So here's a modern concept: I watch all my TV online. I have never been able to guarantee that I'm going to be home a certain time every week to catch whatever show I'm currently drooling over, so the fact that Hulu, Netflix and networks themselves put full episodes online fills my little heart with glee. Right now, among other great shows, my girlfriend and I are catching up on ABC's Once Upon a Time. During one of these cutesie date nights by laptop light, I realized the show has a neat allegoric to one of our most treasured principals- we lived before we came here.
The show follows a bunch of fairy tale characters, namely Snow White and Prince Charming, who are placed under a powerful spell by the evil Queen to be teleported to a distant land where all their happily ever afters are taken away. This manifests in the form of a small town in Maine called Storybrook, where all the fairy tale characters live without memories of their prior selves. The only way to break the curse is if Snow White and Charming's daughter, a freaking awesome bounty hunter named Emma Swan, who was protected from the curse by an enchanted wardrobe forged by Gepphetto. I know, this sounds like if Buffy the Vampire Slayer slammed into Kingdom Hearts, but stick with me I'm getting somewhere.
The only people who know the curse exists at all is the evil Queen, now manifested as the mayor of Storybrook, and her son Henry. An interesting twist is that Henry is actually Emma's son, that she put up for adoption and was snatched up by the Queen. Henry knows about the curse because of a storybook his teacher, the former Snow White gave him, that has the history of the land before they all showed up in Maine. The show flashes between Storybrook and fairytale land to reveal plot points and show what the characters were like and what they did before the curse.
I know why I get teary eyed at the idea that "everyone's happily ever after was taken away", it's because this really isn't the place where happily ever after is. That place is yet to come.