Once Upon a Time

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2011 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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out of 10
573 votes
  • Pilot is pretty

    Is beautiful
  • Sweet Memories

    The episode that stared everything....... The characters have grow up so much since then, I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME!!!!!!!!!
  • Fairytales like you never knew them.

    I watch this show twice every Sunday. Once when it comes on at 8pm, again when my husband comes home from work. That's right my casino working husband is even in love with this show. I make sure I am home every Sunday night to watch it (even though its recording on tivo). All of the characters and actors are amazing. There are a few that could do a better job acting (prince charming for one), but its not a movie, its a tv show. So I cut him slack. I will always be a loyal watcher.
  • It has potential, but will it reach it?

    Some better writing, better casting and better acting would certainly be the way to make this show work. The script was woeful. Like a previous reviewer said, I wanted to like it but I couldn't. Having a relatively unknown cast of actors didn't help matters for me either, but I think the crunch came when the Prince called his new bride 'Snow'. Yes, I KNOW she was Snow White, but that was as hokey as it could possibly be. People have been comparing it to 'Supernatural'. I don't personally think so but I shall see how it goes during episode 2.
  • A charming start...

    With season 2 only a stone's throw away, I figured it was the right time to see what all of the fuss is about! Once Upon Time manages a fine balancing act; dabbling in whimsy and wonder, all the while grounding its red slippers in a refreshing sense of reality. The pilot may not be perfect (some FX shots are too ambitious and the pace is a little off in places) but there's an immediate hook here: this is a series that caters to our inner child, as well as the allure of the melodrama you're bound to find in a large ensemble series such as this one. In fact, the format is almost remincent of Lost, only instead of flashbacks to the past, it's to another (far far away) lifetime. I can't wait for the other characters to branch out here; Emma makes a compelling lead, but I'm looking to delve more into the fantasy. It's refreshing to see a show tackle fairytales with such gusto and playfulness. Fairytales be gas.
  • Getting better each episode

    I can't wait til the "magic" is back.
  • The most creative show in years

    In the land of crime dramas where the word "semen" is dropped at least once per episode and every crime is solved because some piece of evidence just happened to be available for purchase at only 1 store in town and can be quickly traced to the culprit, Once Upon a Time is truly the new land.

    This is truly creative and different. From beginning to end I was captivated and wanted to know the backstories of these people. And the scene with Jennifer Morrison in the bar was down right hilarious. It also really helped us get a sense of the nature of this Emma character and what we can expect to see from her.

    The writing is crisp and the acting is terrific. I hope future episodes can reach the bar set by this pilot.
  • Amazing start!

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this show. The previews I saw here in Australia seemed somewhat interesting, but I thought it would'nt be particularly worthwhile. I gave it a shot as there was nothing else on at the time, and I was wonderfully surprised! I absolutely loved this pilot episode, and I can't wait to see the rest of the season!

    While the idea of fairytales is not one that particularly interests me, this show seems to have taken it in such a way that makes it unpredictable and fascinating, while to diverging from the storylines of fairytales too much.

    Overall, an epic poilot episode! Please keep it up, Once Upon a Time, and I can't wait until next week's episode!!! :)
  • Once Upon a Time Pilot delivers

    I must say that the Pilot episode of OUaT is great. Surely it's only the first episode, so it mostly covers the basics.

    The acting is actually really good, I especially like Lana Parilla as the Evil Queen/Regina. But seeing that I've been a Jennifer Morrison fan, I'm glad to see her in this as Emma Swan, Snow White's and Prince Charming's daughter, and the savior, the only who can break the curse.

    She is very convincing and genuine as Emma, and her scenes with Henry, her son, whom she gave up for adoption, are really sweet.

    Then we have Snow White, played by the lovely and beautiful Ginnifer Goodwin, whom's Storybrooke ego is called Mary Margaret Blanchard, a teacher.

    I must say that I was so intrigued by the idea. A curse that sent all the fairy tale characters to our world, where no one knows who they are, and mixing it with their back stories in fairy tale land, is a very unique and inventive idea. And the idea to name the town Storybrooke is just one of the many cool ideas.

