Once Upon A Time: Jumping the Shark (Realm)

Can ABC fix Once Upon A Time? // courtesy DisneyBarbieCollector
Can ABC fix Once Upon A Time? // courtesy DisneyBarbieCollector

By Reginald Allen

Once Upon A Time is seriously following the traditions of a superstitious bride-to-be. You know, the old saying: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

The something old being the show’s primary use of fairy tales, made famous by the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson and even more famous by its Disney- themed adaptions.

The something new being its modern twist and ingenious storytelling, in which backstories are told via flashbacks that reveal how popular fairytales intertwine with each other. (It is no coincidence when show is by the same people that created Lost.)

The something borrowed being its tendency to occasionally reach out of its normal fairy tale spectrum, like Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and L.Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

The something blue being the show’s recent inclusion of Disney’s recent meal ticket Frozen, which brought the heroines of Arrendelle to the town of Storybrooke for half a season.

As one of ABC’s hit shows for the past four years, maybe it is time for this little bride to finally walk down the aisle and start life anew. And no, that does not mean making another sequel spinoff like “Once Upon A Time In Wonderland”. (Seriously, let’s not have a Once Upon A Time in Arrendelle. I beg of you!)

OUAT recently resumed the second half of its fourth season not too different from the last. The folks in Storybrooke have encountered yet another magical anomaly. Well, make that three. Their collective title- The Queens of Darkness. I’m not kidding you. It’s like The Plastics from Mean Girls, but with iconic Disney villains.

“The Queens of Darkness” storyline is OUAT’s most recent ploy to attempt to keep the hour-long drama fresh for the young audience, yet vintage enough for the more mature audience. Ursula (Merrin Dungley), Maleficent (Kristin Bauer Van Straten) and Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurft) under the leadership of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) have come to Storybrooke with one goal. They want their happy ending.

This is not new.

Seriously, why are all the baddies coming to Storybrooke when the enchanted forest is basically empty and theirs for the taking?

Must I say it?

OUAT has officially jumped the shark (or in this case, the realm).  It is time for this fairytale to the end.

What first began as a show that combined the elements of fantasy and the modern day drama, has since become one plagued with content overload. In addition to this, character storylines have stretched too thin to the point of annoyance. While watchable, the show has lost its initial tour-de-force style.

Just because the show has access to the entire Disney lexicon does not mean that they should use it all.

Disney already has a bad reputation of taking things too far. Can anyone honestly name three Disney sequels that they actually like that are not Toy StoryMulan 2? Nope. Hunchback of Notre Dame 2? Not really. (Yes, there was sequel to that.) The Lion King 1 ½? Absolutely not!

The main theme from the show is that every character deserves a happy ending, but will the viewers stick around to find out if they do? While I am sure that a few hands secretly raised, I also am sure that most will eventually give up, well, at least until they throw the remaining seasons on Netflix.