'Once Upon a Time' Needed 'Frozen' After a Lackluster Season & Convoluted Plots
If there's one thing that Once Upon a Time needs, it's Frozen. That statement would have been kind of ridiculous before the revelation that OUAT would be incorporating Frozen into season four, much to the elation of just about everyone. Even people who don't watch the show have been watching the clip of Elsa rising from the time portal and strutting out of the barn over and over again.
As with most television shows that have been on for a long time, Once Upon a Time has had its fair share of ups and downs. The people who continue to watch it are the people who are in for the long haul and even some of those diehard fans have found something else to fill their Sundays with after certain events in season three. There's no way of knowing how many seasons Once Upon a Time would have been renewed for without the addition of Frozen, but if the show plays its cards right then the popularity from Frozen could keep it going for a lot more seasons to come.
Of course, it's unlikely that Elsa and anyone else who might come over from the movie will become permanent residents of Storybrooke rather than just one arc in an ongoing saga, but there are many reasons why adding Frozen to Once Upon a Time was the best move the show could have made right now.
1. The Plots Were Getting Convoluted
Once Upon a Time is one of those shows with a storyline that is impossible to explain to a first time viewer. It isn't just that the characters have been through a lot in only three seasons. The show also runs on the power of flashbacks to the events that made the characters who they are today and trying to order them chronologically to recount that story can take hours. Elsa's presence might distract people from the ongoing quest to figure out which flashback happened when.
2. There Were Too Many Contrived Coincidences
What are the chances that practically every single person in town is related to Henry and the rest of Snow White's family? It seems like every time there's a new arc on Once Upon a Time, we inevitably end up having to break out Henry's family tree and add new branches. Perhaps the most egregious example was Henry's father turning out to be none other than Baelfire, Rumplestiltskin's lost son. As long as OUAT avoids having Elsa turn out to be Snow White's long lost sister then we might be willing to let it go.
3. It Was Hard for New Viewers to Catch Up
Once Upon a Time isn't the kind of show you can watch in the middle of a season and expect to be able to figure out what's going on. The season three finale changed the origin story of Snow White and Prince Charming, which makes the season one episode explaining it more or less obsolete now. However, there's so much buzz surrounding Elsa's appearance that people might watch the whole series from the beginning just to understand the events that led her to Storybrooke.
4. There Were Too Many Missing Characters
Storybrooke takes advantage of the fact that it's a big town to hide characters from the audience for seasons at a time. Kathryn Nolan aka Princess Abigail showed up in the season finale after having not been season since season one and Red Riding Hood, once a main character in the first two seasons, showed up less often than a guest star. Who's going to care about missing characters when Elsa, Queen of Arendelle, is right there overshadowing everyone?
5. They Killed Off a Popular Character
Neal Cassidy aka Baelfire may not have been everyone's first choice for Emma Swan's new beau, but there are some people who don't find it amusing that Once Upon a Time decided to settle the love triangle by killing off one of the angles. Those who were hoping for Emma to stop fighting her feelings and let her heart decide who she wanted to be with fair and square are still grumbling, so Elsa's presence gives them something to get excited about again.
6. Their Ratings Were Just Okay
The popularity of Frozen has made Once Upon a Time more talked about than it's ever been before. The show has had consistent ratings, of course, and a loyal fan base, but it's never been more in the public eye than it has since adding Elsa in a 30 second scene. The ratings for season four will be off the charts. Well played, ABC. Well played.