5 Things No One Tells You About Becoming a Singleton

Cashing in on a label lovingly used by the chick lit community, I am currently a singleton. An unmarried woman who is enjoying her career and plans trips with friends and takes yoga on Saturdays and has more pictures of her dog on her phone than she would care to admit. (Not that there is anything wrong with that…) Anyways, since my singleton status is new-ish, I’ve found that I’m not just becoming reacquainted with dating. I’m becoming reacquainted with what is truly means to be a single twenty-something and how this affects my entire world. Sure, I was aware that things would change when I ended my relationship. I wouldn’t have a guaranteed plus one to weddings. Mementos I once treasured would be donated or thrown out. I would now have the freedom to flirt with and smile at other single men. However, there were other changes that surprised me … somewhat. Here is my attempt at summarizing the things I have found to be true.

  1. You Will Be Teased

Remember what I said about having the freedom to flirt again? Well, if you find yourself single after a long-term relationship, your loved ones will assume that you are always flirting when interacting with other singles. This is definitely not the case. (Especially if you’re just friendly by nature.) Sure, sometimes you are flirting, but it’s annoying to constantly explain who is in your “friend zone”. Take comfort in the fact that your family and friends just want to see you happy and probably don’t realize how intrusive their questions are. You will have to laugh off some light-hearted jabs. Being teased by these loved ones isn’t the worst thing in the world though. On a positive note, this definitely means that you’re done with the “My life is over” phase of the grieving process. Can it still be an irritating? Yes.

  1. You Will Set Stronger Boundaries

Speaking of loved ones, while you may endure some jokes at your expense, you will still have to draw some firmer boundaries in your life. For the sake of your emotional health, you will have some tough conversations where you ask others for space or sensitivity towards your situation. And the boundaries don’t just apply to others. They also apply to you. Whether this is blocking your ex on every possible form of social media or unsubscribing from wedding vendor email spam, you will need to practice diligent self-care when guarding your heart and mind.

Loving Yourself

 

  1. You Will Somehow Have More And Less Patience

Ok, so how can this be? First of all, you will probably have more patience for the silly annoyances in life. Having one’s world rocked is a pretty humbling experience, so don’t be surprised if you find your road rage cooling down. On the other hand, you will have noticeably less patience for other things. Like completely self-absorbed people. When you need to lean on others, it won’t take you long to figure out who actually cares and who only loved you for being a good listener. Personally, none of these realizations were mind-blowing, but they did help me drop off some baggage. And when you’re taking care of your emotional health, you just won’t have the extra energy to spare.

 

Talking to Friend

  1. You Will Re-Invest In Yourself

If you’ve been accustomed to planning your life around someone else, you will (hopefully!) start making good use of the time to embark on new endeavors or self-improvement plans. This could be the perfect motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle or finally enroll in that painting class you’ve always wanted to try. For example – I stopped biting my nails, started drinking more water, finally learned to cook, and refocused my attention on spiritual growth. There is no checklist that a new singleton has to follow. It’s just a good idea to set some healthy goals. At the very least, it will keep you in a positive, forward-thinking state of mind.

Uplifting Singles Quote

  1. You Will Learn To Like Yourself Again

Regardless of who was more at fault, no one is at their best in a spiraling relationship. Even though I had little hesitation to end things, I was shocked when I had to admit that I had been talking to myself in a very negative voice. For quite some time. Like many, I had gradually stopped liking who I was in that relationship. It has been a relief to reclaim who I am. I obviously still have flaws to contend with, but I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to remember that I am still a friendly, silly, and empathetic human being. You don’t realize how important an encouraging inner voice is, until it’s nearly extinguished.

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With all of this in mind, I know that I have many more realizations in my journey ahead. As with the others, I hope to take them in stride and with an increased appreciation for peace.

