Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,

Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Once Upon A Time season 3 thoughts

Warning, spoilers will follow.

        After a bit of a shaky second season, season 3 of Once Upon A Time ratchets up the tension and craft of the story and characters, and gives us a story closer to the amazing first season, with great character development and exciting plot lines.
    While I did love a lot of season 2(it had some very amazing stand-out episodes, such as "The Outsider", "Manhattan", "The Crocodile", "Lacy", "The Miller's Daughter" "And Straight on Til Morning", etc), it did feel a bit scattered in terms of plot points, especially in the first half. The second half was a lot better, especially with the delving into the characters of Rumplestiltskin and his son, Baelfire. And the season 2 finale promised for an even more exciting ride.

   And for the most part, season 3 delivered. There were a couple of missteps the show took, but the majority of the time I had fun with our heroes and villains as they all fought for their happy ending. Most of the characters got a nice dollop of development this season, which I greatly appreciated. This show is primarily a character driven story, so getting some much needed development for our leads was very nice.

As watchers of the series probably noticed, the third season was split into two mini seasons; after the splintered, random gap-filled stop and starting of season two's run, this was a welcome format. Also, because the season was split in half, I'll be reviewing each half separately below, as well as giving a blow by blow on what I thought about our main cast of characters and their development this year.

Season 3A: The Neverland Arc

   Unlike a lot of fans, I really enjoyed this arc! :D I was annoyed by the lack of my second favorite character of Belle(since I've been wanting to see more of her ever since the show's best episode "Skin Deep" aired), but the overall plotline- saving Henry from Peter Pan- was tightly written and excellently presented.
Making Peter Pan the villain was also an intelligent move, as was the decision of casting the amazing Robbie Kay. Robbie is close in age to me(a couple of months older than me) and he is definitely one of the best teen/young adult actors I have ever seen. He plays the part SO well and makes the villain even more interesting and deep. He especially impressed me after we learned he was Rumplestiltskin's father; very few 18 year olds could have pulled off being the bitter, selfish, dead-beat dad of a fifty year old(which is how old Robert Carlyle, the actor for Rumplestiltskin, is; the character is much older), yet somehow he manages it. Robbie Kay pretty much made the first half of the season for me, and is what OUAT can do with a good villain when they have one.
Of course, Peter Pan wasn't the only highlight of the first half of the season. Regina really came into her own this season. I've always liked her character, but season 3 was when I really started to like her- Lana Parilla shows that she is a very talented actress who I hope will go on to have an illustrious career. The entire setting was also quite nice- the dark, eerie place was exciting and also made one long for the comfortable Storybrooke.
Basically, while it wasn't completely what I was expecting, I still loved this half of the season.

Favorite episodes from S3A
Think Lovely Thoughts
Dark Hollow
Going Home
The New Neverland
Save Henry
Lost Girl

Season 3B: The Wicked Witch arc

    While the villain of this half of the show was lacking(to me), I really loved the feeling and sense we got from it. Regina's character was pretty much perfect here- her redemption arc was fantastic, I love that she still has her snark and her pragmatic thinking, and the fact that they finally showed Regina has being Henry's actual mother(since adopted parents are the real parents of the child) made me very happy, as well as making me love her more. I was also happy that we got to see more of Belle, more development for Emma, and just more of Storybrooke in general. I was a little annoyed that we didn't get to see much of Rumplestiltskin this season, but it ended up working out.
Sadly, I can't say the same about the villain. To be quite frank, I couldn't STAND the Wicked Witch of the West(a.k.a. Zelena). Maybe it's because I've been spoiled by Wicked's Elphaba and OUAT's fantastic villains(Rumple, Regina, Pan), but I found Once's rendition of the character(and the basic Oz story) to be relatively weak. Zelena was neither a likable villain we could root to be redeemed(like Rumplestiltskin and Regina) or a fun, well acted evil villain you could love to hate (like Pan, Hook, and even Cora to an extent). She was just a shrieking, unsympathetic, prone-to-hysterics whiner who I failed to care about. Her life didn't seem as terrible as Rumplestiltskin's, Regina's, or even Emma's and Baelfire's, so I don't get why she was all 'turning evil'. Her adopted mother seemed to care for her and even if her dad was a jerk to her, she still had the ability to choose not to go crazy. Also, her wanting to destroy her sister didn't make any logical sense. She basically went "oh, so my mom abandoned me, but she gave birth to another daughter who she is using for political gain and is growing up with a pony and pretty dresses..I'm SO envious. I know, instead of going after my dead-beat mom, I'm going to completely ruin the sister who doesn't even know I exist! Aren't I so SMART! I'm the best witch EVER!". In the end, I was okay with Rumplestiltskin killing her since it was justified with how terribly she treated everyone(especially Rumple and Neal). I also didn't like how she was so much more powerful than Regina. Plus, why does it seem like all women are into Rumple? That just seems a bit odd.....(Milah liked him at fisrt, Cora did, Zelena did, and Belle did).
In the end, I really liked the second half of the season(even with the annoying villain) and the next season promises to be another great one! Let it Go! :D (yes, Elsa is coming to Storybrooke!)

