Lost writers rejoin ABC line-up with Once Upon a Time

It looks like we’ll be getting two fairy-tale mystery shows this fall.

Recently, I showed you the trailer for the new police procedural show with a fairytale theme, Grimm. Now ABC has announced that they want in on the same set of fantasy elements, although they seem to be focusing more on ‘Disney Princess’ type mythology than Grimm’s tales. The new series will be written and executive produced by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz of Lost fame.

Jennifer Morrison (best known as Dr. Cameron on House, M.D.) is a young woman who has found herself in the middle of a strange sequence of events which point to a deep mystery. In the town of Storybrook, the son she once gave up for adoption finds her and tells her that all is not as it seems.

Many years ago, back in the time of legends and magic, a wicked witch placed a curse on Storybrook. It was to be frozen in time, and all of its ageless residents – characters from tales of legend – would forget their true identities. The spell seems to have encompassed the witch herself, and now the residents play out the same dramas over and over again for eternity, though their style and technology manages to improve with the outside world.

The young woman must discover the secrets of the town to survive it, and she must break the curse if she is to escape.

Honestly, Once Upon a Time looks like Desperate Housewives with weird fairytale flashbacks mixed in.

It will likely be melodramatic and over-mystified, and the characters will suffer from serious plot-blindness at nearly every turn.

That seems to be the kind of stuff that people like lately, however, so I would count on some high ratings, at least at first, as all the Desperate Housewives fans give it a chance.

As we discovered with Gates, however, a soapy melodrama can’t rest on fun fantasy elements alone.