparently not in Lana’s case... 

On a different note, Michael Coleman is miffed he wasn’t invited back for the series finale and threw a fit on Twitter. 

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