October 29, 2011

TV: Grimm (NBC, Fri 9)

The second fairy tale inspired show of the new season, this one focusing on the dark, scary side of things.

Portland police detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) has begun to see strange things, like monstrous faces on random passersby. His aunt Marie (Kate Burton) arrives in town to tell him that she's dying of cancer, and that with her death, the family gift/curse will be passed to him. Nick's family are Grimms, people with the ability to see the monsters who live among us for what they are, and it is their responsibility to hunt and kill those monsters.

So what we have is a supernatural police procedural, in which Nick will be tracking down a different fairy tale monster each week, with the help of his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby); the show will presumably milk much dramatic tension from Nick's having to get Hank's help without telling him about his Grimm-ness or the things he can see. Also helping Nick will be Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell, bringing the show its only burst of charm and energy), a reformed "big bad wolf" (not, mind you, the big bad wolf) who stays on the side of good through "a strict regimen of diet, exercise, and Pilates.'

Now, I have always preferred the whimsical side of the fairy tale to the dark and scary side, so it's to be expected that I much preferred Once Upon a Time to this show. But I can imagine a show focusing on the darker side that had more wit and more cleverness in the way it uses its fairy tale tropes. This is just another in the long series of "cop shows with a twist" we're getting in recent years; it's Law & Order: Fairy Tales Unit. And when a show's formula is already starting to feel stale and predictable before the first episode is over, it's hard to be very optimistic.

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