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Once Upon a Time 
2016-01-20 (Wed) 12:46
shamrock
ghoti and I have been watching our way through Once Upon a Time. It's basically televised urban fantasy, subgenre "mining folk mythology for fun and profit". The central conceit is that fairy tales are real and their characters live in other realms, until an event where an ensemble-cast-ful of them are cursed into our world and lose their memories of the Enchanted Forest. Each episode interleaves the main present-day plot with flashback sequences from the fairy-tale past, which are used to great effect to develop individual characters. We're up to season four at the moment and still thoroughly enjoying it; the setting means that the show's creators can mix in new underlying tales from time to time, which does a good job of keeping things fresh.

Today ewx linked to a news article about a paper on phylogenetic/linguistic analysis of the roots of folktales. With this recent TV consumption, the main thing that jumped out at me was how neat it is that the "Beauty and the Beast" and "Rumpelstiltskin" tales are about the same age given the Belle/Rumpel relationship in "Once". If you're willing to accept the poetic reading of "time" as something like "recorded history" or "civilisation", "Beauty and the Beast" being around 4000 years old also puts a nice gloss on the Disney song "Tale as old as time / Song as old as rhyme" (which I only just found out was sung by Angela Lansbury in the film!).
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Comments 
2016-01-20 (Wed) 13:39 (UTC)
Yay, Once Upon A Time! Thanks again to you and/or Jack for recommending it to us. We've been continuing to enjoy it and are now half way through season 4. I'd been meaning to ask you where you're up to; sounds like about the same place.

Edited at 2016-01-20 13:39 (UTC)
2016-01-20 (Wed) 13:46 (UTC)
Oh good :-) We're four episodes into season four, so a little bit behind you but not too far.
2016-01-21 (Thu) 22:34 (UTC)
Not sure how many series I watched. I don't look back with pleasure now and stopped at some point. The mother/mayor was scary and one of the kind of baddies I really hate; ones who seem to win more than lose, even if they lose at the end.
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