A Writer's Journey

May 18, 2018

Once Upon a Time: A Tribute

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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As I noted in my Chapter II post, it was announced back in February that Once Upon a Time would be ending with Season 7.

Today is the series finale. It’s officially ending. I don’t know if it’s going to really hit me right away or if it’s still going to be delayed, perhaps until July when there are no new set pictures and there is no Comic Con panel. Or September when there’s no premiere to look forward to. I don’t know but I know it will come.

Of course, I’ll probably cry at random times during the weekend. I did so when they killed Robin and I cried the day after the Season 6 finale because that was its own goodbye to the series as well. All of that tells me that it’s going to be another May of tears over Once Upon a Time and it’ll be even more bittersweet that it’ll be the last one.

So since today is the series finale, I want to pay tribute to this show. Because it changed my life in so many ways and I need to say goodbye to it properly.

season 5 cast

Back in 2011, I never would’ve thought a show about fairy tales stuck in our world would’ve impacted my life so much. I wanted to watch it because I was intrigued by the premise, by Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen declaring she was sending everyone some place “horrible” and because I was a fan of Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison. While I struggled to watch the season because of other commitments, I was definitely intrigued and wanted to see more.

The commitment that had kept me from seeing most of Season 1 was no longer an issue for Season 2 and I dove in, becoming obsessed with watching the show. I looked forward to Sunday nights, though I didn’t start to go into the fandom side of things just yet.

That changed with Season 3. I started to check out more Once-related blogs on tumblr and checked out a few speculations as we got through the Neverland arc. The  Wicked Witch arc expanded on something that was introduced in the first half of the season—Outlaw Queen.

I’m sure you’re all tired about me talking about Outlaw Queen, so you probably know how I pretty much sold my soul to this couple. I lived to see Sean Maguire’s name in the credits because it meant there would be an Outlaw Queen scene. I loved all their kisses and their chemistry. It drew me deeper into fandom—especially on tumblr. I resisted it on Twitter at first but gave in a couple years later as I got further involved in Outlaw Queen as most of the fandom left tumblr for that platform. It was the best way to keep in touch with everyone.

Once Upon a Time and Outlaw Queen really did change my life. I know it might seem otherwise given how little I’ve talked about my writing lately, but they boosted my creativity. I started writing and reading fanfiction again. And by that, I was drawn into an amazing community. I’ve made some great friends who I hope remain lifelong ones, even despite the physical distance between all of us.

Once Upon a Time also gave me Regina Mills. Seven years ago, I don’t think I would ever have said that. She was the villain I loved to hate but now…she’s my hero. Over the years, I’ve watched her grow and I feel I’ve grown with her. She’s gone from a villain to a hero, to the heart and soul of the show (no matter what the writers say). Regina Mills is Once Upon a Time.

She is an absolutely resilient character. The writers have put Regina through so much and she keeps overcoming every obstacle, climbing to her happy ending. Interviews suggest we should see her happy ending in the finale and I hope so. She definitely deserves it by now!

Thanks to Regina, I always remember that no matter what life might throw at me, things will always get better as long as I fight for what I believe in.

This is a show that’s supposed to be about hope. There were times it didn’t always deliver on that though. See: Robin’s death and Regina once again being denied romantic love. And the fact they obliterated his soul. It seemed like they had something personal against Sean Maguire.

(Yet they brought him back for a short arc in Season 6 and he’s making an appearance in the finale, so they couldn’t get rid of him completely. It’s like killing Robin Hood was a bad idea).

(I’ll probably be bitter until the day I die).

Yet still at its core, it does have hopeful messages. Maybe not always the ones the writers promoted or thought it did, but it does. Family doesn’t always have to be blood—you can always make your own. Everybody deserves a second chance. Someone will always find you. People will try to tell you who you should be—you just have to punch back and say “This is me.”

The writing on this show hasn’t always been the greatest and they’ve tended to repeat storylines, especially ones that didn’t work the first time. It was like they were hoping that maybe those stories would work with different characters when the stories just didn’t work. The writers’ room probably needed some fresh blood and perhaps needed to be more collaborative than it was with the actors.

Speaking of the actors, though, they always gave their all. Once Upon a Time managed to get actors of great caliber, from the regular cast members down to the guest stars. Fans embraced them all and they will forever be part of the Once Upon a Time family. A big thank you goes out to the actors who have been regulars over the years: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Robert Carlyle, Jared Gilmore, Raphael Sbarge, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Meghan Ory, Michael Raymond-James, Michael Socha, Sean Maguire, Rebecca Mader, Andrew J. West, Dania Ramirez, Alison Fernandez, Gabrielle Anwar and Mekia Cox.

The biggest thank you, I feel, goes to Lana Parrilla. For seven years, she has given us her all and poured her heart and soul into Regina. Listening to her at cons and in interviews, it’s clear that the role has meant even more to her than it has to all us fans. So thank you, Lana, for everything. Thank you for giving us Regina Mills. I have no doubt that she will live on as one of the great characters on TV. Regina is the true hero of Once Upon a Time, its heart and soul.

(Despite what some people think).

So…

Thank you, Lana, Sean and the rest of the cast.

Thank you to the crew.

Thank you, Outlaw Queen.

Thank you, Once Upon a Time.

season 1 cast

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