    All in all a good built-up for what's to come. I'm really interested to see, what other fairy tale characters we're going to meet. A unique show that's sure to please.
  • Actually inlove!

    I've seen a few too many pilots today, including 2 Broke Girls, Good Christian B!tches, and Girls on HBO, and I have to say none of them impressed me like Ounce Upon A Time. Now that Desperate Housewives, and One Tree Hill are ending, I need a new addiction, and this might very well step up and take one of their places. It has the perfect formula to creating an entertaining ride. Fresh storyline, talented actors playing wonderful characters, witty dialogue, and exiting events. This show has all of these things in addition to well shot scenes, like the fight scene with Snow White's prince, and when the queen implements the curse, and very well designed sets. I mean hello, I would love to live in StoryBrooke.

    The show has such a mood to it. It's so colorful, yet dark and gripping. Can't wait to see more.
  • Almost Flawless Pilot

    An almost flawless pilot episode, and does a great job introducing the main characters and making you like them and want to root for them.

    The Snow White/Prince Charming flashbacks could have been hokey but the acting really made the characters feel like real people. It was interesting to see how they ended up in this world. Emma and Henry have a good dynamic together, and Regina/Evil Queen was a delicious villain in this one.

    This episode does a fun job of showing characters from the FairyTale world and then showing their modern counterpart.
  • i wanted to like it but i didnt...............


    i was so excited for this pilot episode so thats why i am so disopointed that i didnt enjoy it, the whole concept of this pilot is fresh orignal and like nothing on t.v at the moment which is a great thing as there is so many cop proceduals out there at the moment so to get something different is a goo thing it is just unfortunate that i didnt enjoy it, i think alot of the reason why i didnt enjoy this pilot is because i felt silly watching it i mean watching snow white and her seven dwaves in a drama just felt ridiculous, not to mention that the actors playing the fairytales felt flat and unnatural as the words they were saying were unbearable stupid, maybe im to old for this show or maybe it just needs to find it footing, i will return next week because i want to like this show but at the moment i dont.......

  • A great first episode to begin the series, amazing and so worth watching!


    This is a great new series with very original writing and brilliant casting. I usually do not like fantasy shows, and i adore this one due to it's originality and it's amazing writing. We get to know Emma, the shows "Hope" and she is a very strong character with a past linked to the fairy tales we all know and love. The pilot takes us into 2 different worlds, one of amazing beauty and happy endings and one where the happy endings have been destroyed by a curse. Get to know more about the characters you have heard so much about with this new thought provoking series.

  • Really enjoyed this pilot episode. It was so different but played on everything I love about fairytales. The Disney references were particularly enjoyable as I am a big Disney fan myself. I look forever to really getting into this series.


    I was wondering when this show would start (as I saw theinitialadds for it months ago) and now that it has I'm hooked.

    As a lover of Disney and traditional fairytales the series seemed very intriguing to me- fleshing out the original concept of Disney's Enchanted into a full blown series in which each episode can focus on a different fairytale.

    The plot is strong and I loved all the little references along the way like the wardrobe (Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe), Jimmy Cricket and others. I know from reading ahead we will also be treated toCinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others. The fact Disney owns the series will make this a lot of fun because the characters will appear in their Disney-esk form throughout the series (Jimmy Cricket was the clearest example of this).

    The most intriguing aspect to the series isdefinitelyhow they plan to reveal the past lives of the fairytale characters in backwards order, starting with this episode where we see the curse (ep1), then we see how the curse was formed (ep2) and then we see how the Queen came to hate Snow White (ep3). Also the production values are really high and that goes along way to make the series engaging and add to its believability.

    Should make for a very intriguing first season and I hope it will go beyond that.

    The only draw back of the first episode was after the big reveal of the curse taking effect the episode lost momentum.

    The reveal that Rumpelstiltskin owns the town was not really a big OMG cliffhanger- nor was the ticking over of the clock. It was a nice idea but it was not as huge as it could have been. Saving the curse taking effect till the end would have been far more powerful.

