Three years ago today, the Once Upon a Time pilot aired, bringing some much-needed magic to primetime network television. I will admit; I didn’t watch the show that first night. But I caught a marathon of the first seven episodes on New Year’s Day 2012, and it was love at first sight for me. I knew from the opening of the pilot episode that I was watching something special, and I know I wasn’t the only person who felt that way. And three years (or almost three years in my case), dozens of plot twists and new characters, and far too many hours spent analyzing this show later, so many of us still feel that way. And that’s something worth celebrating.
Once Upon a Time and Nerdy Girl Notes are intrinsically linked. The day I first watched the show was also the day I made the resolution to start this website. In no small way, Once Upon a Time has shaped the look and feel of NGN more than perhaps any other piece of media I’ve written about. Nothing inspires me as a writer like Once Upon a Time (just in case you didn’t already know that from the length of my weekly posts or the number of essays I’ve written about this show), and I am forever grateful that I found a show to write about that challenges me the way this show does with each new episode.
Once Upon a Time has taught me to write from a place of optimism and positivity. It’s taught me that it’s okay to acknowledge flaws, but it’s also important to acknowledge the good stuff—and there’s always good stuff. It’s helped me see that writing for me is a lot like magic for this show’s characters—it’s all about emotion. I write my best when I write from my heart, and Once Upon a Time celebrates the beauty and power of approaching everything with an open heart. Because of that, this show has undoubtedly made me a braver writer. It’s helped me feel like it’s okay to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I know for a fact I’m a better writer because of that.