Monday, October 31, 2011

Pilot Thoughts: Grimm

Fairy tales and their characters are real... wait, didn't I just write that same opening line last week? Oh right, there are two shows about fairy tales living in the real world this season, but make no mistake, they really aren't the same show at all. For one thing ABC's Once Upon A Time relies more on the Disneyfied vision of fairy tales while NBC's Grimm, as evident by its name, follows the earlier, darker interpretations of the Brothers Grimm. But inasmuch as this difference make them both pretty distinct, I wish they'd somehow merge into one very good shows as opposed to two lesser ones. Once Upon A Time is just a bit too cheesy while Grimm is just a bit too humorless. With that said, I actually preferred Grimm's pilot just a wee bit more than the other show perhaps since the structure of the show is pretty standard (procedural) except with a slight supernatural bent, no alternate dimension reality at work here!

Nick Burckhardt (David Giuntoli) is a cop who starts seeing strange things such as people's face turning into monsters momentarily. His eccentric aunt Marie, well-played by Kate Burton, informs him that he comes from a long line of Grimms which gives him the ability to see and fight supernatural creatures who live among us. Cue the Monster of the Week in the form of a "blutbad" kidnapping and killing girls who wear red hoodies. There's some world building here with Marie's book catalog of monsters indicating she's been finding the good fight for awhile, Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell) helping Nick showing that not all supernatural creatures are evil, and Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) being revealed as the possible Big Bad. Overall, it was actually a pretty solid pilot that was a lot easier to swallow or follow than Once Upon A Time. It's also a show that one could see getting better with time hopefully finding a better balance of seriousness and humor. So while this lacked the magic of that other fairy tale show, it more than made up for it by how grounded and established the show already feels.

The ratings were good-bad depending on how one looked at them. Relative to other networks, it was pretty low, but relative to NBC's depressed numbers and the fact that it was up against Game 7 of the World Series, it did pretty okay. I think for NBC "pretty okay" is good enough, especially for a Friday night show up against similar (and far superior) shows such as Supernatural and Fringe. B/B-

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