Once Upon a Time is my guilty pleasure. I like the twist on fairy tales; I hate everything else. The acting is terrible, the storyline is contrived, and the costumes are ugly. The only explanation I can come up for why I like this series is that I have a blind devotion to fairy tales.
My favorite episode is number twelve, titled, “Skin Deep,” probably because of the sheer amount of violence in it. This episode also has Problems.
This is the Beauty and the Beast episode, in which Belle strikes a deal with Rumplestiltskin — her servitude in exchange for Rumplestiltskin to do something about some war that is never mentioned again. Despite the fact that Belle is supposed to be working, she seems to spend a lot of time sitting around looking thoroughly pampered. She also spends a lot of time spouting off feminist nonsense, most of which is proven to be untrue in all of the other episodes.
It’s obvious why Belle would fall in love with Rumplestiltskin; he’s powerful, rich, and dark. The mystery is why he would love her, since she doesn’t do anything other than complain about how much it sucks to be a woman. Then she makes the incredibly small-minded and selfish decision to take away Rumplestiltskin’s power, without thinking about the larger picture. First, is that something that he wants? Second, how will it affect the kingdom? There’s an evil queen on the loose, and Rumplestiltskin is the only one who has the power to do anything about it. Not to mention, characters make deals with him left and right for everything ranging from, “Save our lives,” to “I want to be a princess.” He’s a cultural pillar, but Belle decides that her personal wishes trump everything.
When Rumplestiltskin makes it clear that he doesn’t want to go along with Belle’s misguided plans (oh gee, I wonder why), she then lectures him about being a coward before going off to live a miserable life in the dwarf mines, while he continues shaping the fairy tale landscape.
Finally, I can’t stand the way Belle’s skirt bulges out at the hips. Sometimes it’s the small details that ruin a costume.