Once Upon a Time: When Fairytales and the real world collide, anything is possible

Welcome to Storybrooke, where the evil queen has frozen time and stashed all the residents of the enchanted forest. The problem? They don’t know they are fairytale characters- including Emma Swan, the lead character. When Emma’s 10 year old son- who she gave up years ago- finds her, it shifts her world view. This is the premise of Once Upon a Time, one of the new shows ABC has lined up for next fall.

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy) invite you to a bold new vision of the world where fairytales and the modern day are about to collide.

Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. Henry (Jared Gilmore) is 10 years old now and in desperate need of Anna’s help. Henry believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world… and is Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s (Lana Parilla) curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were–including the Evil Queen who is now Henry’s foster mother. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

This is one of those times when I wish networks did not do promos so far in advance- this preview has me hooked and I want to see the whole show. Because, as Snow White says, “Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing”. I choose to believe that this could be a happy ending for all the TV viewers.

The show is now active on Facebook and Twitter, so plug them into your social graph.

Robert Carlyle – Rumplestiltskin
Josh Dallas – Prince Charming/John Doe
James Dornan – Sheriff Graham
Jared Gilmore – Henry
Ginnifer Goodwin – Snow White/Sister Mary Margret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison – Emma Swan
Lana Parilla – Evil Queen/Regina
Raphael Sbarge – Archie/Jiminy Cricket

Production Company – ABC Studios
Executive Producer – Edward Kitsis
Executive Producer – Adam Horowitz
Executive Producer – Steve Pearlman
Executive Producer/Director – Mark Mylod

Teens and issues of media legality

Let me try to defuse some of the potential inflammatory comments:

1. DRM is evil.
2. The RIAA is not only evil, it is stupid.
3. Pirating media is not only illegal, it is morally wrong.
4. Artists deserve to be able to make a living from the art they create.

Back story:

I have friends and family who are artists and make money from the art they create. I have long been a proponent to everyone I know that if you enjoy art, you should be willing to pay a reasonable price for it. No question, organizations like the RIAA go in wrong directions and to far extremes, but I am willing to pay for art I enjoy and have always encouraged others to do the same.
As a parent, I have held to my guns on this one. My children have been taught copyright, the idea of creative value and that illegal media is not tolerated in this household. I am the parent who would not give them blank CDs to give to their friends to make copies of movies and music. I was the one who informed teachers that making copies of “Kid Music CDs” for fun is NOT an educational fair use and they should not be requesting blank CDs from home for it.

Limewire is banned. We buy or rent movies, we do not download them. My kids get iTunes allowances as part of a Christmas Present. I have worked hard to instill this in my kids. Honestly, there is a grey area that if I were in a house alone, I would live in that includes some violations of this principle. But when you are setting an example, you tread more carefully than when no one is watching. And Kids? they are always watching.

While they were younger, this was successful. But now they are older, independent thinkers. Plus we have broadband connections. Broadband= streaming media.

I can say with much confidence that my children do not, will not and disagree with downloading illegal copies of music and movies. They do not want to possess it, they know this is a good way to behave as a citizen consumer of the arts. You pay for what you own.

But what about the illegal videos on YouTube.. and the myriad number of sites that are available on the internet. It happens.. I know they do it, they even tell me about it without thinking about the wrongness of how that media is uploaded.

Then again, is it really wrong? Illegal, YES. But wrong? Watching something on the internet will not stop a bunch of teenagers from paying to go see something again. And in some cases, it goes deep into the gray area- video footage that they would have no access to, or outlet to pay for, if they were not watching it stream.

I want them to respect artist’s rights and means of life. But I do not want to be such an “enforcer” that they never talk to me or tell me what is going in their lives, either. It is a very delicate balance. Is it OK to condone things that I might participate in myself if kids were not watching? Where do you draw the line with your children?

Unlimited(??!!) Streaming downloads from Netflix

The AP reports that Netflix is poised to release news that they will lift the monthly “view instantly” streaming video limits currently on their plans. A quick check over on my Netflix account does not yet show any changes or updates. Perhaps I need to wait until after midnight to see if this helps. This is seen as a presumptive strike against Apple’s anticipated Movie Rental/Download service, expected to be announced at MacWorld this week.

When this service first came out from Netflix, I was very excited. And truth be told, I was really hopped up about it. But the reality quickly set in, and I have never once come close to hitting my maximum hours. This is really no big thrill. I am the perfect candidate for this service. I have a PC with a high speed connection and a Huge wide screen monitor in my bedroom, so I can tune in movies and watch them in bed. Heaven, right? Would be except the movie selection pretty much sucks. OK- corrected statement , you can not say it is full of bad movies when it contains movies like Tootsie and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, these are great movies. There are some great classics on there, but I am not a “watch this movie a million times, because I love it so” kind of gal. I watch a movie once, maybe twice and then not again for years and years. The balance of the selection is filled with Shows from the History Channel and Rock and Roll Documentaries. Again, not all bad– but not the variety that suits the whims of my fickle movie viewing mind.

Then there are the other strange hoops and jumps to watch the movies– first off, it only works on the Windows OS, so if you run Macs or Limux or any other OS.. You are SOL. Then, even if you have a windows box, their player requires that you be using the MS Explorer Browser. I wonder how much MS paid them for that one, or what sort of lazy hack of a programmer sold that as a good idea. Last I checked, 75% of the browser hitting up this Blog were running Firefox.

The article expresses financial concerns for this move by Netflix, as the extra load will cost them more money- but unless they fix a bunch of other things about the service, I see this as no increased burden at all. I would love some data from Netflix, showing how many users currently already max out their allotment and will be excited to hear about this option. Looks more like empty PR smoke to me. Once Apple ( or Amazon, or anyone else) starts allowing download rentals of current movies, with hotter content with an easy, cross platform portable playback option? Netflix downloads are sunk. I will still not stop getting Netflix DVDs in the mail ( at least for now…) but I will be checking out those other rental options.