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Spoiler Free Review – Coco

The day before Thanksgiving, Pixar released its 19th feature film, Coco. Since its highly-anticipated debut, critics and fans alike have been singing its praises more than the characters sing in the actual movie. Does this addition hold up to other Pixar smash-hits? Here are my rambling thoughts on the matter!

Family

Ok, maybe I’ll reveal one spoiler. I adored Coco. While the film utilizes many popular troupes, it is still an extremely delightful and genuine flick. Personally, I’d say that Coco is on par with other masterpieces, like Inside Out and the entire Toy Story trilogy. The director, Lee Unkrich, (who directed Toy Story 3) has brought us a movie that is far richer and more satisfying than I anticipated. Honestly, I’ll admit that after seeing the trailer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The glowing, eternal-fiesta-at-twilight universe the animators had created was breathtaking, but I wasn’t completely drawn into the premise.

Guitar

Speaking of the plot, Coco centers on the coming-of-age journey of an adolescent boy. Miguel Rivera (voiced by the enthusiastic Anthony Gonzalez) has a deep-rooted passion for music. Unfortunately, his family has sordid past with the arts. His great-great-grandfather abandoned his family to pursue a musical career and since then, music has been banned in the Rivera home. Disgusted by his family’s close-minded views, Miguel runs away on the holiday, Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). After getting his hands on the guitar of a legendary (and now deceased) musician, Miguel finds himself trapped in the spirit world. In order to return, the young hero must seek the help of his ancestors while still (somehow) holding onto his lifelong dream. Despite my initial hesitation, I can now say that this film is a wonderful mix of happiness, excitement, and emotional vulnerability.

Hector

So, what makes this somewhat-cliché adventure so fulfilling? First of all, the atmosphere the animators have created is glorious. (We can only hope that the real after-life is this colorful. Bravo to the lighting team!) Also, we get to enjoy the bouncy and lively movement of the skeletons. The choreography that went into animating these characters (who were constantly rearranging themselves), could not have been easy. Secondly, the film is scored by the talented Michael Giacchino. His spirited instrumentals, with Latin overtones, complement the vocal numbers. The cheery musical numbers are also a delight, but nothing is lovelier than Coco’s theme song, “Remember Me”. This heart-breaking piece (from the song writers of Frozen) affirms that this film is so much more than a tale of rebellion.

Coco

And this is what will propel Coco to greatness. There is so much heart poured into this story. This is a tale of wonder and the sacrifices of pursuing your ambition and the everlasting power of love. Arguably, it’s the greatest family movie Pixar has ever created. Coco deserves many, many future viewings.

As with all Pixar films, just bring a box of tissues. You’ll need them.

Five Heart-Melting Pixar/Disney Animation Shorts

While Pixar didn’t create the concept of the animated short, it certainly revived them. Back in the day (when movie-going was an all-day experience), short cartoons often accompanied movies, regardless of the picture’s theme. Somewhere along the way, short films died out and the only thing that accompanied movies, were endless streams of previews. However; John Lasseter and the animation team at Pixar diverted this trend with their Academy Award nominated film, Luxo Jr. Since its massive success, audiences of Pixar films have looked forward to enjoying the “movie before the movie”. (And in the past decade, Walt Disney Studios has jumped on the bandwagon.)

Heartbreaking. Heartwarming. Grin-inducing. These are just a couple of words that describe these mini-masterpieces. Today, I’ve collected a list of my favorite Disney/Pixar shorts that are noteworthy not only for the visuals, but for the timeless lessons they teach. I am not suggesting that these are the best films. That is a personal designation. I am proclaiming that these made me “aww” just a tiny bit more than expected.

The Blue Umbrella (2013)

Blue Umbrella

Directed by Saschka Unseld and featuring a very catchy ditty (composed by Jon Brion), The Blue Umbrella premiered before Monsters University. In this tale, a crowd of commuters is seen walking to/from work on a rainy evening. In true Pixar fashion, everything from the street gutters to the traffic lights are alive and have (not-so-literal) faces. In a gray crowd, an optimistic blue umbrella spies a feminine red umbrella. They have a “meet cute”, but eventually are separated as the humans carrying them have to walk in separate directions. Desperate to help the romantic hero, the objects around the blue umbrella try to push him back into “her” path. Unfortunately, the brave little umbrella is nearly crushed during the journey. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that watching this short may give you the urge to reconcile with an old friend … or hug the first person you see. Either works.

