All parent member reviews for Once Upon a Time

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parents say

(out of 35 reviews)
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent Written bytravelnurse74 November 13, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Sexual Content is increasing drastically. Turning off

I think this show is just okay for adults and fun for tweens and teens. The show was going great (the language could be toned down - why can't they just say darn instead of da*n?) But my main issue was on tonight's episode, the Queen tells Henry she is going to her Saturday Meeting. Later they show her zipping up her dress talking about their "meetings" to a man in the shower and then leaves the hotel room saying "don't forget your socks under the bed." You later find out the man is the sheriff when he is under the bed getting the socks. I don't think this is necessary. It puts this family show, even for tweens in an awkward position of showing that men or women use sex for games/things they want. It would go over the head of younger kids but my 5th grader seemed to have an idea what was going on. I will be watching the shows ahead of time now and if any this unnecessary sexual content is shown again, we will turn it off. It is a shame. They could easily show this in a family friendly way for ages 8/9 and up but choose to gear it towards adults with language and sexual content. Problem is, it is a little too lame for adults but a little too much for kids. They can't teeter or they won't have any viewers. UPDATE: After watching one of the last shows, I have changed my stars from 4 to 2. The sheriff jumping out of the queen's window (instead of being at the humane society - nice, huh?) in the middle of the night. The blonde asking him why he is doing that with Henry there and his answer is "Well he is sleeping, he doesn't even know." Pathetic. Disgusting. My 10 year old said "I don't understand, what is going on, does he like the Queen?" Ugh. You can see this is going down a path of people using each other for sex. I completely understand why some shows have sexual content. We are not prudes. But again, this show could be an excellent family show and the sexual content is misguided and in no way makes the show any better. I hope many people write to ABC and the producers and ask them to clean it up and keep their tween/teen/family audience.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bybrown_eyed_girl October 28, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Would be better if they could clean up their mouths!

We were hoping this was going to be a show the whole family could enjoy together. The premise appealed to both ages and genders. I was disappointed at the language in a show airing at this time. We'll probably watch again but if it continues to be an issue will pull the plug.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written byMattemsam November 17, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Started off well, now too much adult content/sex

I was excited for a show that I could watch with my tween daughter and thought the first few episodes were fine. However, recent episodes feature themes and materials that are more adult, i.e.: the mayor/evil queen having an affair with the sheriff, the concept of "selling" the baby of an unwed mother. And the bad language is unnecessary. It is obviously not an adult show, so why not make it truly family-friendly? Future episodes will be pre-screened. Very disappointed in ABC. Edited to add: the adult content continues. This show is not appropriate for my 12-year-old daughter.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byhappytohelp October 27, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

So far, so good!

So far, so good. My 12-year-old daughter loved it. She enjoyed the twist on the fairy tales and character development in present time.There wasn't anything in the first episode that she hasn't already been exposed to in other shows or movies. We are typically very conservative with what we allow her to watch but she is reaching an age where she will be exposed to some things despite our efforts. She's quick to point out "that was inappropriate" or acknowledge that bad words didn't need to be used for the scene to have impact. She is creative and bright and this show appeals to her imagination. Funny thing is, she pretty much ignored any inappropriate words and only commented on what she felt didn't make sense in the plot! Overall, the "good vs. evil" message has the potential to yield good role models in the present-day fairy tale characters who don't even know who they are but still live by the same positive values.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent Written byalpha23 December 11, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

ONLY dialogue for the first 15 minutes was about one night stands

In the episode on 12/11/11 the ONLY dialogue that the 3 female characters had for the first 15 minutes was about one night stands they each were having. That is the only kind of sex she has said the blond. As the Sheriff got out of bed he said to the woman "you never want me to stay after". The words "one night stand" were used at least 5 times in the first 15 minutes. The male characters were pursuing supernatural villians. It was like a daytime drama (females) cutting to supernatural mystery with the male characters. I couldn't stand watching more.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byMotherGinger November 20, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Significantly more adult content in recent episodes

Our family loved the show until 11/13/11, when they decided to make nearly the whole show about sex. The rating on this category certainly needs to be updated. The queen is shown zipping up her dress after sex with the sheriff; the plot is about an unwed mother whose boyfriend has left her; there is a strong agenda about "No one should be able to tell someone she shouldn't be a mother if she wants to be." The last point makes for an interesting discussion with teens, but is a little too close to proselytization to pass undiscussed. The other two points were just inappropriate for my younger children. We'll be pre-screening the next few episodes (and maybe watching them at the same time the next week - love the Sunday night time slot for family TV!) and if the trend continues, leaving this one alone. Here's hoping ABC gets to know its audience a bit better.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written bysimonmbrooks October 31, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

so so

I watched the first episode and thought it was so so. The acting when we are in the 'real world' is great. But when we are transported to the land of fairy it seems to lose it completely. Why can't tv companies have actors act and not ham it up with melodrama and sap when it comes to fairy tales or go over the top 'ooo, I am the bad witch - fear me!' Most fairy tales are full of blood, gore etc, not the normal fare for young kids. So why go coy? Keep it real. Having said that I have an 11 year old and would not let him watch this because of the language. But you can do these things without bad language, in all the folk and fairy tales I have read (thousands, I am a storyteller), there is NO bad language. What's the point? Lowest common denominator?
Parent Written bySamOnline April 30, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Gruesome

Very violent show. Several murders including a whole village killed and the dead bodies were stacked in a gruesome display. Not for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byhelper + February 9, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

looks bad

it looks so bad and violent
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymlmcgu January 12, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Alittle too much social drinking and increasing sexual innuendos.