Favorite episodes from S3B
There's No Place Like Home
Quiet Minds
Curious Things
Bleeding Through
New York City Serenade
Snow Drifts

Now for the character discussions.
(I'm going in favorite character order).

Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold
Sadly, this season has been a bit too light on my favorite character in this show. But even with that, he still has some GREAT development and moments this season. I loved his ascension to hero at the end of "Going Home"(the first half's finale), as well as the relationship with his father, which I adored exploring. Getting to see Rumple as a little kid helps fill in the gaps and adds so much to our standing of not only his relationship with his father, but his relationship with his son Baelfire. His development in the second half of the season was much more subtle and I feel like, due to the crap Zelena put him through, he is going to start slipping backwards into his old ways.
Also, getting to see more hilarious Rumple was just perfect! XD "What the hell am I doing here?!"

While she is probably the most underdeveloped person of the main cast, I can't help but love her character. She shot up to my top favorite after her debut episode of "Skin Deep", and has remained there ever since. I've been wanting more development for her since then and, while we have gotten a bit(The Outsider and The Crocodile being prime examples), I really feel like she's been given the shaft. Almost no episode has been devoted to her, all the trauma she has been through has been virtually ignored(don't tell me that no one changes after being locked up for years and years, getting shot and losing their memories{and being abused and lied to at the hospital}, and having a whole different personality forced on them), and her family life is pretty much unknown. However, we do get some more development with her this season, especially in the second half. We see her stand up to Regina about the crap the former put her through, see her actively search for Rumple, as well as bonding with her supposed-to-be step-son. Her friendship with Ariel was also nice, as was the one she had with Archie (though I do wish we could have seen more of her and Red). I do have to say, one thing I liked about season 2 was that we did get more of Belle in it(though I do wish we'd been shown her meeting and bonding with Emma and Snow; it made the whole 'comforting/hugging after Neal's death quite hollow, since we had seen nothing between these characters).

WHY did you kill my third favorite character, creators!?  Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal(haha XD)! Sadly, he didn't get much development this season with this character in comparison to what we got last season. I did like the episode that showed Baelfire as a kid again(it's always great to see Dylan Schmid, since he always impresses), and the parts with Neal and Rumplestiltskin reconciling were great. However, I was disappointed in how his death was handled as well as the loss of potential with his character. I'd been looking forward to seeing Rumplestiltskin, Belle, and Baelfire interact together as a family unit since season one, but it looks like I won't be getting it now :/

Regina Mills
Okay, Regina has definitely had the best character development this year! She was great in the first half, but she was just so amazing in the second half. She has really moved up in my favorites, and I can't wait to see more of her. Her budding relationship with Robin Hood was very well done as well, and I am very happy with how it's went(except for bringing back his dead wife- Emma have you learned nothing from Doctor Who? NEVER mess with time!); in fact, it has become my second favorite pairing after Belle/Rumplestiltskin. I was also gladdened with how Regina was FINALLY acknowledged as Henry's actual mother. The show has definitely gotten better at portraying adoption and I hope to see this better approach to the subject matter be continued. Looking forward to where Regina goes next season!

Emma Swan
While not the main-main focus of the season, Emma got some GREAT development this season, especially in the second half. As Emma hasn't had too much development since season 2, what we got in the second half of season 3 was just amazing and I really think Emma is in a perfect place for next season. Several issues she's had in her life have finally been addressed and she has dealt with them to an extent. She has finally excepted Snow and Charming as her parents(and that they really do love and care for her), which I was really happy to see. She seems on the path of healing and letting her walls down, which I am thankful for, since she really deserves to get to be herself.

Robin Hood
I've always loved the story of Robin Hood(I used to play it as a tween and I love the BBC show as well as just the overall legend), so getting to see Robin Hood play a bigger role on one of my favorite show's was a blast. They really got him right and Sean Maguire plays him excellently(which made me happy, since I didn't care for the character of Robin in the BBC show). He seems to have a great story ahead of him and I can't wait to see where it leads.

