|Tiffany Boone as a young Ursula|
This was some of the most excruciating, repetitive, ham-handed writing I've seen since...well, let's just say it made Sleepy Hollow's Season 2 look like a seven-figure production of Shakespeare (featuring either Tom Hiddleston or Patrick Stewart in a leading role).
The acting was painful; Ernie Hudson was cast as King Poseidon which, in the hands of a decent writer, would be awesome, but in this case his lines, plot, and yes - costume - left so much to be desired. Tiffany Boone portrayed his daughter Ursula in her youth, a mermaid who transforms into the infamous squid-lady during an anti-climactic scene which also reveals she's not the original "sea goddess of old" - her daddy just named her after the goddess.
Because Ursula was apparently not worth the time and effort to draft a real story, she got scraps from The Little Mermaid's story, like losing her singing voice (yes, they even used the same song) and being the daughter of the sea-king. To be fair, Ursula gets her voice back and is reunited with daddy at the end of the episode, thus getting her happy ending (unlike the other villains), but it seems that after weeks of hyping the Queens of Darkness segment of the season -
|Notice she's in the back with the shittiest ensemble.|
- Ursula's returning to the sea after, like, three episodes. For real though. WTF????
And that's OUAT for you. They give us a Black Rapunzel for one episode - which is powerful in many ways - but then we never see her again. They give us a Black Good Witch of the North and an Asiatic Good Witch of the East who get about three lines each in one episode, and then we don't see them again.
After a season filled with sensual innuendo that inspired the Sleeping Warrior ship, fans cheered when Mulan (Jamie Cheung) finally came out of the closet. We were then promptly devastated to find out her love interest, Aurora, is pregnant by her husband, and after that Mulan disappears from the show. To be fair, the actress was lucky enough to get a gig on a different show, but half-assed writing like this is exactly what makes an actor look for a Plan B in the first place. Jamie Cheung was actually eager to be a full-on lesbian lover; she was totally open to the idea, fans were rooting for it left and right, but the writers instead decided to a sink ship that could have kept this flailing show afloat.
And now, after consistent criticism for the highly white-washed cast, the writers gave themselves a new opportunity with Ursula, only to screw it up from day one. The costume department gave actress Merrin Dungey a horrific appearance, the writers made zero effort to fully explore and flesh out her character, and after weeks of fans complaining, their answer is to just get rid of her instead of even attempting to improve.
So with all that said, I want to give a shout-out to the inimitable Lana Parrilla*, our Latina sister who's been holding it down as Regina the Evil Queen for four seasons now. She's now my only reason for watching the show. Her character's been treated like shit since literally the first episode, but we love her, and her fans will always have her back.
You tell 'em, Gina.
*She actually wants a guest role on Scandal. Dear God, honey, stay away, stay away!