Sunday, Sept. 30, ABC
ONCE UPON A TIME was a genuine surprise when it debuted last fall. The central concept – a group of fairy-tale characters ripped from their world and deposited in ours, with no memory of their previous existence – was one that seemed unlikely to work on network television. But ABC defied critics and delivered a series that, while occasionally more soap than fantasy, provided a wealth of content each week. The show gave us two interwoven timelines, dealing with the interactions in its fantasy setting and the resulting implications in reality, with most of the pleasure derived from seeing each character’s backstory revealed in the flashbacks to their prior life.
With Season 2, we’re faced with the introduction of magic to reality, and the aftermath of each character remembering their true past. Characters confirmed to appear this season include Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, Sir Lancelot, The Mad Hatter and Captain Hook, while Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and Belle will appear more regularly.