Last night I finally watched the season finale of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. In case you don’t know, Once Upon a Time is a television show about fairy tale characters including Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, the various Princes Charming (you know, all the biggies) who are cursed by a wicked queen to live ordinary lives in the small town of Story Brooke, Maine. They wander around, doing regular things without any idea that they were once a princess or a wolf or a conscientious cricket. Only we know who they really are.
In spite of the occasional touch of cheesiness, a certain little boy I could do without, and the town’s constantly smirking mayor, Once Upon a Time has become one of my favorite shows. In part, it’s because I’m a sucker for stories about the struggle between good and evil, light and dark, and the complications that come from trying to figure out which is which, but there’s something else I really like about this show. Last night I finally figured out what it is. All the girls kick ass. Little Red Riding Hood is the wolf, not his victim. Emma Swan, the show’s heroine, slays dragons and fearlessly takes on the evil queen. Snow White saves Prince Charming at least as often as he saves her. And she’s not a dope who’s tricked into eating the apple that renders her lifeless, she’s a hero who eats it willingly to save someone she loves. I think the world needs more of this – more stories about girls who slay dragons and are as capable of rescuing as they are of being rescued.
That’s part of the reason I love reading urban fantasy. Heroines who aren’t afraid to get a little dirty (take that however you like) are at the center of the genre – whether it’s Sookie Stackhouse or Mackayla Lane or Georgina Kincaid. What attracts you to the genre? Who’s your favorite UF heroine? Tell me all about it in the comments.