Feast (2014)

Feast

Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Patrick Osborne’s Feast leapt into the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. This Academy Award winner features an undeniably cute Boston terrier (Winston). After Winston is adopted by a bachelor, he falls in love with his new home. More importantly, he falls in love with the fact that his owner keeps sharing his junk food. After his owner starts dating a health-conscious waitress, Winston sees less goodies and more vegetables in his food bowl. When the couple breaks up, the puppy is overjoyed to be fed junk food once again. The problem being, Winston is only receiving treats because his heartbroken owner is stress-eating and falling into a deep depression. Eventually, Winston has to learn to put others before himself, even at the loss of his current desires. I dare you not to cry. Also, for goodness sake, NEVER feed a real dog that much “people food”!

Paperman (2012)

Paperman

Another Academy Award winner, John Kahrs’s Paperman debuted with the smash-hit, Wreck-It-Ralph. Arguably one of the most romantic shorts, this film follows the love story of an accountant named George. While waiting for a subway train, he meets a beautiful woman named Meg. A gust of wind blows a piece of paper into her face, which George retrieves to find it’s marked with a perfect lipstick kiss. Before he can say another word, Meg boards the next train and leaves him at the station. Distressed, George heads into work and is amazed to spot Meg inside the building across the street. Desperate to catch her attention, George starts throwing paper airplanes at her window, until he finally throws the kiss-marked piece of paper. When this is unsuccessful, the forces have nature have to intervene to push the would-be lovers together. Charming and a bit of a nail-biter, Paperman speaks to the hopeless romantic in everyone. Beloved for its blended 2D and 3D animation style as well, this short is truly a diamond in the Disney collection.

Lou (2017)

Lou

Dedicated to the director’s (Dave Mullins) father, Lou is a sweet tale about a schoolyard bully and a lost-and-found toy box. Recess has just ended and the shadow of a creature (made up of assorted possessions) is seen picking up forgotten items. When the children re-enter the play area, they happily reclaim their toys from the lost-and-found box. Then, a bully named J.J. enters and proceeds to steal from his classmates. The lost-and-found creature (Lou) looks on in fury. Before J.J. can make an escape, Lou snatches his backpack containing the confiscated goods. They chase each other until Lou notices the bully’s name on his clothing and shows him a teddy bear marked “J.J.”. However; Lou refuses to hand it over, until J.J. returns each stolen toy. Reluctantly, J.J. starts to hand over the goods and is eventually softened as the children warm up to him. Delighted by the joy of giving, J.J. gives away each item until there is nothing left but his beloved teddy bear. Witty and extremely creative (particularly in the design and movements of Lou), this short will have you asking, “Did I just get attached to a pile of junk?” Yes. Yes, you did.

Piper (2016)

Piper

I am biased, but I’d say that Piper is not just a masterpiece, it’s a theatrical delicacy. Alan Barillaro’s award-winning film stars a hopelessly adorable baby sandpiper. Encouraged by her mother to forage for her own food, the sandpiper has to overcome her fears to move on from life in the nest. Not only is this beautifully animated, but Piper may be the most profound metaphor for life and how we handle its transitions. Who couldn’t relate to that little bird who leapt into the great unknown only to be crushed by a wave? And who hasn’t had to buckle down and withstand those same waves? Piper is what Pixar is all about. Taking simple mediums and using them to reflect the greatest desires of our hearts. Bless you Pixar.

If you missed any of these, I’d highly suggest you YouTube each feature for a satisfying (and possibly tearful) half hour. It will be time well spent.

