Tim: Hi & welcome to a special edition of The Magic of Storybrooke. As today, Iâ€™ll be interviewing the hosts behind the excellent Once Upon A Time fan podcast, Greetings From Storybrooke. Please welcome to my small little blog, Bill Meeks and Anne Marie DeSimone. Thank you so much for joining me, and for my readers that may not be familiar with you or your work, could you provide some insight into what you do on Greetings from Storybrooke?
Absolutely! Thanks so much for reaching out. Basically we talk Once Upon a Time. We ship, we spoil, we do silly commentaries, but most of all we break it apart and discuss all the pieces. Characters, themes, theories… You name it, we dish it.
Tim: I guess I should next ask both of you what drew you to Once Upon A Time in the beginning?
Bill: I heard about Once Upon a Time and immediately assumed it was a ripoff of the comic series Fables ABC had tried to adapt the previous year. It really burned me that one of my favorite comics got the short shrift so I decided not to watch it. A few weeks after it started airing I read an interview with Bill Willingham where he said he’d talked to Adam and Eddy and he was cool with it. So I started watching it on my own and really enjoying it. By the time I got to Episode 4 I was in love, particularly with Rumple. By the time Season 1 ended I was super excited about the show and pretty down that nobody I knew was watching it. I advocated it to everybody I knew, but most rolled their eyes and went back to watching Fringe or something.
Anne Marie: *hand raised* I was queen of the eyerollers. Then I gave it a shot because of Ginnifer Goodwin and my love of her character on Big Love. It didn’t take long to become addicted and I marathoned through the entire first season in less than a week.
Tim: What would you consider to be the showâ€™s best episode and worst episode? Now, I know in the past that you have laid the hateroade pretty thick on Tallahassee from season 2, is that still the most hated episode in your opinion?
Anne Marie: I don’t know if I have a “favorite” episode but I enjoyed Season 1 where we would get a character’s backstory and how it was relevant to the current plotline. It felt like things were a bit more in depth and a bit more interesting. I hated “The Tower”. It felt like a waste of a character and a waste of a story. Yeah, it got us where we needed to go but it could have been more interesting.
Bill: We actually did a commentary for Tallahassee a couple months ago and we actually thought it was pretty decent! I think that time in Emma’s life had just been so built up that it felt like a disappointment. Knowing what we now know about Neal it’s actually a bit more interesting. I think my favorite set of episodes was the last few episodes of the Neverland arc. From the throwdown through the finale it was high stakes, and that finale could have been a season finale. Tied up a lot of the themes and plots they set up in Season 1. Least favorite episode now? Probably the episode where we got the big sister reveal on the Wicked Witch. It felt one relative too many. Love the witch though!
Tim: Who is your favorite character and do you think you relate to that character or is there a different character that you relate to more and if so, which character would that be?
Bill: Rumple, Rumple, Rumple, Rumple, Rumple, Rumple. Rumple. Did I mention Rumple, because if not that’s it. Especially in Season One, and more so lately, he’s the one character that always keeps you guessing. Even when he was on the side of the angels he was just a bit shady. As far as what character I relate to? Probably Regina as we both have similar cleavage.
Anne Marie: It was Snow White who got me into the show but I absolutely fell in love with Neal and his entire complex story line. #SwanFire4eva I don’t think I really can relate to anybody because I’m not a fairy tale character. Actually I guess I would relate to Henry? LOL
Bill: So I guess we’re both enamored of Rumple’s bloodline, eh?
Anne Marie: True Story
Tim: The Frozen arc from the beginning of this season has divided fans as some thought that Disney was pushing their latest blockbuster into Once , while Adam and Eddie have said that they called up Disney to ask for permission to use the characters. One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen regarding the Frozen arc is that the creators weren’t allowed to alter the characters from what we saw in the animated movie, do you think the Frozen arc was a success in terms of bringing the characters of Arendelle into the Once-Verse or not? If not, what do you think could have made it better?
Anne Marie: The fact that they weren’t able to alter the characters (even in costume) from the movie really hurt them. One of the nice things about ONCE is getting to see how these fairy tale characters function in a modern world (and modern dress). That being said I was the biggest supporter of them until they showed up. Maybe it was just the Snow Queen I hated.
Bill: Agreed. They weren’t able to put that “Once Twist” on the story at all which is, like 70% of the appeal of the show. Seeing Cinderella as a single mom or Snow White beating birds with a broom. I think the actresses did fine, especially Anna, but the two different storytelling approaches just didn’t gel. I’m interested to see how they handle Cruella since she’s a purely Disney creation like Elsa. Hopefully since there are decades and additional movies between the original they’ll let Adam and Eddy have a little more fun with this one. 🙂
Tim:As someone that watched every episode of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, I was ecstatic that they brought Will onto Once Prime but now I feel as though they havenâ€™t done much with him? Would you agree with that and also are there any other Wonderland characters youâ€™d like to see on the main show?
Bill: Love Will. He was great on the BBC version of Being Human too. He was sidelined in the first half but I hear we’ll be getting some answers on why he isn’t in Wonderland anymore. Exciting!
AM: my excitement for Will is HUGE! He pretty much saved Wonderland for me. I think he was meant to be a bigger character in 4A pre Frozen approval, so I cannot wait to see what 4B has in store!
Bill: We met in college doing Theater in West Virginia. I was the stage manager for a children’s production of Hansel and Gretel. Anne Marie was in it.
AM: I honestly do not remember Bill until the cast party when we were giving him out thank you gift HA!
Tim: What made you decide that you wanted to do a podcast about Once Upon A Time?
Bill: I’d been looking for a niche to do a podcast on for awhile. When I couldn’t find anybody else into Once I thought I’d evangelize it. As we got into it I realized how much fun analyzing serialized stories was. That’s probably one of the main reasons I’ve kept doing it.
AM: I needed the hard sell! Since Bill presented it to me as similar to Fables I resisted. Comic books are NOT my thing. I don’t remember what episode he was telling me about that got me to give it a try, but once I watched an episode I marathoned them all to catch up.
Tim: Are there any moments from Greetings from Storybrooke that stand out as particular favorites?
Bill: The Johanna Did It episode was a highlight (http://www.greetingsfromstorybrooke.com/episodes/episode-19-johanna-did-it/). It was the first time we hit that absurd insight that marks the best moments on our shows. I still hope they proved my theory true someday.
AM: the opening to season 2! We had just started the show and I think had only published our episode zero when there was THE POSTCARD with our show title on it! We were so excited like the show was destiny…oh, and we met Neal *swoon*
Tim: And finally, where could anyone that is interested in listening to your Greetings from Storybrooke or any of your other podcasts be able to find you?
Bill: We both do a podcast about the Fox show Gotham called Legends of Gotham, and just started a new show called Universe Box. Both are up in iTunes. You can also check out my original superhero novels at DogboyAdventures.com.
AM: I also have a blog, Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated (www.crunchycrafty.com) where I write about food and crafts while drinking too much coffee. We like to stay busy 🙂
Tim: I’d once again Bill and Anne Marie for allowing me this opportunity to interview them. As I started listening to their podcast right around the same time I started watching Once Upon A Time and in a way, Greetings From Storybrooke gave me the idea to write about Once and inspired The Magic of Strorybrooke, I hope that you all have enjoyed this special interview. Again, you can find their podcast at greetingsfromstorybrooke.com