Okay, I mentioned this show way back when I was talking about how awful Grimm was. How time slips away!
So, this is the other "fairy tales are real!" show to hit the fall lineup, and it's corny, I'm not going to pretend that it's not, but corny can be good. There's been a "lot" of controversy over this show, saying that it's a rip off of the comic Fables, and why didn't they just do a serial adaptation of that? So, let me spell it out for you, other than there being fairy tale creatures in the real world, there's not much of a connection between the two.
In Fables, all of the fairy tale characters have fled their home lands, and they're hiding out in our world as refugees from some despot or another. In Once Upon a Time, the Evil Queen from Snow White has cursed everyone to live a life of tedium in our world, they are trapped in a podunk town where nothing changes and they have no memory of who they were. The only ones who seem to know are the Evil Queen who is now the Mayor, and Rumplestiltskin, who is now Mr Gold, owner of the pawnshop, as well as half the town.
Our hero in this tale is Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who was hidden away in a capsule carved out of a special tree, in order to escape the curse unscathed. As a result she found on the side of the road, and put into our foster care system. 20-30 years later, she's all grown up and a bounty hunter, and she has the special power of detecting lies (odd, right?). Turns out at some point she had a son (Henry), and gave him up for adoption, and he was subsequently adopted by the Mayor/Evil Queen of Storybrook (that's the name of the town, very original). Henry knows something's up in Storybrook, and based on a fairy tale book he was given by his teacher (Snow White) he knows the whole story, and seeks out his bio mommy, because she's destined to break the curse.
It really is that silly, but at the same time, it's just kind of fun. Every week we get to visit a different fairy tale character, and see flashbacks to their life in the old world, and how it lines up with their new lives.
The best part of the whole thing is that while we've obviously got the Evil Queen as the big bad, we've also got Rumplestiltskin who's pretty damn evil himself, and it's kind of a toss up who has the most control in Storybrook. They're the only two that that Henry's got the truth of the situation (Emma's just indulging her psychotic long list child and trying to help him out.) It makes for a peculiar dynamic, and most of the characters are pretty likable.