Tag Archives: Grimm


Scuba Diver photo by Adam Laverty

So I’ve been down in the depths and now coming upwards, how about you?

Things that have happened recently:

1) The Oscars, which I did not watch on the grounds that I never remember who won the year before anyway, though I’ve seen some clips. Show host Seth McFarlane, ordered to bring in the young male viewers, satirized sexists by using incredibly sexist humor, which mostly just made him look sexist,  (when he wasn’t forced to pay tribute to musicals because the Oscar show producers wanted to put on a Chicago number because they also produced that movie and apparently were annoyed they didn’t get to go onstage when the film won the Oscar years ago.)  So in a year in which women rocked the house, we got “We Saw Your Boobs” as the Oscar musical opener,  and jokes that George Clooney was waiting on a 9-year-old black girl to grow a tad older for sex as the definitive commentary. I am choosing to view this as a sign of the trickle effect. The females may have scared Hollywood just a little bit there, as they emerge as a more powerful force in the industry.

2) Random House has apparently launched several e-book only imprints (Random House is owned by Bertelsmann.) Contracts for these imprints have been coming to light, and they are a cross between a vanity press and a scam artist. The contracts offer no advances against royalties, which isn’t an enormous surprise as bigger publishers have been running various no advance “experiments” for years, looking for ways to get out of that particular business arrangement. The bigger surprise is that there doesn’t seem to be any royalties to base an advance on. The publisher’s contract seeks payment from the author for production costs, marketing costs, editorial services, cover art, etc. — all the things that publishers are suppose to be putting up as the partner in a licensing deal, while demanding well and above the usual licensing rights of a standard publishing contract. The model appears to be borrowed from the more predatory side of the music industry, an industry that has actual money and that has to produce actual varied physical products and placement services, not just an e-file as with e-books.  The goal seems to be to horn in on Amazon’s various turfs. Now, Amazon hasn’t exactly been a friend to new authors. They take way too big a cut of the profits for doing little for self-publishers, they charge for various services, and their contract is vaguely worded enough to give them something of a rights grab. But even Amazon didn’t conceive of pulling this sort of operation on new, desperate authors who don’t understand the weird business of book publishing.  So the author groups are very upset. Tune in here for what’s happening from the SFWA on that.  If this is the new business model that’s going to emerge more widely, then yes, publishers are sending themselves out of business.

3) My t.v. show Grimm finally came back on the air, to finish out its second season, after being taken off for three months by the stupid NBC network. The show got a special debut for several episodes on Monday nights, but that was not a permanent change, as I’d thought, and it’s remained on Fridays, at 9:00 p.m. in North America. The last episode back in November was the first installment of a two and a half parter, leaving us with a cliffhanger. SPOILERS: The break left us with the magical, deadly romance spell ensorcelling Nick’s amnesiac ex-girlfriend Juliet and Nick’s police boss  Cpt. Renard, who is a Wessen illegitimate prince involved in various schemes including an alliance with a Wessen rebellion force, and the discovery of that problem by the rest of the gang, which was rather hard on poor Nick. A showdown emerged, back at the big bad wolf’s ivy covered cottage where the show originally started off, leading to a big new plot direction for the series going into their back half and another cliffhanger for the episode ending  involving counterspells and political intrigue with the European royals. All in all, it was a satisfying if soapy return for the gang, with some great comic moments, the full return of Rosalee, and the chance of Juliet being brought finally into the fold of knowledge and even getting her memory of Nick back. The actors playing Juliet and Renard had great fun playing psycho steamy and we got to meet a new type of Wessen — an owl one — who was a locksmith.  Claire Coffee also did beautifully as scheming, de-powered Wessen sorceress Adalind.

The episode did very well in the ratings, pulling a number one position for its slot in the desired demographic and doing better than its last mid-season return despite the longer break. So loyal fans stuck it out and came back to watch. Since NBC has been having shows end or tank all over the place and they need to have something on Friday nights, here’s hoping Grimm will get a renewal for a third season and they will really get to rock out. If you want to jump in, again, they do lay things out for you and mostly it’s a police procedural show, so next week’s episode on March 15, “Natural Born Wessen,” which finishes off the big storyline and starts a new crime problem — bank robberies —  would be a good one to dive into. If the show gets a third season, then I’ll recap blog that one.

We’ll see if I make it to the surface for spring!

“Face Off” mid-season return



Leave a comment

Filed under book publishing, Movies/TV, SFFH

Grimm Starts Its Second Season in North America

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies/TV