If you follow me on Facebook, then you are probably aware that I love Once Upon a Time.
But, Jocelynn, you write books filled with blood, gore, violence, and sex. How can you love such a super-sweet, love-dovey TV show?
It's true. Even I have a soft side. I have an absolute weakness for for fairy tales. I'm not just talking the original Hans Christen Andersen and Grimm Fairy Tales (though those are pretty awesome too). No, I'm talking the ultra-sweet Disney love fests. Yep, I eat them up. I love the songs, the strange humor, the love stories, the art, and the happily ever after.
I have loved them since I was a kid. And somehow I've managed not to grow up with the belief that I need a man to rescue me, or a fairy godmother, or a pack of singing rodents. They were beautiful stories filled with magic and adventure. And maybe that's why I like this show as well. There aren't any damsels in distress. The stories are all about people (men and women) stepping up to protect those they love and grab the things they want in life. They are not only dreamers but they are also doers. I didn't grow up with this need to be a princess. But then I also had a solid helping of other influences in my life, which probably helped to turn me into the strange human being that I am today.
But I digress...
On Sunday, Once Upon a Time came back from it's mid-season break and I was in fairy tale heaven. There is something about this show that is so incredibly fun. The writers succeed in turning all the wonderful fairy tales that you think you know on their heads. I think my favorite, though, is the character development. You love the villains as much if not more than the heroes because of their incredible depth. I have spent so much time rooting for and shouting at the TV over Regina/The Evil Queen. She has such a chance for redemption and you're constantly sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering which way she's going to fall. I love when Regina is being evil, because she's so wonderful when she's evil. But I also love when she's trying to do the right thing because it's so damn heartbreaking that I just want to hug the woman (even if it means risking her yanking my heart from my chest).
But I think, hands down, the character who is my absolute favorite is Rumplestiltskin. Oh my sweet, devious, evil, vulnerable Rumple. He is my ultimate tragic character. I love every second that he is on the screen. I love his little laugh. I love the strange wave of his hands. I love his enthusiasm. I love his twisted sense of humor. I love his love for his son. I love his regret for the mistakes he's made and the elaborate plan that he came up with to locate his son again. I love the vulnerability he struggles with. He's a coward, but he's learning and it makes him so wonderfully human.
So when Rumple turned up in the show's version of Beauty and the Beast, I was totally lost. Growing up, Sleeping Beauty was my favorite, but in my teens, it was surpassed by Beauty and the Beast. I've seen the cartoon countless times and I've never stopped loving it. A brave, unique girl who loves books and longs for adventure, trades her life to save her family and proves to a man that true beauty lies in the heart and not the face. What's not to love?!? I knew I wouldn't find great application of such an idea in the real world, but it was a lovely concept.
I love and fear the story of Belle and Rumple. He's a villain. She's a hero. Can they have a happy ending? I worry. I pray. I fear. I hope. But even if it doesn't work out, I have to admit that I've enjoyed the ride.
At the heart of any great story, I think is an equally great character. It's a character who grows, changes, surprises, fails, learns, fails, keeps trying, and maybe if he or she is lucky ... succeeds before the last page.