8 Wonderful Dramedies

Ah, the dramedy. As an avid movie lover, this is my favorite genre (with animation on its heels). This is the genre that addresses the grey areas of life. With sorrow, there is joy. Humor comes from dark places, but self-deprecating comedy makes it bearable. The dramedy genre understands and respects these concepts completely. In this blog, I want to share some of my favorite dramedy flicks. The flicks that brighten my sour moods. The flicks that remind me I am not alone in my struggles. I hope these suggestions will bring comfort to you as well.

 

Juno

Juno 

While I find this film overrated, it deserves credit for introducing many to the dramedies. This smash-hit movie features a quirky teenager, Juno (Ellen Page), who just got impregnated by her boyfriend (Michael Cera). It doesn’t take her long to decide to put the baby-to-be up for adoption, but complications still arise. Juno’s relationship becomes strained with her boyfriend and she realizes the yuppie couple adopting her child aren’t as put-together as they seem. At its heart, this film is a reminder that we should all look beyond the surface and seek unconditional love.

 

Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Based on the Pittsburgh-authored novel, Perks of Being a Wallflower is a treasure. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a lost high school freshman until he is welcomed by a group of outcast seniors. Encouraged by the newfound relationships (while harboring a crush for his friend Samantha), Charlie learns to embrace who he is and eventually, finds courage to face his demons. Full of dry humor and painful growing moments, this movie explores the mountains and valleys of adolescence. Please keep in mind, I am not suggesting that this movie is only relevant to teenagers. After all, what could be more universal than the movie’s tagline “We accept the love we think we deserve.”?

 

Midnight in Paris

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Owen Wilson stars in this gorgeous Woody Allen tale. Successful screenwriter Gil (Wilson) finds himself on a Paris holiday with his overbearing fiancée and her parents. Unfortunately, he takes little pleasure in the vacation as he has become dissatisfied with his life. Yearning for the artistic period of the 1920s, he finds himself magically transported back to that era every time he walks the streets of Paris at midnight. While rubbing elbows with great literary figures, Gil finally has the opportunity to assess his own life’s work and purpose. Not only is this a beautiful film with fun celebrity cameos, it truly delves into the following questions – “Why am I here?” “How can I contribute?” and “If I keep glorifying the past, will I make anything of myself in the present?”

 

The Kings of Summer

 Kings of Summer

This coming-of-age flick has a unique edge over the other choices. This one really feels like someone just documented an unscripted summer vacation of 3 teenage boys. When Joe Toy (Rick Robinson) feels he can no longer live under the thumb of his extremely strict father (Nick Offerman), he decides to run away and live in the woods. He then ends up dragging along his friends. Not only does the audience get to enjoy the zany antics of these rebels, but they get to watch the hero work through heavy source material, such as the death of a loved one and fresh romantic heartache. Full of smart dialogue and realism, this movie also fulfills fantasies that most people had (at some point) while growing up. But it also reminds us that there is no shame in seeking the comfort and love of home.

 

What If

What-If-Movie-Images

Though it’s a rom-com at a glance, What If tells the love story of Hollywood’s most believable couple. This story centers on Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who has recently dropped out of med school and broken up with an unfaithful girlfriend. When he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at a party, the two have realistic chemistry, but of course, she’s taken. And of course, Wallace pursues the friendship anyway. Not only does he fall in love, but the newfound friendship enables him to address his own brokenness. And while the drama of the love triangle hogs the spotlight, this movie also cleverly addresses the true (and sometimes ugly) aspects of intimacy. Ending on a satisfying and genuine note, What If truly makes all chick flicks appear flimsier than ever.

 

The Skeleton Twins

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The comedic duo, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, star in the dark tale. Twins, Maggie and Milo, have become estranged in adulthood, but reconnect after Milo’s attempted suicide. Consequently, he then decides to stay with his sister and her new husband in their white picket fence home. Don’t be fooled though, Maggie is equally disturbed and reeling from their traumatic childhood. The painfully real moments are cushioned by the actors’ humor, which can’t help but show itself in unexpected and sometimes joyful scenes. All in all, The Skeleton Twins does a marvelous job of portraying sibling love and the grief of life never playing out quite as expected.