I think there is too much social drinking in this show. They also mention that a drink is "needed" at times of stress. I agree with one of the other reviews that the sheriff hopping out the window and insinuated sex while the kid is "asleep" is just wrong. We will keep watching and if it increases, I will not let my tween watch it. I think it goes over her head now, but will continue to monitor. I do like the show and like the magical aspect. I wish they would clean it up more.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bykeggebeen October 24, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

An entertaining drama for our whole famliy

It was enjoyable to have our whole family (mom, dad & kids ages 12, 12 & 13) sit down together and watch this show. We watch movies together, but rarely do we find a drama show that all of us can sit together and enjoy. My kids loved the fantasy aspect of it and being able to pick out in the 'reality' world who they played in the 'fantasy' world. We're looking forward to next week!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 12 year old Written byekim October 20, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Soap

This had the potential to be very good - a new twist on old stories. However it turned out to be just another adult soap opera. Everybody in this series is morally bankrupt, from the bisexual princess to the adulteress princess...
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 10 year old Written byditzyleopard September 6, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

No-go for young-uns, more of an adult/teen soap opera...

As someone who loves and values the power in fairy tales, I would not consider these to be geared towards the G-rated disney kind. If you have a mature tween, maybe. But this drama series is a bit too deep for most kids. So, record it, DVR it, or just watch it on Netflix after the younger kiddos are in bed...unless they grew up hearing such stories as the collection of traditional Grimm stories, and Struwwelpeters lustige Geschichte.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byINMH March 24, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Great for Kids and Adults

This series does an AMAZING job of balancing between kid-friendly versions of the fairytales and darker versions. Some of the themes might be a bit too adult for kids (Sexual episodes *though infrequent* as well as violence), and pre-viewing the episode might be the best way to determine on a regular basis if that episode is right for your child. But otherwise, the villains and the heroes are pretty clearly defined here, and while the heroes are not perfect, they continue to be mostly positive role models for children.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bytreat02 February 17, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

good for kids!

i actully think that this is good. it is good for kids, mine like it. i think that if you really want something good for your kids this is it. it might interest them because of the fairy tales. they are original. the characters are all stuck in one place exept for one--Emma, the main character, Emma has a child that she had to give away and she finds hin in storybroke (The town,) and she finds him with an evil queen. she looks normal but everyone in storybrooke is a character from a fairy tale. Emma has to help him restore the fairy tales and the people....
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byOlenka November 27, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Sunday Family TV Night is Back!

Remember when we were kids and Disney hosted Sunday's family movie night? Well, this brings those memories back for me! Superbly written, beautifully produced and clever storyline for everyone to gather around and watch together. Watch it, get hooked and hopefully TV execs will crank out more quality shows like this one. We ALL love it (dad too!!)
Adult Written bydr dew October 31, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

depends on the child

me and my family have been realy enjoying this program so far and can not wait till next week to hear more of the storie but i do think you need to know your child before you let them watch as some kids may be more sencitive than my siblings are
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byMovieLover92 April 13, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Good touch up of classic fairytales

Once Upon A Time first aired my freshman year of college and when I watched the first episode, I was very intrigued. I found enchanted but at the same time very dark. I liked how the show showed the past of the fairytale characters in fairytale land and then show the present day and somehow connect them together. The characters are very complex characters which I really enjoy about them. The heroes aren't entirely good and the villains aren't entirely evil. Each character has their own good and bad traits. In this show, you really learn how far people are willing to go in order to get love, power, and revenge. The main focus point of the series, I think, is love. Especially when Regina and Emma are constantly battling each other for Henry. Every characters wants to find some form of love whether in romance or friendship. Everyone is seeking it. The characters are likable and realistic. In the beginning of the series, I absolutely hated Regina but now as season 2 is coming close to the finale, I'm starting so sympathize for her. I find Regina to be a very misunderstood. She a person who is always constantly causing pain in people's lives but at the same time she desperately wants people to love her but she does it in a wrong way. Once Upon A Time is a great show for people of all ages. I think everyone can get something out of it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written byAspi January 10, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Wonderful twists on stories that older (10+) kids will appreciate

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byNels November 8, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Great show for watching with your tweens and older

My 9-year-old daughter and I are about 15 episodes into the show and are really getting into it. She loves how it's based on fairy tales, how it shifts back and forth between two worlds, and catching all the little references and jokes. I enjoy all that as well, plus get caught up in the drama and romance. The overall messages are very positive (if a little sappy, depending on your point of view): there is love and happiness out there for everyone, you should follow your dreams, you should always tell the truth, and good will eventually prevail over evil. As for offensive content, I could imagine some parents not liking the language or roundabout references to sex, though they're fairly tame. Some scenes and characters could be scary for certain kids, though it's much milder than a series like Harry Potter. Personally, I wish that drinking alcohol weren't so often shown as a way for adult characters to deal with stress. Overall, I strongly recommend this show as a great choice for enjoying with your kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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