You Got Your Frozen in My Once Upon a Time! (a review with limited spoilers)

So now that we’re up to Thanksgiving break and episode eight with Once Upon a Time’s fourth season, I feel like I’ve got a good enough handle on it to share some thoughts. Mostly, I’ll be writing this short review for people who may be holding off watching this season because of its chillier aspects. But those of you who have been watching through can feel free to weigh in in the comments.

For those of you who have been holding back: Don’t.

The show is still worth watching. We’ve gotten a decent amount of character development across the board, and the series maintains its ability to surprise you. The writers have done their best to keep the vibrancy of the OUAT world alive.

And they’ve actually done an okay job at writing Frozen in, too.

The dialogue for everyone in Arendelle is impeccable. I could easily believe that they had pulled screenwriters from the movie itself to develop it, though it doesn’t appear that they have. Connections have been created between the sisters and established OUAT characters that, while sudden, are believable, and the plot of the season revolves around much more than Elsa’s issues.

That said, Frozen in OUAT is weird.

Even eight episodes in, the feel of this combo isn’t a Reese’s chocolate/peanut butter perfect meld. It’s more like a peanut butter and banana sandwich: some people can’t get enough of it, some people hate it, and the majority of us enjoy a few squishy bites but still can’t get the thought out of our head that something is wrong here.

Personally, I think it’s because they’ve done too good a job writing the Frozen world.

Everything is exactly the same, except Olaf (who blessedly doesn’t exist in this version). Sven the reindeer cavorts with Kristoff in our flashbacks to Arendelle. Anna speaks like Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on Thirty, constantly. Elsa is still wearing that blue ice dress, despite the fact that her wardrobe as queen clearly must consist of other outfits. Even the rock trolls have been CGI’d in.

It’s impressive, but it’s not what OUAT does.

The fun of OUAT, the heart of its selling points, is that it takes the fairy tale characters Disney has made most popular and twists them into living, breathing people with various motivations and histories beyond those of the Disney-verse. Every other character in the show is his or her own person, clearly separate from the heroines, heroes, and villains of the animated movies.

Elsa and Anna, however, are just Elsa and Anna. Exactly as Frozen knew them.

It’s not necessarily bad. Elsa and Anna were good characters, or at least likable the way any Disney character can be. But it gives the whole season a fanfic sort of feel. A “what if”, that splices the plot of Frozen 2 into OUAT disturbingly well. (Speaking of which, how weird is it going to be when Disney inevitably does release Frozen 2? What will the plot of that one be?)

I still enjoy the show myself, and look forward to seeing where this season ends up. I highly recommend that those who are on the fence try it out, and see for themselves. But be ready for more Disney than usual.

 

 

 

 

Projection

I haven’t read or watched anything involving astral projection in awhile, but apparently my mind still likes the idea.

 

The three of us have learned

To astral project, meet

Regularly out-of-body in a park

Downtown.

But

The friend of my friend

Wants to push it further,

Stay out longer, do more

Intangible activities.

Back home, our bodies lie asleep,

Unable to be woken.

I don’t want anyone

To find me like that, and panic.

I tell her she can go

For a swim, break into a bank

If she wants – I’m heading back

At the usual time.

Everyone Gets Arrested but Bender

I’ve been watching too much Futurama. If there is such a thing.

 

Nearly the whole cast has turned up,

All of Futurama

Out the window, fighting

Each other and civilians.

It’s a game turned mayhem, and

No one’s surprised when the cops arrive

Except Bender -

The greatest fight he’s ever started,

But only the participants arrested

And him alone inside, with no credit.

And a jaunty wave from the police.

Flee

This was one of the most vivid dreams I’ve had for a while…probably because I like to do this kind of running-away-and-hiding thing with actual people in real life. Not because I don’t want to talk to them, but just as a sort of game with myself if I’m bored.

 

I am beauty trapped

In the castle of the beast.

As in all the stories, he isn’t

Unkind, but

It’s awkward to talk to him,

And he talks every time I see him.

I flee awkward situations.

Luckily the castle is

A maze of unlocked doors and

Spiral stairwells – when he opens

One, I dart through another,

Keep up the chase until he stops.

But tonight he catches sight of me

Too close,

Unexpected,

And I dive down a stairwell but

Don’t choose the right door,

Leaving me alone

With him

In a drawing room with a couch.

He speaks so softly, and really I don’t

Hate him, but when I sit next to him

Like he asks, all I feel is

Guilt that all I do is run away,

Guilt that I cause him pain,

Guilt that he still can’t touch me

Because I don’t forgive him

Even though I wish I could.

This is why

When we part, I find

A pathway he doesn’t use,

And run.

Eggs

I’m writing a short story set around Easter, which most likely inspired this. Though if I did ever try to make hard-boiled eggs myself, this is probably what would happen.

 

We try to make

Hard-boiled eggs,

But they are small

As sparrow’s and

When we crack

Their fragile shells, we

Reveal yolks cooked

Hard, but filmy whites.

I wonder if it’s

Okay to eat them, or if

I should cook them longer

In the microwave -

I’ve heard somewhere

That you can.

Hunted

I don’t know what our jobs were in this dream, but from context, probably something to do with magicking things to death.

 

There’s a mountain lion

Shadowing us. It comes

Closer and closer, tan fur

Through woods too bright

To hide it. But my partner

Can transform into something

Just as deadly, scares her off

So that we reach our home

Base unscathed. I tell her she

Can have half of what I earn

This week, for saving my life

On the way back from our job.

Witch

My dreams involved a lot of weird magic last night. Maybe it’s something I read?

 

We return from

Our fight to find

A candle, burning bright and small

For the fallen, on our stairs.

A mockery left

By the witch,

To let us know

We’ve been infiltrated.

She’s made tea with our cups

And her leaves, left

Pieces of comic books as clues

To her motivations, switched out

My bed for a baby-changing table.

I’m livid.

But still I try

Contacting her through the tea leaves,

Like we used to do when we were

Friends – breathe in the steam,

Stare into the cup, and hope

For peace.