Monday, July 30, 2012

Once Upon a Blog


I am finally back. Sorry for the long absences recently, but I've spent a lot of time being ridiculously ill. One of my favourite pastimes when sick is go through all released episodes of a TV show ridiculously quickly. This time, Once Upon a Time was my show of choice, and after the Season One finale, I, as my friend Juliette would say, "just have a lot of feels."  There's something so endlessly fascinating about the way the characters are so familiar and yet completely alien when they are thrust into a magic-free world and a different side to their character is revealed.  It's especially odd to me after taking a class called Adolescent Literature and writing a thesis paper on how differences in similar fairytales reflect differences and similarities in their countries of origin.  What does Once Upon a Time's portrayal of Snow White, the home-wrecker, say about the United States?

I've noticed a huge trend lately in film and television of re-telling and re-purposing old fairy tales.  There are the two vastly different new Snow White movies, Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.\  Maleficent, which will be out in 2014, continues with Once Upon a Time's MO of turning the stories we know so well inside-out, making the good guys questionable and the bad guys more complicated.  Joining Once Upon a Time on TV is Grimm, also thrusting story book characters into the harsh light of modern day America.

I love these newer retellings because they're so much more detailed.  They ask why the evil characters are evil, then go on to question whether they're really evil at all.  If these newer versions interest you, try reading the original Grimm's Fairy Tales.  The contrast between the original and the newer versions is stark; the bad characters hardly ever have a reason for being bad.  They simply are.  What has spurred this need to know the reason, to blur the line?

What do you think?

Until next time, happy reading!