Monday, May 21, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Grimm, season 1 (2011-12) ****

TV-14, 22 43-min. episodes
Creator: Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf
Directors: Norberto Barba, Holly Dale, Darnell Martin, Clark Mathis, David Solomon, Omar Madha, Terrence O’Hara
Writers: Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, Alan DiFiore, Dan E. Fesman, Sarah Goldfinger, Cameron Litvak, Naren Shankar, Thania St. John, Richard Hatem
Starring: David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mithcell, Russell Hornsby, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Claire Coffee, Sharon Sachs, Danny Bruno, Bree Turner, Henri Lubatti, Kate Burton, Randy Schulman, Brian Sutherland, Kyle Vahan

“Grimm” is my favorite new show of the 2011-2012 television season. It may be my favorite show on television now. Of course, I’m not watching any of those red hot cable shows at the moment. But, for network television “Grimm” is a fairly impressive series. It doesn’t shy away from its horror roots, and it successfully combines its horror premise with the tried and true police procedural format.

In the universe of the show, the world isn’t what it seems. Amongst us normal humans there are also beings known as Vessen that are part animal in nature. They can transform into their semi-animal form, but don’t often choose to in front of normal humans. Other Vessen can sense each other for what they are, but most humans can’t sense them. There are some humans known as Grimm, who can see the Vessens’ true form, however. These Grimm have special skills that allow them to hunt and fight Vessen. That is where the conflict of the series springs.

The success of the series relies heavily upon the lead character, Nick, a police officer who discovers that he is a Grimm. David Guintoli is a wonderful hero. I don’t doubt that he was in the final casting calls for the new Superman. He plays the detective well. He plays the hero with supernatural powers well. He plays the guy who finds himself in a situation he doesn’t fully understand well.

A strong supporting cast surrounds him. Russell Hornsby is his partner, who is unaware of this supernatural world that affects so much of their job as police officers. Silas Weir Mitchell is also his partner of sorts. He plays a Vessen who helps Nick understand the Vessen world. With the decidedly unfrightening moniker of Monroe, Mitchell works as both an information disseminator and comic relief. He’s a reformed Blutbad, which is kind of like a werewolf. Before Nick met Monroe, a Vessen/Grimm friendship was virtually unheard of. Sergeant Wu is another comic figure, a uniformed officer who just seems to always end up in the middle of things, played by Reggie Lee.

The show takes place in Portland, Oregon; and after only one season, I’m beginning to wonder if anyone in Portland besides Nick, his girlfriend, his partner, and Sergeant Wu aren’t Vessen. The possible over population of Vessen in the Portland area aside, the writers of the show do a great job sticking to the police procedural format, providing great scares and disturbing gore in each episode, sticking with the fairy tale inspiration behind the name Grimm, and balancing it all with humor and personality. This was NBC’s one solid new show for the season. It has dominated it’s Friday night time slot all season and NBC will be rerunning it in all different kinds of time slots all summer long, so this is still a train you can jump on before new episodes return to Fridays next Fall.

1 comment:

Jay Lo said...

Great article! I agree that Grimm is a great show on Fridays and it has dominated primetime. I wasn’t too big on Grimm in the beginning, but with each passing episode it was better. Now I can go and watch all the series over again during the summer and get prepared for season two this fall. Since I mostly record primetime shows I will be able to use my auto hop feature to skip commercials. I don’t have to manually fast forward commercials and they are still available to watch if I want. I was stoked on this feature after one of my coworkers at Dish showed me how it worked. Now there’s no worry of always going past my shows and then having to skip back. I like having the option to choose to skip the commercials or not. I don’t have to worry about replacing my batteries in the remote all the time.