Fairy Tales on the Small Screen: Summing up the Salon

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Not so long ago, not so far away, a group of project participants and like minded individuals gathered to discuss the classic salon topic of fairy tales and this newfangled invention of television.

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Well, maybe television is not exactly bleeding edge, but it would certainly be foreign to those creating the genre of fairy tales in salons in the 18th and 19th century. We replicated these social and educational gatherings to celebrate and discuss what might be the end of the golden age of fairy tale television.

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Lauren kicked off the discussion by sharing Gypsy Thornton’s entry on Once Upon A Blog that claims “Thus Begins the End of the Fairy Tale TV Series Golden Age” right in the title. 

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The room discussed whether the age was ending, and even if there ever had been a golden age at all.

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Discussion went back and forth from fairy tales to television, then back to fairy tales again. Fairy tales is only one genre, and isn’t television in general going through a revolution now?

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Lauren broke out some hard data, graphing the trends of the frequency of different tales across both film and tv. The statistics on film came from The International Fairy-Tale Filmography and those on television from our database.

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We discussed the numbers for the shows that had been on during the “golden age” and how exactly these lined up with perceptions about the varying popularity and importance of each series.

 

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There was conversation on Nielsen ratings, the fall of Once Upon a Time, the relevancy of fairy tales, and the fickle nature of endings on television. Eventually Preston and Lauren presented their theory of the duality of fairy tale television: fairy tales have to end, they have a “Happily Ever After” but television is meant to both last for an indeterminate amount of time and be ready to end at any moment. Can there be a satisfying ending for any fairy tale series?

 

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Have any thoughts about fairy tales, television, or both? Find us on our Facebook page and visit our database , or let us know if you find anything missing. We hope to see you at the next event!

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