2012 Emmy debate: Can ‘Once Upon a Time’ break through?

For the newest chapter of our Emmy debate series, we are looking at a show that really established itself as one of the biggest new dramas on TV just within the span of a year — and it’s also one of the few shows out there that the whole family can enjoy.

Of course, we are talking about ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” — a show that has an outside chance of scoring some love in the major categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards when the nominations are announced later this month. However, the key words here are “outside chance.” The Outstanding Drama Series category seems set in stone already, and its best chance the show may have is in some of the individual fields for its stars.

The case for “Once Upon a Time”

Wouldn’t it be nice for the Emmys to recognize something different? Even though this show can accessible to everyone, that does not mean it is less worthy than a serious drama a la “Homeland.” It was a commercial success, has some strong characters, and it would be a change of pace for a voting committee that likes to gush all over cable series over what’s playing on major networks.

Even if the Drama Series category is too elusive for the show at the moment, it’s hard to deny Robert Carlyle’s incredible performance as Rumpelstiltskin / Mr. Gold. He is the show’s best shot at getting some love in a major category, and following him we would probably single out Ginnifer Goodwin, whose status on “Big Love” made her into an awards-show darling.

The case against “Once Upon a Time”

First things first, you have to look at genre — and the fact that there is one other fantasy show already on the table in “Game of Thrones” will make it harder for an awards show to recognize two. Then, there’s also an issue of consistency — while there were some episodes in particular in the latter half of the year that were incredible, the show did get off to a shaky start at times early on. David / Prince Charming was not made out to be the Prince we would want to like, and his relationship with Snow White does not always have the effect that we would want it to.

At the end of the day, we also have to bring up the competition. “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Downton Abbey” are all locks for Outstanding Drama Series — and their stars are poised to dominate some of the other categories. We know it’s hard not to sound like a broken record here, but it’s the truth.

Do you think that this fairy tale is one that should have a happily ever after at the Emmy Awards? Be sure to vote in the poll below, and feel free to share your comments!

Photo: ABC

 

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