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Sidelined Henry needs some better parents on Once Upon a Time

- April 15th, 2013

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Maybe part of what’s occurring on Once Upon a Time this season can be explained by the wisdom of Patty and Selma Bouvier on The Simpsons.

In a long-ago episode of The Simpsons where they were flashing back to the story of Lisa’s first words, toddler Bart, feeling threatened by baby Lisa, was preening for attention.

Bart’s aunts Patty and Selma glared at him. One of them coldly observed, “The older they get, the cuter they ain’t.”

Same could be said for most of us, to be fair.

But does that philosophy relate to the conspicuous sidelining of Henry, played by Jared Gilmore, on Once Upon a Time?

It’s the perfect week to consider the state of sophomore fantasy drama Once Upon a Time, which airs Sundays on ABC and CTV. This past Sunday, a new retrospective episode titled “The Price of Magic” looked back at how the residents of Storybrooke have handled themselves and their surroundings since their fairy-tale memories were restored.

Season one had a very cool framework: Fairy-tale characters had been cursed to live in our world, unaware of their true identities.

This season the characters realize who they are – Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood, Jiminy Cricket, etc. Some of them want to get back to their own world and some of them don’t. But as it stands, if they leave Storybrooke and venture into any other part of our world, their minds go blank and they forget everything.

The thing that’s exasperating about the Henry character this season is that he is experiencing some of the worst parenting in TV history.

With all manner of dangerous and magical mayhem occurring, every time Henry walks into a room, the adults awkwardly change the subject. “Don’t tell Henry” is by far the most repeated phrase on Once Upon a Time.

Don’t tell Henry? Are you serious?

Henry is the reason all of this is happening in the first place!

It was Henry who brought his biological mom Emma (Jennifer Morrison) to Storybrooke, because only he understood that Emma could break the curse.

So now, after Henry spent a year convincing the dim adults in his life that they unwittingly were trapped in something beyond their comprehension, those same adults are patronizing him?

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson‘s Col. Jessep character in the movie A Few Good Men, “You don’t think Henry can handle the truth?”

I’ll bet he can. He probably even can help.

I know Henry isn’t as cute as he was in season one. Perhaps it has affected his camera time. It happens with child actors. In real life, Gilmore turns 13 next month.

But that merely emphasizes Henry is getting older, not younger. He should be able to handle more, not less. They’ve turned the character into an annoying little resentful wimp.

Apparently even fairy-tale heroes can be crappy moms and dads.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

The Amazing Cult on the March to the Jeselnik Offensive; TV must-sees for this week

- February 17th, 2013

Amazing Race cast - season 22

 

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 17:

 

1) The Amazing Race

Why you should watch: So, everybody keeps trying to tell me what a “small world” it is. So how is it that this series is entering its 22nd season (participants are pictured above) and they still keep finding exotic places to visit in different countries? Ex-NHL player Bates Battaglia is one of the competitors this time.
When: Sunday on CBS, CTV

 

2) Cult

Why you should watch: In the series debut, investigative journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis) begins to delve into the dark underworld of a TV show called Cult, and its super-devoted fans. Yes, it’s one of those show-within-a-show things.

When: Tuesday on CW, CTV Two

 

3) Killing Lincoln

Why you should watch: Narrated on-screen by Tom Hanks and starring Billy Campbell in the title role, this two-hour historical drama isn’t a biopic, but rather focuses specifically on the assassination of the 16th president of the United States.

When: Sunday on National Geographic Channel

 

4) Leverage

Why you should watch: In the series finale, Nate (Timothy Hutton) takes a case linked to his son’s death. But when the job goes bad, Interpol interrogates Nate and tries to figure out not only what went wrong, but also what he really was seeking.

When: Monday on Super Channel

 

5) March to the Top

Why you should watch: A documentary about emotional and physical rehabilitation as 12 injured Canadian soldiers attempt to work together to climb the 20,305-foot Island Peak in Nepal.

When: Full-length version Sunday on Documentary Channel; one-hour version Monday on CBC

 

6) Come Date With Me

Why you should watch: An offshoot of the series Come Dine With Me, this new foray sees four eligible suitors try to out-dine, out-shine and out-date each other for the heart of one hottie. You know, just like every night in all bars.

When: Wednesday on W

 

7) The Jeselnik Offensive

Why you should watch: Comedian Anthony Jeselnik has produced some of the most fearless, or offensive, or hilarious Tweets (depending upon your point of view) that I ever have read. You may have seen him on some of those celebrity roasts. Now he gets his own series.

When: Tuesday on Comedy

 

8) Revenge

Why you should watch: The Graysons host their annual Labour Day party – my God, these people throw a lot of parties. Meanwhile, Jack and “Faux-manda” embark upon what is sure to be a stress-free honeymoon.

When: Sunday on ABC, City

 

9) The Good Wife

Why you should watch: Tensions flare when Will and Diane ask Alicia and Cary to face off against them in a mock trial. Hey, remember “Mock Trial with J. Reinhold” on Arrested Development? Now that was funny.

When: Sunday on CBS, Global

 
10) Once Upon a Time

Why you should watch: While Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) seek out Mr. Gold’s son in New York, Regina (Lana Parrilla) attempts to track down one of Rumplestiltskin’s most treasured possessions back in Storybrooke.

When: Sunday on ABC, CTV

 

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv