Television Review: Once Upon a Time, Series 5 Part 1

OuaT 5 1

OuaT 5 2Plot: With Emma consumed by darkness, her family and loved ones will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if that means travelling to Camelot and to track down Merlin. But nothing in Camelot is as it seems and finding the answers is harder than it seems.

Six weeks later and they are back in Storybrooke with no memory of what happened and Emma a true Dark One. To learn the truth of what happened, the inhabitants of Storybrooke must again fight to remain with their loved ones. This time, there’s no telling where the darkness will come from.

OuaT 5 3Quote: You can hide buried treasure, or a winning poker hand. But you can’t hide the bloom of first love.

 

Opinion: Once Upon a Time is currently leaving me in a quandary as to how I feel about it. For the most part, I feel like it has run its course and the originality and ingenuity of the first couple of series has disappeared. The plots are becoming predictable and having a memory loss story arc five series in a row is taking it too far. But I’m somehow still watching…and this series even drew a tear for the first time.

So something is clearly being done right.

The characters are not as good as they used to be. Regina’s progression to light is still enjoyable, but her confrontations with Zelena have become old. Gold had the potential to actually move forward for the first time in five series and be someone new…and a twist took that away from us. Which means the next series is going to be exactly the same story as we’ve had for all of these years. Snow and Charming are now nothing more than background characters who seem to come as a pair or not at all.

There were a few new characters introduced. And old ones returned as we finally find out where Red has been this entire time. Merida was an interesting addition and the return of Mulan was cleverly done. But there was no one who truly grabbed at the heart the way previous series has done.

When I think about the plot, I realise there is a lot I don’t remember from the series. While I was paying attention, I think that is a sign of how uneventful each episode seemed to be. Until the final two or three episodes, there never seemed to be any real progression and the stories were stagnating or incomplete. Arthur was not who he seemed…yet nothing really happened with that story arc. It had the potential for more and failed to deliver.

That sums up how I feel about this show. It’s lost its potential. While it hasn’t started repeating episodes yet, the refusal to let certain characters’ progress means it won’t be long before it starts to. There are only so many times you can have the same twist before it becomes predictable.

That being said, I know for now I’ll continue to watch.

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