 

The Big Sick

 The Big Sick

This biopic flick about the life of comedian Kumail Nanjiani, is another movie that does not deserve the insulting “rom com” title. The Big Sick is based on the days when Kumail was an undiscovered talent. Falling away from the Muslim faith and resisting his parents’ wishes to marry a Pakistani girl, he meets a young woman named Emily. Although he falls very much in love, Kumail eventually begins to chafe under traditional pressure and his relationship (inevitably) falls apart. Just as he’s trying to make peace with this decision, Emily becomes terminally ill and through a series of events, he finds himself sitting at her bedside with her parents. Heartbreaking and charming, The Big Sick has every viewer wondering what they would be willing to sacrifice for their own happiness.

 

The Way Way Back

 The Way Way Back

Hilarious and insightful, The Way Way Back is the champion of this genre. When an awkward teenager, Duncan (Liam James), finds himself spending the summer in New England with his mom and her snake-like boyfriend (Steve Carell), he resigns himself to misery. Things continue to be abysmal, until he falls into a job at a waterpark and befriends the eclectic staff. Duncan’s confidence blossoms thanks to the care of a mentor (Sam Rockwell) and his first summer love (AnnaSophia Robb). (Sam Rockwell is undeniably the best character. His one liners and “devil may care” attitude is insanely charming.) Strengthened by these relationships, Duncan eventually assesses his life with stark honesty. Now while the film doesn’t have a fairytale ending per say, no one can doubt that this summer changed Duncan’s life for the better. And you will be happier for witnessing it.

 

If you have yet to check out any of these films, put them at the top of your list. All will satisfy the need to cry, the need to be encouraged, and the need to be reminded that something better is waiting for you.

Calling it Quits with Mr. Wrong

As many of you may know, I broke up with a longtime boyfriend-turned-fiancé, and I’ve been pretty silent about it on social media. Well, this isn’t the place to give the scoop. I could go on about how I found fault in my ex and why the relationship was irreparable, but this medium is neither appropriate nor necessary. Instead, I felt the need to share realizations I’ve had since I’ve had time to reflect. My hope (in addition to continued healing) is that others may benefit from what I’ve learned and will be able to assess their own romantic lives with clarity. Here are just a couple of tidbits…

New Save the Dates

Returning the Engagement Ring

If I can be blunt (and it’s embarrassing), I initially missed the engagement ring for the wrong reasons. Instead of treasuring the diamond as a promise, I felt a thrill in being a part of the elite “engaged/married” club. It felt good to flash the diamond if another man was being forward and to chime in with other women discussing weddings. But this isn’t why you get married. The truth is, anyone can buy a piece of jewelry. It takes a special person to be a good life partner. Honestly, I blame society for that fact it’s so easy to chalk your worth up to what is (or isn’t) on your left hand. Anyways, in the future, I want to be more excited for married life than how many “likes” I’ll get on an announcement post.

Canceling It

Because wedding planning is so stressful, many people tend to put the marriage aside in favor of the “day”. Well, I definitely got sidetracked by the event and it was gut-wrenching to call off a party I put so much effort into. Getting swept up by the wedding industry is a very real current, and I did my best to ride the waves. However; once the initial shock blew over, I found myself feeling more hopeful for the blank canvas of my future. If this wasn’t enough to tell me that I was planning a mere “event” to marry the wrong person, than I don’t know what is.

Pretty Church

Assessing What Went Wrong

“Actions speak louder than words” is an overused phrase, but the value of it cannot be underestimated. With any partner, watch what they do and not what they say they do. If a relationship becomes serious (moving towards a marriage and family), then it is within your right to trust, but verify what they tell you. Everything from expectations to past relationships to finances to family issues should be made transparent to you, and proof should be given if applicable. (This is a two-way street.) Oh, and if anyone tells you to forgive calculated deception because “marriage and relationships are sacrificial”, then just stop talking to that person.

