So, I haven’t really done any blogs on specific TV shows yet, so I figured I’d do one on a show that I’ve liked since it hit the air 3 and a half seasons ago:
NBC, Friday nights
The cast of Grimm (including David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Bree Turner, and Claire Coffee), has turned out to be one of those rare combinations that, despite its size, has managed to find its footing and become a true ensemble, with each member playing off of and supporting the others in the service of the story.
That story is, of course, the story of Nick Burkhardt (Giuntoli), a Portland, Oregon, police detective, and one of the last in a long line of Grimms, near-supernatural warriors tasked with the elimination of all sort of mythical creatures, generally called Wesen. Ranging from dragon-type creatures, to werewolf-inspired, to creatures as varied as bees and beavers, these creatures hide themselves among the rest of humanity, able to assume an outwardly human form until they need to Woge (VOE-ge), when they transform from Human to Wesen. Throughout history, Grimms have sought out and killed Wesen, as they have traditionally inflicted discord or death on humans wherever they were found.
Told of his lineage by his dying aunt, also a Grimm, Nick slowly begins to accept that what he has started to see in this work as a detective are not hallucinations, but his ability as a Grimm beginning to assert itself.
At first hiding, then being forced to admit, his newfound calling as a Grimm, Nick finds support and friendship in his fiancée, Juliette (Tulloch), and his partner, Hank (Hornsby). He even violates countless rules and traditions of which he is unaware when he befriends—and even comes to rely on—a pair of Wesen (Monroe and Rosalee—“Monrosalee” [SWM and Turner] to all the ‘shippers out there) for their knowledge of the world beneath the world in which Nick finds himself.
Premiering around the same time as ABC’s Once Upon A Time (which I also watch, BTW, so don’t think I’m slamming it),when re-imaginings of classic fairy tales were beginning to flourish throughout Hollywood, Grimm–with its darker, often more violent, envisioning of the old legends–found itself in the unenviable position of playing opposite the brighter and more upbeat re-telling presented by ABC (and its parent company, Disney, home of the happy story).
Despite that seeming handicap, Grimm found a loyal audience early on, and though it suffered through what some critics considered a less successful second season, Grimm retained the loyalty of that core audience, and found itself rejuvenated in its third season with the introduction of a second Grimm, Teresa Rubel: “Trubel,” for short. Nick is forced to mentor her before she goes insane, as she has no idea that what she is any more than Nick did before his aunt showed up. Not only does this provide the viewers with a greater Grimm universe, but it facilitated some excellent character development, not just for Nick, but for those around him, as well.
What’s great about Grimm is the way it doesn’t cleave tightly to the normal tellings of the fairy tales and creatures. It is not afraid to reach back to the dark roots of the legends that Disney cartoonified for us as children. It doesn’t even mind going even darker in its interpretations of the old stories, as the impressive array of weaponry Nick inherits that was and is used against dangerous Wesen demonstrates. Nor does Grimm get stuck in the European traditions, with creatures from Philippines and other non-Eurocentric areas making appearances in the beautiful Northwest.
Europe is still the core, however. Harkening back to the origins of the Grimms themselves, the Wesen royal family rules from Eastern Europe, and it is, for lack of a better way to say it, the center of the Wesen universe.
Grimm is a definite must-see for anyone that likes the old stories and isn’t afraid to have their childhood turned topsy-turvy right before their eyes.
On a personal note, I’m looking forward to having more of the cast make the trek from Portland down to Salt Lake City for one of our Comic Cons. We had the lovely Claire Coffee at our inaugural event in 2013, so I hope she’ll try to convince her cast mates to putting in an appearance at our great event down here in the future. (God! This place would go nuts for a Monrosalee appearance)
I, for one, would love to see and/or moderate (yeah, right: in my dreams) a Grimm panel.
Watch it. You’ll love it.