Grimm Season One

 

So waaaaaaaay back around this time last year, I realized that there were two fairy tale shows coming to television: Once Upon a Time, and Grimm. The first had some of the creative team from LOST, as well as Jane Espenson of Buffy/BSG/Firefly/Caprica/Game of Thrones fame. Grimm had some of the creative team from Angel, so I was pretty excited – especially since I’m a HUGE fan of fairy tales. However, as I settled in to watching all the TV of the fall (and reviewing it), I realized that I only had room in my heart (and day) for one fairy tale show. So I picked OUAT, and forgot about Grimm.

In general, I was pretty happy with my choice. I mean Once is far from perfect. It’s almost always either way too cheesy, or way too serious, and struggles finding the right balance. The special effects are pretty mediocre, and some of the dialogue is incredibly groan-inducing. But in general I think it has a pretty solid cast. Ginny Goodwin is so heartbreakingly earnest that I can’t help but like her, and Josh Dallas really surprised me in his ability to play vastly different characters (or rather different versions of the same character). Jennifer Morrison does a good job too, and it’s always fun to see how they weave various fables and myths together, and trying to figure out who everyone is.

But this summer, with only Mad Men/Game of Thrones, and then later True Blood/Breaking Bad Sundays to occupy me, I was left with a bit of a gap in my TV schedule. So I resolved to watch Grimm, which was now available On Demand from our new cable. And honestly, I was surprised at how much I liked it.

The premise, if you’re not familiar, is thus: The Grimms are a race of monster hunters, named after the famous Brothers Grimm, collector of many of our most famous fairy tales. Nick – our hero – is one such Grimm, and apparently one of the last. When his aunt starts dying, he begins to manifest his “power” to see the monsters. Each week a new case comes up with a supernatural twist, and Nick must use his aunt’s knowledge – as well as his (reformed) Big Bad Wolf friend Monroe – to save the day. Complicating things – an evil Grimm Reaper and some witches, who are out to get him, as well as a girlfriend who wants to know what’s going on.

So let’s start with what I don’t like about it. Mostly, the “monsters” are really just woodland creature/human hybrids. There’s Rat People, Beaver People, Bee People, Bear People, Wolf People, Lion People… and so on. There are very few actual fairy tale elements. Sure, there’s an allusion to Cinderella here or Goldilocks there, but mostly it’s just animal people causing problems. It’s also VERY episodic – especially in the middle – so it gets a bit repetitive. In these ways, it feels a lot like the first season of Buffy, but without the sense of lightheartedness and fun.

That being said, I actually liked the dark tone of the series – especially after watching the campy, cheesy Once Upon a Time with its fairies and genies and dwarfs and talking grasshoppers. It was strangely refreshing to see a show where a Wolf Man kidnapped every little girl wearing red and kept them in his basement, fattening them up before eating them. And in general I liked the cast. Nick is pretty much your typical Stoic Hero, very much in the vein of Olivia Dunham or Angel. But, he is also surprisingly sassy, which is the easiest way to get me to like someone. He and his girlfriend are pretty adorbz together, and he has some decent comebacks. Monroe is the definite standout, as the most normal, calm, refined Big Bad Wolf you will ever meet. He’s also pretty badass when the occasion calls for it, and has great chemistry with Nick. And of course Sasha Roiz is somehow both chilling AND likable, as in Caprica.

I originally intended this to be a longer post, but to be honest I just scarfed down a Frosty and now I need a nap. So, my advice to y’all is to watch the first couple and last couple episodes of the season this weekend, and then watch the Season 2 Premiere on Monday on NBC! I most definitely will be.

Peace.

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