The Aftermath

Anyone who has left a relationship, understands how long the days can feel. The person you constantly texted, emailed, talked to, or made plans with, has basically died. You can’t speak to them. Any communication with them is hurtful. Now, listen to me carefully. Your time is more valuable than this. You do not need someone to merely fill up your time. There are countless people in your life that you have to put up with. When it comes to a romantic partner, they should only be there to enhance your life (and vice versa). Take up a new hobby or binge-watch a show before you stay in a relationship just for company.

Redefining Your Type

Honestly, I don’t know exactly what my type is, but I do know one thing. No one wants to be with a boss or a sidekick. If you find yourself constantly trying to motivate your partner or are being dragged along by the nose, then you guys probably aren’t soulmates. (Not happy soulmates anyway…) Sure, healthy couples complement each other where one may be more of an extrovert, one may be more left-brained, etc. At the end of the day though, if there is too much of a spread between your personalities, then that could catch up with you.

Split Couple

Moving Forward

In the future, while I’ll make mistakes, I do feel confident that I am much better equipped to assess a healthy relationship. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that gut reactions are not to be ignored. Especially if it persists for a long time. Ladies especially, don’t buy into the lie that your intuition is unreliable because “women are emotional”. Actually, women can be quite insightful and perceptive. Don’t discount your feelings on the matter.

What else can I say, but here’s to the next chapter.

Also –

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.

– The Lion King

Rafiki-Talking-With-Simba

 

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad Reaction

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Anyone who has met me, wouldn’t be surprised to know that I treat all WDW park changes with some skepticism. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM) obviously has extreme changes happening in the next couple of years. Changes that won’t lend themselves well to the “Golden Age of Hollywood” motif. Personally, I love said motif, but I can also understand why it is falling out of style. The charm of Sunset Boulevard is no longer enough to lure thrill-chasing guests. The theme park world has changed.

 

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Also, Disney has never cornered the market on the Hollywood-theming. A less-frequent Hollywood Studios visitor could be blindfolded and dropped off in Universal Studios with relatively similar results. So, I get it. However, what always made Disney’s spin on the theming so unique wasn’t just that they glorified the era, but they gave careful attention to its history. The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show didn’t just play before your eyes; the actors broke the fourth wall, and educated the audience on stunt work. The Great Movie Ride didn’t just feature films in a slow dark ride; it featured a narrator discussing the history and impact of various genres. So, it has pained me to see more and more of these attractions (recently “One Man’s Dream”) be gutted before my very eyes. And then this past week, the D23 Expo finally announced the termination of my beloved Great Movie Ride.

 

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I wasn’t completely opposed when rumors pointed to a Mickey attraction (although, I don’t understand the cry of “Mickey Mouse finally has an attraction in WDW!” Isn’t Mickey himself the attraction?? I digress…). Anyways, I felt that an attraction that explored the evolution of Mickey would be a welcome addition to the park. The park itself may be overhauled, but we could still cling to this one ride that preserved the beauty of the creation process.

 

I was wrong. Instead of paying homage to Mickey himself, the new ride concept will feature a trackless car that will take guests through an original Mickey short.

 

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Here are the 2 major reasons for my reservations:

 

1.  This ride is the literal nail in the coffin for any attractions that feature the history of the parks/company.

 

2.  The animation style will mimic the most recent design of the ‘Fab Five’ characters (you may only be familiar with this style if you still turn on the Disney Channel or shop at your local Disney Store). Personally, I never took to this style (I’ve heard others term it as “disgusting”). Unfortunately, it reminds us both of the 90s cartoon, Ren and Stimpy, as opposed to any of the studio’s animated films. I can only hope that these designs will never come to life in physical meet & greet characters. These versions would be horrifying.

