Once Upon a Time: Season 1 (2011 - 2012)


Season 1
Once Upon a Time

Critics Consensus

Charming and fantastical, Once Upon a Time is tonally uneven but derives strength from an outstanding cast and handsome visuals.



Critic Ratings: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 775

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Air date: Oct 23, 2011

In the fairy-tale world, the Evil Queen casts a spell trapping classic characters in time in the modern town of Storybrooke, Maine. The only hope of breaking the spell rests in the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who is prophesied to return on her 28th birthday.. Meanwhile, in the real world, a young woman is surprised when her estranged son knocks on her door on her 28th birthday.

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Air date: Oct 30, 2011

While Regina does everything in her power to force Emma out of Storybrooke in the real world, in fairy-tale land the Evil Queen finds she must pay a terrible price to activate the Dark Curse.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2011

Meet a feisty thief named Snow and see what happens when she first meets Prince Charming in a neat subversion of the original fairy tale. Meanwhile in the contemporary town of Storybrooke, meek and mild hospital visitor Mary Margaret Blanchard gets a surprise reaction when she reads a fairy tale to a handsome patient in a coma...

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Air date: Nov 13, 2011

Emma tries to help a young pregnant woman escape from Storybrooke and from the enigmatic Mr Gold, Cinderella makes a regrettable deal with Rumpelstiltskin, and Rumpelstiltskin/Mr Gold starts to reveal his dark side.

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Air date: Nov 27, 2011

In Fairy Tale Land under the Dark Curse, favourite characters behave in the most unexpected ways, while their contemporary counterparts are trapped in the New England town of Storybrooke. Meet Jiminy Cricket, a reluctant pickpocket who dreams of escaping from his parents and find out how he first met Gepetto and became a cricket. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Archie and Henry become trapped in a collapsed mine, and Mary Margaret struggles with her feelings for married amnesiac, David Nolan.

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Air date: Dec 4, 2011

Discover how a humble shepherd became the heroic Prince James and engaged to a haughty princess before he met Snow in Fairy Tale Land, while in Storybrooke amnesiac David Nolan is torn between his wife and Mary Margaret when he gets some of his memory back.

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Air date: Dec 11, 2011

Actor-model Jamie Dornan takes centre stage this week as Storybrooke's Sheriff Graham starts to remember his alternative life as the Huntsman. The curse weakens when he kisses Emma, who also feels strangely drawn to him, but in the fairy-tale world the Evil Queen has hired him to kill Emma's mother, Snow..

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Air date: Jan 8, 2012

In Storybrooke, Mr Gold and Mayor Regina play dirty politics on opposite sides when Emma runs for sheriff against Sidney Glass. Meanwhile in the Enchanted Forest, a timid weaver named Rumpelstiltskin is tricked by a malign power as he tries to save his son from being drafted into the ogre war.

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Air date: Jan 15, 2012

In Storybrooke, Emma tries to save two homeless children from the evils of foster care. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest of the fairytale world that was, the Evil Queen coerces Hansel and Gretel into stealing a poison apple from the Blind Witch.

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Air date: Jan 22, 2012

Find out how Snow came to hook up with the dwarves and meet the eighth dwarf, Stealthy, who sadly loses his life in events leading up to Prince James's marriage to King Midas's daughter. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret struggles with her feelings for David as his wife does a pregnancy test, and Emma and Regina are suspicious of a stranger in town.

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Once Upon a Time: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

In the first series of this fantasy drama, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is reunited with 10-year-old Henry (Jared Gilmore), the son she gave up for adoption at birth. He pleads with her to come to his hometown of Storybrooke, Maine, so that she can save his town from a curse. Emma is skeptical about Henry's stories of fairy-tale characters and curses, but she goes with him and becomes the town's sheriff. The town is indeed populated by fairy-tale characters such as Snow White (GinniferGoodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), only they have no idea of their true identities. The only two who do know are the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), who's also the town's powerful mayor and Henry's adoptive mother, and the villainous Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle).

News & Interviews for Once Upon a Time: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time Season 1

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (20)

To draw out the story by looping it through subplots and minidramas runs the risk of turning it into a fairy-tale soap opera.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

I will go, but gingerly.

Oct 31, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

From a pair of Lost producers, this is a love-or-hate proposition, and I mostly hated.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Fans of the fantastical can do far worse than Once Upon A Time, which manages to both stir the pulse and please the senses with its beautifully imagined medieval times.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Not for all tastes but a few will love this oddball.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Once has become a rare must-see for families, bringing adults and kids together in front of the flat-screen in a way that hasn't been done by a scripted show in years.

Oct 31, 2011 | Full Review…

Once Upon a Time bring some new life to the drama series, even if spinning several seasons of television out of this concept seems like it will be quite a challenge.

Jul 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Older viewers are likely to find themselves drawn into the drama of the small town where everyone winds up after the wicked queen banishes them to a place where "there are no happy endings." Namely, Maine.

Jun 25, 2018 | Full Review…

The cast would do well to have more fun (whistle while you work, people!), but the layered storytelling has its charms.

Apr 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Once's drama is whimsical, fanciful and over-the-top in some ways.

Oct 31, 2011 | Full Review…

There's definitely an odd rift between tone and subject matter; at times the show tries to be deadly serious when perhaps it could use more charm.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: 3/10 | Full Review…

It's not easy to strike the right note between the real and the storybook; Once Upon a Time finds it though.

Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time: Season 1

  • May 30, 2020
    amo esta serie. es la mejor. es icreible. te la super recomiendo
  • Apr 20, 2020
    Nonsense Poor scripted TV series ever . Waste of time and damm fiction . Sucks
  • Apr 16, 2020
    I just want to say that I think Once upon a time is amazing! The best series I've ever watched and will continue to watch... I love that all of the characters play an excellent role and build their own characteristics into their role. My favourite character is Lana Parrilla/ Regina Mills/ The evil queen, she has been my favourite since I have ever started to watch it and will continue to be my favourite. I love all the characters/ people and it would be a dream come true to meet all of them (especially Lana Parrilla). All of them have a place in my heart that can never be taken out! So I just want to say congratulations to everyone on the series you have done a fantastic job, keep up the good work! Well done! Loads of love from Elle xx ( biggest ever fan🥰) 16/04/2020
  • Jan 04, 2020
    Very poor writing, everything in the present time is completely off. No local police just a sheriff which is a county enforcement. Mayor has no control over county sheriff. Fairytale or not completely dumb writing. So many things wrong with this millennial tailored world of fairy tales!
  • Sep 12, 2019
    Honestly one of the stupidest shows ive ever seen. Basically a mid tier soap opera with an unashamedly cringworthy fairy tale theme. If you are looking for substance turn sharply away. If you want a meaningless surface level drama with a "modern meets fairytale" setting then look no further. Basic love stories mixed with a fair amount of tragedy wrapped up with every tired trope in the book make this show a groan enducing romp through D tier drama-ville. If you are looking for something light, silly, and soapy with a fantasy theme then youll probably like this show but i personally think its really stupid.
  • Jul 27, 2019
    I think this is a very serviceable way to start a very underrated show, in my opinion.
  • Jul 07, 2019
    what a great start to one of my favourite shows a mix of fantasy and reality these might be fairy tales but the show wastes no time on ripping convention apart destroying stereotypes,creating flawed heroes and relatable villains
  • Feb 24, 2019
    Wonderful TV Series of the Decade!
  • Jul 31, 2018
    This show has a good beginning with a gripping mystery of whether it is all real or in henry's imagination and that smoke effect is pretty cool, too
  • Jul 18, 2018
    I'm a huge fan!!!!!!!!

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