And the winner is....Once Upon a Time. "Winner of what?", you say? Well that would be in reference to the debate that some folks are having as to which is the better new series: Grimm or Once Upon a Time. It's not quite fair to compare the two, as they really aren't the same genre (Grimm definitely came off as a cop-show in the first episode), but the fact that they both incorporate fairytale characters obviously leaves them open to comparison.
If you had a chance to read my review of Grimm, you may recall that I liked it, but I thought the writing was weak. This is where Once Upon a Time trumps Grimm. The writing is definitely sharper and less like Script-Writing 1A. While the production value in both series is strong, it's a bit strong-er in Once Upon a Time. The pacing and direction in both shows is good. They both held my interest.
The bigger win is in the cast. Once Upon a Time has a bigger cast, but it is also a very strong cast. Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, and Jennifer Morrison all give strong performances. The "kid" part is played by a very engaging Jared Gilmore. I look forward to more of Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold) who's shaping up to be a lot of trouble for everyone in town, and a lot of fun for us in the audience.
Speaking of how he's already shaping up, brings me to my next point. We're only into the second episode and already have a good amount of character development. We have a strong sense of who these people are, but also a sense that there is more to them than meets the eye, and unexpected complications and twists of character will arise. And that, my friends, makes us want to watch and find out more.
So, as with Grimm, if you are open to some fantasy mixed in with your drama, give this a shot. Two shots would be good. I was even more into it after the second episode.