A guilty pleasure of mine is Once Upon A Time, a show that began as one that reinvents/’goes behind the scenes’ fairy tales but is now more of a general promotion of the Disney franchise, with ever more tenuous links to the source film or tale. Still, it was always rollickingly good fun, even if it did stray into schmaltz at every given opportunity. The second half of season 4, with its ‘Queens of Mean’ plot, was a high-camp delight.

Which is why the first half of season 5 felt such a damp squib. Part of the problem is the plot has been so deadly serious compared to some of the others. Emma as the ‘Dark One’, for me, didn’t work. This was probably because they interpreted her as being ‘dark’ by putting her in a leather trench coat and wearing bright red lipstick, with her hair in a bun so tight her face looked like it had been filled with a year’s worth of Botox.

The scenes in Camelot were also dull. Freeing Merlin seemed to take a ridiculous amount of time, and then he died not long after, making the whole thing just seem pointless. Thank god for the interplay between Zelena and Regina, both of whom seemed to remember that this is supposed to have an element of fun to it. The random shoehorning in of Brave didn’t help, an odd subplot that didn’t really go anywhere other than leave me wondering if the actress playing Merida was actually Scottish (to my surprise, she is).

The biggest frustration though is the lack of progress the show is making. Here was a finale that was supposed to end all Dark Ones, and would have tested the writers into creating new villains and new worlds. Instead, (spoiler alert) they copped out, having Gold pull a trick that saw him become the Dark One once again, only this time blackmailed by Emma.

So what does the second half of the season hold? Well the gang is off to the Underworld to rescue Hook, no doubt because the producers realised losing the best looking bloke from the cast would be suicide for the show, even if it would cut the mascara budget in half. The producers have promised the return, for one episode at least, Cora, Cruella and Peter Pan, the former two hopefully reinjecting the show with its camp edge, the latter a layer of creepy villainy. However, as it’s probably going to be dead people heavy, don’t expect a return of the humour we are missing.

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