    Overall great pilot and cant wait for more ;)

  • Once Upon A Time Pilot


    Once Upon A Time Pilot episode was superb and very entertaining. I really enjoyed watching because it blended the story lines well with good writing so far, and the feel of the episode reminded me of Made for TV Hallmark movies that deal with fantasy which I like. The episode set up the series and introduced most of the major characters all while beingsuspensefuland visually stunning. The actors are superb and perfect in their roles. I certainly look forward to watching more episodes!!!!!!!!

  • The most amazing pilot this season.


    I had high hopes for this show because Lost writers where writing this and it didnt disappoint one bit, it was amazing with great characters, mystery, action, drama, and a good balance between the real world and thefairy-taleworld. When i first read about this show my expectations were low and i though to myself why would the writers do something lame like this after Lost but i was wrong because when i saw the first trailer i was amazed and after that very high hopes for this series. When i saw The Secret Circle i thought to myself no other pilot this season can be better than this but Once Upon a Time's pilot is the best of the best i just hope this series lives on and the ratings are great because this show deserves good things to happen to it and im also so happy to see Jennifer Morrison again. Looking forward for more Once Upon a Time cant wait till next Sunday to watch this series (this series mad Sunday interesting).

  • Worth watching.


    Though the premise seems to be a rip-off of the 2007 movie Enchanted, there are enough story lines within the pilot to bring viewers back at least for the second episode. The writers did well in meshing together a variety of recognizable fairy tale characters and connecting (at least in the pilot) the real and the fairy tale worlds. Young Henry is adorable, Jennifer Morrison is well cast and the relative strength of the female leads is a good choice for this type of show. Unfortunately, as with every fairy tale, the show's ending is already clearly set, so we'll have to see how the writers balance viewers expectations with plot twists (and what age group this show caters to), but all in all, a promising start.

  • Very promising!


    I was doubtful a show about fairy tales could entertain a grown-up, but I'm willing to give anything with a fantasy flavor a chance. I thought I was going to be giving it 10 minutes before moving on, but I sat completely captivated through the whole hour. Far from choking on cloying fairy dust, there was enough gritty realism--esoecially through Emma's cynical POV--to ground both storylines, the present in this world, and the past in the fairy tale world. These two storylines dovetailed into the foreshadowing of a battle between good and evil. I already want to know how this plays out, so I will be back for more next Sunday.

    I should also mention the cast is stellar, especially Jennifer Morrison as Emma, Lana Parilla as the Evil Queen, and Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin.

  • Fairy tales are back on TV!


    It seems that TV industry has found a new theme to draw upon: fairy tales! And even tho we will probably see an epidemic of the shows following that path in the near future (atm there are two that I know of), and I might bite my tongue for it, I find it somewhat refreshing that we are finally getting a few fictional shows that revolve around other things than teen vamps, teen werewolves, and teen witches.

    "Once Upon a Time" takes more of a brother Grimmish approach, blending it with a world of today: yeah, we have laptops and Snow White in the same show! Sounds like a bit stretched Alice in Wonderland or Narnia rip-off, and it is to an extent, but not necessarily in a bad way, and it works - for a pilot this was actually quite a good episode. Granted, it might look and feel cheesy at moments, and most of the characters are still undeveloped, but it is only a pilot after all, and the show seems to be targeting a bit of a wider audience than just kids: considering it takes a lot of compromises to make something appealing to both younger and older viewers, I'd say it works quite well. However, as with most of the shows trying to balance those things out, it can go either way. I'm just hoping they won't recycle the story too much (assuming the show gets picked up), and that they will not take a strict monster-of-the-week approach; small number of story driven episodes would work much better in my opinion. We'll just have to wait and see.

    Cast, leaded by Jennifer Morrison, at least "on paper" looks quite good, even tho I can't say anyone in particular "blew me away". Again, we will have to wait and see...

    But leaving expectations and speculations aside, and judging the episode only on its own, I would definitely recommend this pilot to everyone who ever enjoyed / (still) is enjoying brother Grimm's tales. You will most likely have an enjoyable 40-something minutes.

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