TV Review: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'

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ABC will premiere Once Upon a Time, the first of the competing fairytale series this season (against NBC’s Grimm) on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“The fact the characters are well drawn gives Once Upon a Time a shot. But where Snow White’s fate is concerned, TV viewers may not have as much patience as the Seven Dwarfs.” — David Hinckley,New York Daily News

“Although it’s as dependent as other fantasy shows on the latest slick effects technology, Once Upon a Time achieves something rare in our plasticized, commercialized times: It feels homemade and hand-crafted. For now, Once Upon a Time has made a believer out of this grumpy troll.” — Hank Stuever, The Washington Post

“There’s gorgeous fun to be had here, and I’m cautiously optimistic that ABC’s patience in delaying the premiere until a month into the season, coupled with heavy and smart promotion, will pay off, at least initially. It would be a shame for this book to be closed too soon.” — Matt Roush, TV Guide

“While Once gets an immediate boost from the familiarity we have with its characters and their stories, that’s also ultimately self-limiting. The story just feels closed-in, and while it is possible to add shades to fairy-tale characters, they remain archetypes who are meant to represent one major trait, and no matter how you try to twist it, that trait is going to dominate.” — Robert Bianco, USA Today

“I expect that some viewers will be enthralled with all this twisted whimsy, and ABC has scheduled the show for a family audience. It’s the kind of story that just might make perfect sense to kids, while it doesn’t stand up to much adult logic.” — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe