What ‘Once Upon a Time’ means to me

Screenshot of Storybrooke from YunaQQQQQ8‘s YouTube account.

It’s hard to explain how and why fiction can have such an effect on people, but we know it can. Otherwise, why would publishing books and producing films be multi-billion dollar industries? Fiction can provide us with an escape, characters with whom we can connect, an emotional outlet, or a chance to reimagine ourselves. Once Upon a Time does all of this for me, and more.

I was introduced to Once Upon a Time with “Magic is Coming.” My mom watched the first season, and wanted me to watch the show too, so she talked me into watching the Season 2 premiere, which was preceded by the Season 1 hour long recap, “Magic is Coming.” That’s all it took. I was enthralled. I can’t say I’ve never missed a live airing, in fact I’ve watched more episodes the morning after, but I can say that I have watched every episode multiple times. Watching Once Upon a Time gives me a few hours of escape from a life that can be very stressful. It has become a “me” thing, and “me” time is hard to come by.

I’ve always loved a good story, and the character dynamics in Once Upon a Time are well written. The way classic fairy tales are spun to include many of their more “Grimm” beginnings, allude to other literary masterpieces, and yet bring a bit of a modern twist is very entertaining for me. Puzzles have always thrilled me. Taking my degree in Comparative Literature and Medieval Studies along with my interest in psychology, I immensely enjoy analyzing the various episodes. I’m like a school girl again. I’ve found something over which I can obsess, and I’m glad I did.

If it weren’t for Once Upon a Time, I wouldn’t have chanced upon the opportunity to write the recaps for TheCelebrityCafe.com; I wouldn’t be a successful writer. It’s not that I couldn’t be successful, I just never tried. I never believed in myself. I’d still be pining for the writing I’ll never have time to do. Instead, I’m making time to do what I love…write.

It’s also given me a chance to connect with other “Oncers” who like to talk about the show, or use it for artistic inspiration. Within this fandom, I’ve found many people who suffer from depression or some form of social ostracization. Those are ills with which I am very familiar, and I feel like Once Upon a Time has fostered this community of support for us. In fact, I was most pleased to discover the group The Ugly Duckings. The name says it all. Those of us who feel we don’t measure up, who feel like we can relate to the character of Emma Swan, at least in her youth. Watching her life unfold into an amazing story of her strength, love, and inner beauty is encouraging. She is the Swan we know we can be if we just don’t give up.

Once Upon a Time is so much more than just a show. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you’ll enjoy my recaps, reviews, and other musings as well. Much love, and as Lana Parrilla would say, “Mwah!”

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