More Thoughts on NBC’s Grimm

I already talked about my thoughts on the pilot for Grimm.  Now we’ve had a full three episodes to get past that pilot episode adolescence and really begin getting into what the show is going to be.  I have to say, as a viewer, I’m pretty happy with Grimm.  It seems like Nick has adjusted to accepting what he is a bit easier than I think he should, but otherwise, so far I’m happy.  He’s not perfect at the job, which is appropriate.  Week after week, he’s had his destiny as a Grimm interfere with his normal life–yay conflict–and the writers have so far created a lot of questions to keep people watching.

And people are watching.  Friday nights are a really hard time slot.  It’s often the land where shows go to die and is otherwise the proving grounds for shows that producers aren’t sure will survive beyond their maiden season.  I think Grimm is proving itself.  I hung out for a while one day last week under a search for Grimm on Twitter and people were talking about it left and right.  According to ads for the show, it’s now the number one show on Friday nights.  That tells me that viewers (who are, I might add, also potential READERS) want what Grimm has to offer.

What is that, exactly?  Of course people love fairy tales.  They always have.  Fairy tales tap into universal truths about life and humanity–which is a large part of why they have survived for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years.  But Grimm is doing something interesting in that it’s not coughing up the simplified, clear-cut good vs. evil (there’s nothing wrong with that, and I’ll be talking more about that later this week when I look again at Once Upon A Time).  It’s not the light, Disneyfied versions we’ve become accustomed to in the last several decades.  Grimm is dark.  And it’s complicated.  And that’s really coming back to the dark origins of the original tales themselves, which I think is marvelous (obviously, since that’s part of what I really wanted to do with Red).

People today want the escapism of fairy tales, but many are not as willing to believe in the obvious happily ever after.  Life is messy, and Grimm really reflects on that (particularly after this latest episode taken from The Queen Bee).  It really is aiming for the grit of Supernatural (though, sorry, I do not have serious fan-girl love of Nick like I do Dean) along with some creative interpretations of both familiar tales (Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and less familiar tales (The Queen Bee–has anyone actually heard of this one?).  I think that’s going to give fodder for well beyond a single season of the show, and I hope that producers continue to pay attention to audiences (they don’t always–hello, Jericho?).

In the meantime, it tells me that audiences are ripe for another inventive fairy tale reboot, as do all the demands from readers “Will there be a sequel to Red?!!”  I doubt I’ll do more with Elodie and Sawyer (as I’d rather not muck with their HEA), but I absolutely want to play with doing some more contemporary YA adaptations of other favorite fairy tales. I have a few ideas of my own, but I’d love to hear from y’all.

As readers, which fairy tales would you like to see reinvented?

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11 comments

  1. My roommate’s been obsessed with Grimm; I really enjoy it, too, but not quite to her level (my current show for that is American Horror Story), but I just caught up with the latest episode (due to my work, Sunday is ‘catch up on shows I missed through the week’ day), and I realized that the thing that I love about it is the writing. It’s clever, it’s sharp, and it doesn’t hit you over the head with what they’re trying to do. They expect their viewer to get it and if they don’t, oh, well, too bad. And, of course, they’ve built up the conflicts between Nick’s career and his destiny as a Grimm exceptionally well. I’m thrilled to see where else they’ll go.

    And, of course, I’m always excited to see which fairy tale they’ll be adapting each week. As far as which one I’d like to see adapted? When I sat and thought for two seconds, the first one that came to mind for me was the Goose Girl. I don’t know why. Probably because my brain was trying to pick out a lesser known one; it’s not as if a false-bride, bait-and-switch tale would be that difficult to adapt.

  2. I really love fairy tales, and I like to see books, movies, and shows that remake them with their own twists. The short story I just wrote is LOOSELY based on Beauty and the Beast, which is probably my favorite.

    I’m really liking Grimm. I have the latest episode on the DVR and can’t wait to see what happens in that one. I haven’t ever heard of Queen Bee….

    A funny thing…I was talking to my friend’s husband (the ones I went to Disney with) and he honestly thought Disney had come up with all those stories and didn’t know that most of them were based on fairy tales.

  3. My hubby and I are enjoying Grimm. We don’t watch too many shows together, but this one appeals to us both. I didn’t like OUAT nearly as much (only saw the pilot, though). Grimm is a clever twist on the fairy tales, and I like that the creatures have their own stories. In particular, the good Blutbad (what’s his name?) is a great supporting character. The set-up of Nick having to balance his detective work with a traditional partner and his Grimm work with the Blutbad should make for some great conflict. (We liked Jericho too, by the way. Oh well.)

    1. I’m with Ryan. I thought I would like Grimm better because it’s darker and David Greenwalt of Buffy and Angel fame is a writer/producer. But while watching Grimm, I keep noticing all these flaws and taking time to think about the parts that don’t make sense. Not a good sign, since there are always parts that don’t make sense on TV shows but if it’s a good show, I’m too drawn in to notice. Once Upon a Time taps into that fairy tale vein better, where it’s appealing to some subconscious twinge that archetypal stories reach.

      Whereas with Grimm, I’m really distracted by how much more interesting the Blutbod guy is than the lead. Even the lead guy’s partner is more charismatic and fun than he is. It’s just not pulling me in and I’m sorry for that.

      (On the ratings: The pilot did better than expected but each episode has dropped in numbers. NBC has ordered more scripts but still not given the show a full season pick-up.)

  4. It seems like you either like Grimm, or you like OUAT. I have several friends who admitted to liking either or, but never both. I didn’t really enjoy OUAT, but I’m really enjoying Grimm, for many of the same reasons (although I agree with you about Dean…).

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