OUAT

Mar. 26th, 2013 10:04 am
katewrites: (Default)
I finally realized what drives me nuts about Once Upon A Time. It wasn't the same flames on the side of my face fury I felt when I quit Supernatural, probably because I've never been particularly invested in Once Upon A Time. OUAT was my guilty Sunday "Oh, look pretty people and reasonably silly plots!" pleasure. But over time, episodes have begun making me angrier and angrier and I think it's because the central idea of OUAT is that Family Is The Only Thing That Matters. Only OUAT has a very strict definition of family and that is biological parents to their biological children.

For me, it started when Henry (who had been raised since infancy by Regina) defined only Emma as his "mother." I'm not saying that being raised by an evil queen would be awesome, but it looked like Regina was doing her best to be a good mother, and had been his mother as long as anyone in Storybrooke knew. The show explicitly, over and over again, hammers home the point that bio parents are the only real parents.

There is not a single instance in the show where a step-parent or adoptive parent was considered a "real" parent. Regina was evil to Snow White (when a more interesting twist would have been Snow and Regina against Snow's evil father, or even a "Snow, Glass and Apples" approach to it). Charming's twin's father was evil to the core.

Which, yeah, they're drawing from source material that makes step parents pretty evil, but at the same time, they're trying to deconstruct and reimagine the fairy tales that they're using as templates. They make all the heroines baddass and strong, yet they can't seem to value anything other than a nuclear family.

ANYWAY. I was watching Leverage and Community and I realized that the central idea in the shows that I do love is created-family. The idea that it doesn't matter who your DNA comes from, the people that matter are the ones that care for you and the ones that consider you family. Even when Leverage folks meet their family (Nate and his father, Eliot and his), the importance is that they are actually cared for by their created-family. Eliot meets his father, and it's entirely off screen, and the next episode he is back with the crew as though nothing had happened.

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katewrites

February 2016

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