Dania Ramirez and Andrew J. West as Jacinda / Cinderella and Henry Mills, respectively, in the Ralph Hemecker directed “Once Upon a Time” seventh season premiere “Hyperion Heights”

It was announced in Feb, “Once Upon a Time” will not see an eighth season.

When the seventh season premiered, there were high hopes the soft reboot would bring with it some renewed sparkle to the series. It just didn’t work out as series producers had hoped.

When the series returned on 6 Oct. 2017 with the Ralph Hemecker directed episode “Hyperion Heights,” the only remaining cast members from the original cast were Lana Parrilla, Colin O’Donoghue and Robert Carlyle. None of these actors were playing their original characters.

While Parrilla was still Regina Mills / The Wicked Witch, she had become bar owner Roni. Carlyle was still Rumplestiltskin but he wasn’t Mr. Gold anymore.  He had been transformed into Seattle Detective Weaver.

As for Hook, Hook wasn’t the Hook we know from when the series was set in Storybrook.

Even though Captain Killian ‘Hook’ Jones was stilled played by O’Donoghue, the Hook in the seventh season is the one from the Wish Realm we encountered during season six. Despite this explaining why it is Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and her Captain Hook can still have their “happily ever after” ending, it is a tad annoying for viewers that had stayed with the show from the beginning.

The introduction of an adult Henry Mills didn’t sit well with many fans. Granted, Andrew J. West gave it his best shot but at the end of the day, people still considered Jared Gilmore the real Henry Mills.

Then there was the new Cinderella. This version of the character was played by Dania Ramirez. Unlike previous personifications of Cinders, this interpretation was way too whiny. There wasn’t an episode in the seventh season where we did not witness Cinders whining about one thing or another. It got a bit much.

Sadly, in the Mick Garris directed episode “Beauty,” we saw the demise of Emilie de Ravin’s Belle French / Belle Gold. With Belle’s death, the “Beauty and the Beast” storyline had come to an end.

Unfortunately, with much of the original cast no longer part of the production, viewership started to dwindle rapidly. For many fans of the series, the changes that were implemented at the beginning of the seventh season was a bridge too far.

Adding Rebecca Mader back into the mix as Zelena was too little too late.

Even though much of the first season had garnered favourable reviews, consecutive seasons have seen a gradual decline in ratings, especially when it pertains to the 18-49 age bracket. Based on experience, the 18-49 age bracket is the only demographic of any real importance to television networks.

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