I became a happy fan last year of new fantasy show Grimm, which debuted in the exile of Friday nights for its first season. Last night, they started the second season way early and the show did well enough in its first round that they’ve moved it to Mondays at ten. This conflicts with some other t.v., but I have magic recording elves.
The show centers around Nick Burkhardt, a police detective in Portland, who lives with his girlfriend, Juliet, a veterinarian. Nick started having what he thought were hallucinations, but were actually his powers kicking in, giving him the ability to see the Wesen, who look most of the time like humans to everyone else and come in many flavors, having given rise to many fairy tales all over the world. That’s because Nick, whose parents were killed in an accident when he was young, is a Grimm, a specially endowed human whose job it is to observe and record the Wesen and also take out the bad ones who threaten humans. He learns some of what’s involved from his Aunt Marie, who raised him unknowing of his family history and was also a Grimm, but she dies of cancer and injuries before she can really explain everything, bequeathing him her mobile trailer full of gear and books. Nick discovers that to the Wesen, he’s the boogieman, and he gets a lot of help from a Wesen named Munroe and later, a Wesen named Rosalee who takes over her brother’s spice shop which has Wesen clientele. Nick’s job as a cop both helps and hinders his situation as an untrained Grimm, while he tries to hide what’s going on from Juliet, his partner Hank, beat cop Sergeant Wu, and his boss, Captain Renard. He learns in the first season that Wesen politics and the role of Grimms is murkier than he thought.
So it’s a high concept fantasy show with a mythology universe that’s virtually limitless, and it combines police procedural, some horror, some comedy and epic fantasy, which for me works wonderfully. The first episode of the second season dealt mostly with the cliffhanger ending of the first season, involving a life-changing discovery for Nick, Juliet in a dangerous magical comma with Munroe and Rosalee working for a cure, and Nick having to face this guy:
That’s fun, but a little hard for newcomers to jump into off the bat. But it’s not hard to follow and the writing is quite good. What is really distinctive about the show is the look of it. The creators have saturated the images with color and given sets a fairy tale feel particular to the story they’re doing and taking advantage of Portland’s greenness. With the political thriller aspects ramping up, there may be a bit less of that and they could use a bit more budget to vary from warehouse sets for some scenes, but I think they will keep some of it because it really makes the show distinct and sets the tone. I’m not going to do a lot of details now, since they just started up, but I will talk about the show some across the course of the season. They’ve impressed me with their creativity on how they do the folk tales and I think a lot of fantasy fans would enjoy the show.