Once Upon a Time is a fantasy drama that takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, in which the residents are actually characters from various fairy tales that were transported to the ‘real world’ town by a powerful curse. Its only hope lies with a bail bondswoman, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), who was transported from the fairy tale world before she could be cursed. As such, she is the only person who can break the curse and restore the characters’ lost memories, aided by her son, Henry, who has a book of fairy tales that holds the key to ending the curse.
In true fairy tale fashion, there’s an evil queen (played by Lana Parilla), a champion (played by Jennifer Morrison), a prince charming (…aptly named “Charming” – no joke), Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and for some reason, Rumpelstiltskin (played brilliantly by Robert Carlyle) shows up just because he can. Each episode focuses on a particular character’s back story. In one segment, we’re spending some time in the enchanted forest or fairy tale world, and in the other segment, we see how their roles play out in our “real world.” It’s rather interesting, as they take some well known and well loved fairy tales and twist them on their heads a bit. Red riding hood? Not so innocent. Gepetto & Pinocchio’s story? Kinda creepy at the end. The Queen of Hearts? Creepy. Seriously creepy.
The best part about this show isn’t just that they take fairy tales and give them a twist – it ‘s how far they actually travel to their filming locations. Storybrooke is actually Steveston in Richmond. Any Richmond resident would be able to tell from just a cursory look at the show.
What I hadn’t realized was how far apart all the filming locations are. Mayor Regina’s house is the John H. Macdonald house in New Westminster.
The Fort Langley library doubles as Storybrooke’s town hall – talk about a drive!
The East Lawn building at Riverview Hospital gets a second life as Storybrooke Hospital.
While they do travel quite a bit to get to their filming locations, Steveston gets the biggest makeover. All the shops, libraries and offices are situated in this Richmond subdivision (is Steveston a subdivision?) and I’m not sure how Steveston residents and business owners manage to survive all of the filming.
You can catch Once Upon a Time on ABC on Sunday nights at 9pm Pacific time.