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Once Upon a Time and Revenge Return!

October 1, 2013

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ABC’s Sunday night is back with two returning shows, Once Upon a Time and Revenge.  And I’m super excited about both. Both shows lost some viewership over the course of their respective second seasons and both have promising starts to their third.

Once Upon a Time started strong in its first season, introducing us to a world of fairy tale characters living in modern day America under a curse and the one woman who is capable of breaking that curse.  Which, of course, she does at the end of the first season and the second season is spent with the characters from the Enchanted Forest attempting to get back home while exploring their relationships. There were a few weird things, like introducing Mulan (NOT a fairy tale) and Dr. Frankenstein (not even close!) and the storyline got a little bit complicated.  But what it did do was introduce other worlds to the audience, like the black and white world of Frankenstein, Wonderland (which will get its own show very soon), and of course, Neverland.

And that’s where we start out this season, with Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) being kidnapped to Neverland, because Peter Pan (who’s totally evil in this version) wants him for something nefarious. And so Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Queen Regina (Lana Parrilla), Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) set out to find him, placing most of the season squarely in Neverland.

There’s a bit of a new vibe already this season.  This year, the show is actually a little bit funny.  From Henry being sarcastic with his kidnappers, to Hook commenting on Rumple’s change of clothes, to Neal/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James) commenting on the fact that there was a movie made about Mulan (Jamie Chung), there’s humor where there wasn’t very much before.  And with the majority of our cast in a new world, the possibilities are endless.

Revenge also lost its way in season two. This adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo in the Hamptons centers around Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), whose father was unjustly accused and condemned for terrorism by the Grayson family.  So she has created a persona for herself and intends to take them down.  In the first season, she did this strategically by taking down individuals who played a role in her father’s downfall, but in the second season the show tried a little too hard to be a conspiracy show, involving an organization called “The Initiative” that was supposedly behind everything.  After the end of season two, the writers clearly did away with The Initiative, explaining away any loose ends through dialogue and setting up the original reason that Emily is there: to take down the Graysons.

What is extra exciting for me, is that they seem to be setting up that this is the final season of the show. Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) grew up with Emily when she was known by a different name, Amanda Clarke, and at the end of last season, she revealed who she truly was to him.  Despite the fact that the two are clearly in love with each other, he has given her an ultimatum in this first episode of season three: finish up her business and leave, or he’ll expose her.

Both shows are gearing up for stellar seasons and I can’t wait to watch week after week to see what happens.

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