Last week, ABC debuted a new show based on fairy tales in the real world, called Once Upon A Time. Not to be outdone, perennial fourth-rank network NBC this week released Grimm, touted as being “from the producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.”
This brag is not entirely untrue. David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf are among Grimm’s executive producers. Greenwalt was an executive producer for part of the run of each of those shows, and Kouf was a “consulting producer” on Angel. However, when most people think of the ‘producers’ of Buffy and Angel, they are thinking of Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, or possibly the Kazuis, none of whom are involved in Grimm.
And frankly, it shows.
Grimm tries to be a ‘modern’ take on fairy tales, under the framing device of a hidden world and a hidden battle being fought between the Grimms and the as-yet-unnamed monster groups. The Grimms are the descendants of the Brothers Grimm, and, unlike most people, have the ability to see the monsters when the monsters ‘lose control’ of their emotions. The hero, Nick (David Giuntoli), is one of the last Grimms, newly awakened into his power when his aunt discovers she had terminal cancer.
The show goes for moments of levity, however they never manage to rise above the ‘wry snicker’ level of humor. Much of the attempts actively induce eye-rolling. The fact that the wolves fetishize the color red elicts, at best, a minor smirk. Silas Weir Mitchell as Eddie Monroe gets a slight grin with his sarcastic, “What are you, and idiot?”
The acting is, for the most part, mediocre. Russell Hornsby and the always-excellent Sasha Roiz gamely try to raise the bar, but as neither of them is the main character, there is only so much they can accomplish.
And then there are the plot holes. Dear lord, the plot holes. Beware, beyond this point there be spoilers.
After Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) is attacked, Nick visits her in the hospital and they have a little talk. He is shoo’d away when visiting hours end, and the next day when he returns, she is in a coma. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I’ve never heard of someone getting attacked, being knocked unconscious, waking up, talking, and THEN going into a coma. Alright, so they do hint at a possible reason at the end (maybe the blonde monster put her in the coma?), but the fact that NO ONE, not Nick nor the doctors, find this at all strange was very disconcerting.
And then we have the trigger that brings Nick and his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) back into the kidnappers house: he was humming Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
Seriously? Come on. The song was a mega-hit in the ’80s, and has had a resurgence of popularity EVERY DECADE SINCE (reissue in the 90s, Marilyn Manson’s version in the 00’s, and then again just this year it was in both movie and trailers for Sucker Punch). The fact that a guy was humming that song is not only meaningless, but if they tried to take the guy to court and the defense attorney says “So, why did you break down my client’s door?” and they trot that out, the case would be tossed out so fast the defense attorney probably wouldn’t even have time to finish his request for dismissal.
Shot almost entirely (if not entirely) in Oregon, at least the sets look pretty.
So yeah. Bad writing, ‘meh’ acting, and a far better competitor on another station makes for a very Grimm premier indeed.