Fairy tale dramas have dominated primetime lineups for the past couple seasons, with millions of adult viewers sprawled on the couch, remotes in hand, watching the latest episode of ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time Wonderland; NBC's Grimm and Dracula, FOX's Sleepy Hollow, and the CW's Beauty and the Beast and Arrow. We are smitten.

The swoon-worthy, sensitive men-of-action certainly have something to do with it. And imagining ourselves in the roles of these beautiful women of action—not the passive damsels in distress of the past—entices us as well. Who wouldn't want to don a rich velvet cape, grab a silver sword, and rescue Prince Charming? I wouldn't mind Alice's roundhouse kicks, but I doubt the high stakes drama, thwarted passion, and outstanding computer graphics tell the whole story.

I confess I've always adored fairy tales. I read them as a child, read them to my own kids, and even invented a few along the way. My son still talks of Filbert, the good-hearted dragon I sent into battle each bedtime against his nemesis Peroxio.

Yet, society may tempt us to deem the fairy tale genre as a childhood throwback or a guilty pleasure. After all, we're meant to outgrow the fantasy, just as we advise head-in-the-clouds dreamers that "life's no fairy tale."

To the contrary, I believe there's a profound sense of real-life truth lying within these fantasy stories. Throughout history, fairy tales have provided stable ground, a comforting picture of a world where morality matters. These stories give us glimpses of truth in a society that often distorts right and wrong.

We may adapt the plots, the characters, and the fantastical settings, but ...

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