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Grimm

NBC, Fridays 9/8 Central

Oct 28, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


When word of Grimm, a modern-day urban fantasy co-created and co-executive produced by David Greenwalt, was announced, my first thought was “sign me up!” Greenwalt was a key producer for several seasons of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and co-created the affiliated show Angel, both of which I hold dear, especially the latter. When it comes to Angel, rarely has there ever been a show that mixes genres and mythos to create such a fun, rich, and sometimes poignant canvas.

Obviously, the premise of Grimm is right in my sweet spot: a homicide detective in Portland, Oregon, finds out that he’s the inheritor to a legacy of monster-hunting do-gooders known my their prey as “Grimms.” The pilot doesn’t reveal the legacy to be anything more than some equipment, tomes of information, and the knack for seeing the true nature of the monsters. It’s an interesting contrast from silver screen ancestor Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Perhaps both Nick Burkhardt and Buffy Summers are heirs to monster-fighting destinies, yet Buffy’s fate was thrust on her, even as her super human powers were, whereas for Nick it seems a responsibility he attempts to embrace once he’s made aware of it.

It’s very difficult to delve into Grimm without making such comparisons to Buffy and Angel, and Grimm thankfully measures up and shows similar promise even with the burden of such a high bar. The pilot not only introduces Nick and an interesting cast of supporting characters—his partner on the force, his girlfriend, his cancer-stricken aunt (the current heir to the monster hunter legacy)it postulates ways in which boogeymen and such could live and thrive in a modern world, with mankind largely unaware and unprepared for their interference. One character in particular, a reformed “big bad wolf,” just screams “Angel/Buffy-verse” to me, and, further Grimm pulls it off.

Unlike the abominable Once Upon a Time, Grimm pays homage to its dark, fairy-tale derived roots without becoming mired in them, or taking them too literally. Those elements inspire and inform the drama and move the plot along, but with a fresh perspective. It’s not yet up to par with Angel and Buffy in terms of utilizing those shows’ hallmarks: the quick dialogue, the interesting twists, the character interactions. In fact, some of the interactions are downright wooden; while the detectives are at the police station, their repartee seems natural, but when they’re stalking a monster later in the episode, the dialogue and delivery ring false. The action is not especially noteworthy either. But the show itself is intriguing, seems to be leaning toward its predecessors, and additionally possesses its own more deliberate pacing that proved effectively creepy, especially in the opening scenes. Best foot forward, as it were.

Grimm has a fine concept, but it won’t live and die based on that concept, but in the execution. In my book, so far so good. (www.nbc.com/grimm)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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Todd Riehle
January 28th 2012
12:55pm

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Patricia
November 22nd 2012
8:24am

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