 

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In addition to that, these newer shorts all feature storylines that are written for toddlers. Considering that the company has found great success in creating movies that both adults and children can enjoy, I don’t understand why they’re yucking up the original cast. Frankly, it comes off as desperate.

 

Although I am excited for the majority of new additions, for me, this plan still comes across as patronizing, careless, and hopelessly “flavor of the week”. Similar to the Cinderella Birthday Cake debacle, I wonder how fans will look back on this trendy decision.

 

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“Once” Musical Episode Review

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It is unfortunate, but not rare, when a beloved show spirals down so epically, it completely abandons its fans in the wilderness. These folks wonder, “How on earth did I get here?” and “Why didn’t I turn back when I had the chance?” Such a thing has happened to almost every follower of ABC’s long-running series “Once Upon a Time”. When the show first came out (six seasons ago), the premise was engaging and put enough of a spin on the original fairytales to entice a large viewership. Unfortunately, the need to fatten wallets trumped the need to create a meaningful product. Thus, OUAT fell into the cyclical pattern of “Meet Villain – Beat Villain – Achieve Happiness – Meet Villain – Beat Villain – Achieve Happiness” so on and so forth…

 

Personally, I never got over the betrayal of the sloppy “Frozen” season. That debacle should’ve been enough to confirm that OUAT had officially reached “cash cow” status. However, I don’t think I truly realized how far gone the show was, until I suffered through the musical episode.

 

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It is no secret that musicals are “in”. Sparked by the success of the 2003 flick “Chicago”, our culture re-embraced musical theater including the creation of the popular show “Glee” and the return of live TV specials. (If you’ll recall, fans of ABC’s musical show “Galavant” were downright inconsolable when it wasn’t renewed for a third season.) So, yes…  In theory, dreaming up a musical episode for a Disneyfied television show makes complete sense. In practice however, I’d say that the crossover musical episode from The Flash/Supergirl/Arrow turned out to be far more bearable, maybe even far more enjoyable.

 

So, what actually happened in the OUAT musical special, and was anything done well? Surprisingly, yes. The episode opens up with a pre-curse scene. The power couple, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), are expressing that they don’t understand why they’ve just burst into song. Honestly; the number was adorable, the tune was catchy, and both Goodwin and Dallas had pleasant vocal chops. I found myself feeling amused that OUAT may be poking fun at the Disney formula. I was mistaken. From there, the episode cut to another “tragic” backstory scene of Emma as a foster child (because we obviously haven’t had enough of that). In this scene, Emma is crushed because she is told that she has no place singing in a talent show. Anyways, back in pre-curse fairytale land, Snow and Charming discover that their life is now a musical because they made a wish to stop the evil queen. Apparently, armies and weapons were in short supply, because the heroes are given the “power of music” to stop Regina. Through the mystical “power of music”, Emma will forever have her parents’ song in her heart to overcome all obstacles. Barf. Again, why did the writers have to address the music at all? Was anyone really begging for this flimsy explanation?

 

GINNIFER GOODWIN, JOSH DALLAS

 

For the most part, the vocals were fine (even great). Despite that, I can’t think of many things (outside of the opening number) that didn’t make me cringe. What was the most painful moment? Was it Regina’s scary jazzercise routine or Emma’s clenched teeth solo at the climax? Personally, I reached my breaking point when Regina, Snow, and Charming all engaged in a “belt-off”. This desperate-to-please spectacular was bursting with missteps that ranged from sad to pathetic.

 

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In conclusion, I think this episode offended me so deeply because it categorized everything that has gone wrong with the show. Even the cast is aware that OUAT is a sinkhole, as several main characters ended their contracts despite the renewal. Simply, OUAT is not what it was (and hasn’t been for a long time). If you think I’m being harsh, pop in any of the episodes from season 1 and follow it up with this cotton-candy fueled, gag-fest.

 

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Admittedly, I did chuckle when my favorite character (Rumpelstiltskin) smiled at the camera and refused to sing.  If only the others had followed his lead.

 

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