Snow White
The Charming family hasn't done much this season(which is to be expected, since Ginnifer Goodwin, the actress who plays Snow is pregnant and can't run around as much as she could), but I do have to say, they were both great in the finale! I hadn't been too interested in the Charmings for a while now, but these two episodes reminded me about how much I'd liked them in season 1 and rekindled my interest in them. And with that, I definitely am excited about seeing where Snow and her husband are going next season(plus, I was very happy with the fact that they named their son Neal).

Prince Charming
Like Snow, Charming hasn't done too much since season 2, but the second half(and a little in the first half) finally gave Josh Dallas some great acting scenes(which I was pleased to see, since he's a good actor) and some more development for his character. Like I mentioned above, the finale reminded me of my love for Snow and Charming, and the episode revolving around Charming and courage was also a great peer into the character. Hopefully we'll get more progression like this next season as well.

While I still don't find him hot like a lot of fans do, Hook really grew on me as a character this season. I didn't care for him at first since he was a womanizer and a creep who seemed to enjoy hurting innocents, but this season he's really made a 180 and makes it so that one can't help but like his character. I especially began enjoying his development in the second half of the season, where he had some great scenes and moments. His redemption arc has been a little rocky in its execution, but I'm fairly satisfied with where it is going now.

Plus, Robin Hood's son, Roland, is such an adorable little kid :)

So now that season 3 has come to a close, it is time to think towards season 4.
Here are some things I want to see next season

More of Belle(her past, her family, more time focused on her); I also want to see her reaction to Rumple lying to her and the repercussions of that. Meeting Belle's mother would be nice as well.
More Belle/Rumplestiltskin since we got so little of it this season
A good, sensitive portrayal of Elsa(and I hope they use the world of Frozen better than they handled Oz)
Good, well rounded villains(like Rumple, Regina, Pan, and even Hook and Cora please).
A good resolution to Regina/Robin that doesn't do the annoying 'cheating' storyline. I can't stand those.
More of Emma with her parents(I want to see them bond as a family)
Have Henry meet Roland
Delve even more into the redemption some of the villains are trying to achieve
And I'd say more Rumple/Belle/Baelfire bonding but WE WON'T EVER GET TO SEE IT! D:

What about you? :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Graduating High School

Hey everyone! :) Good news- I recently graduated High School(homeschool)!! :D Last Saturday to be exact.
I still have a couple of weeks left(since the group I was graduating with decided to have their graduation earlier than I was planning for originally), but it's mostly just math and essay writing, since I've completed everything else.
Anyway, I had a great day and while I am glad to be done with high school, it will be sad to not be a homeschool student anymore :( However, I will be attending college in the fall and I am looking forward to that(though I am a bit apprehensive)! :D.

                                   The first thing we did in our ceremony, was walk into the church nave(which was where we held the graduation) to a song by Switchfoot. After we sat down, we had a slide-show of all the students, speeches, and finally the distribution of the diplomas, while our speaker read a biography about each student. Also, you know the tradition of the dad handing the diploma to the student and the student handing the mother the flower(we had a purple carnation)? Well, with my parents, we switched it, since my mom was the one that taught me when I was little and is the one that does all the school work. So yay us! :D Also, we actually had a pretty large group of graduates, which was nice.
     The ceremony was actually quite good and I enjoyed more than other ones I've attended(we got to do things in our graduation ceremony that most graduations don't get to do). We only had one official speaker(our group's president and vice president briefly spoke as well), who was a House Representive in Congress for our state. While I vehemently disagree with the person's political beliefs, he gave a, for the most part, good speech(though the part about America being the 'best' was a little annoying) and I liked how he would add little commentary when he read each of our biographies XD With mine, when he got to the line about me wanting a black belt in TKD he added "so don't mess with her". I looked over and I must have looked surprised, because he then said "I added that part".

                                               My hat fit a little weird; probably due to my poofy hair. :P

                                              Afterwards, we went to a cool restaurant I really liked with all my family that came :) It was a fun, but exhausting, day :).

                                        We also brought poster-boards about ourselves to the graduation to set up; you could also bring various things that are important to you(I brought quite a few things from over the years to put up on a display). :)

I'll be enrolling in the college of my choice soon(officially, anyway), as well as meeting with an adviser and discussing college course plans. I also recently picked out my room in the dorm :).
Onward to College! :D...YIKES! D: