I can't believe it took me until just before the start of the bloody FOURTH season for me to make the connection, but this TV show has got to currently be the most successful use of public domain characters currently in production (if not ever).
To be fair, because ABC is owned by Disney, so the characters obviously owe a bit to the Disney versions of the character (i.e., The Little Mermaid is named Ariel; the Arabian Nights land is Agraba, etc.), but ultimately, we're still talking about fairy-tale characters that have moved from their own time and place to modern-day New England. And I love it ... which surprised me. In all honesty, I thought this whole concept sounded SO absurd that I had ZERO interest in it. Luckily, my lovely wife convinced me to at least try it, and it's now one of my favorite shows.
One of the things that I love most about this show is that no matter what happens to them, the characters are always true to their core essence. Anyone watching the show for the first time can watch 10 minutes of David and Mary Margaret and say, "Yeah, that's Prince Charming and Snow White." At the same time, they have grown (and continue to grow) beyond that core essence (like all good characters should).
Considering that this show is such a HUGE hit, I surely can't be the only one here watching it, can I?