“Once Upon a Time” shouldn’t work. The premise, which involves co-existing worlds of well-known fairytales and their characters living in a modern-day town, could have been annoying and clichéd and sugary-sweet enough to make everyone bob for poisoned apples. Instead, the ABC storybook drama became one of the biggest breakout hits of 2011.
“Once Upon a Time” can be cheesy, but it’s undeniably fun (a.k.a. Prince Charming is hot). The actors have fun, the costume director has fun (Snow White dresses like a badass) and whoever thought it’d be cool to cast Gus from “Breaking Bad” as the Evil Stepmother’s magic mirror/Aladdin’s genie totally had fun.
OUAT returns Sunday for its sophomore season, and the creators have already done a ton of things right, including promoting Emilie de Ravin’s psych-ward Belle to series regular and promising appearances from Mulan, Tinker Bell and (maybe) the Little Mermaid. They can make fans even happier, though, by letting these fairytale fan faves have some screen time:
(Disclaimer: Already aware that haters gonna hate on the casting choices, but keep in mind the key word here is “wish” list.)
Brief bio: Little blonde kid who gets lost in the woods, finds herself at a bear’s cottage, then breaks a bunch of their stuff, eats their food and sleeps in their beds.
Why she needs to come to Storybrooke: OUAT could have bought into the “damsel in distress” princess-y mentality, but instead, all of their female characters are badasses. Goldie would fit right in among the sword-slinging Snow and werewolf babe Red Riding Hood. Maybe she could be Buffy-fied, but instead of vampires, she hunts bears. Except not baby ones. Because that’s awful.
Who: Taylor Swift. It’s a long shot, obviously, but who else has the titular golden locks? Plus, she still needs to redeem herself for “Valentine’s Day” and that time she went on a date with Tim Tebow.
Brief bio: Native American warrior princess famous for singing about the colors of the wind and canoeing down rivers. Disney tricked us into thinking her encounters with white people were all hunky-dory makeout sessions with John Smith. Real-life Pocahontas was still a badass, but she wore more clothes.
Why she needs to come to Storybrooke: OUAT blurs the definition of “fairytale,” so while Pocahontas was totally real life, she’d still be right at home being a mega-activist tree-hugging babe or something. There’s so much forest around that there are bound to be raccoon and hummingbird sidekicks somewhere.
Who: Shay Mitchell from “Pretty Little Liars.” She looks the part, obviously, but this will give her a chance to get away from PLL. How is that not a dream come true for anyone?
Brief bio: Hot bandit who steals from the rich to give to the poor.
Why he needs to come to Storybrooke: Last season, everyone spent half the episodes pondering whether scruffy and attractive Sheriff Graham could be the Sheriff of Nottingham, or even Robin Hood. Turns out, OUAT writers were all, “Psych!” and revealed him to be the Huntsman of Snow White lore. Which is fine, because the Huntsman made sense for the storyline at the time and no one was going to complain when Jamie Dornan took his shirt off all the time anyway. But still. This leaves room for Robin in season two. And please god let there be tights.
Who: Jesse Spencer. What? It’s not like he’s doing anything with his life now that “House “is over except starring in a drama about firefighters in Chicago (the ingeniously titled “Chicago Fire”).
Brief bio: Mulan’s love interest, a.k.a. the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” stud.
Why he needs to come to Storybrooke: So he can sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
Who: Any hot guy who can sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
Brief bio: Streetsmart purple vest enthusiast who finds a genie lamp, saves Agrabah from a pointy-bearded psycho and falls in love with a princess even though she’s in desperate need of a hair makeover and thinks it’s okay to keep huge exotic animals as pets.
Why he needs to come to Storybrooke: It’s pretty much been confirmed that Aladdin is on the sched for season two. The only thing not confirmed is casting, so . . .
Who: Avan Jogia. Look at that picture. Enough said.
Who’s on your “Once Upon a Time” wish list this season? Send Holly love (or hate) tweets because of her choices. She appreciates the attention either way.