NBC delayed the “Grimm” premiere to tie it to Halloween, but the new supernatural series is far from a ghost story. Its mythology is based firmly in fairy tales, which makes for a unique edge given the real world stakes of the stories.
Former “Road Rules” cast member David Giuntoli makes the jump to scripted TV as Nick Burckhardt, a Portland homicide detective who discovers that he is a Grimm when he starts seeing people morphing into monsters.
What is a Grimm, you ask? Turns out that Nick is a descendant of the Brothers Grimm, whose fairy tales were less fiction and more case files. He’s tasked with the responsibility of keeping innocents safe from the villains we know from bedtime stories.
A “Little Red Riding Hood”-derived case leads Nick to Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell), a “Blutbad,” also known as a big bad wolf. His instinct is to prey on children, though he’s now reformed. Surprisingly, it’s this character who best keeps the show grounded in reality, as the parallels to “reformed” predators are undeniable. We look forward to the day that Eddie inevitably falls off the wagon, simply for the drama factor.
Nick is sympathetic if not wildly charismatic — we understand him and root for him in his relationships (thus far, with his fiancee, his ailing aunt, and his on-the-job partner) but we’re not particularly charmed by him off the bat.
The series also benefits from its cinematography. Shot on location in Portland, “Grimm” takes advantage of its setting — it looks like any other cop drama, without the glossy finish of, say, ABC’s latest fairy-tale offering, “Once Upon a Time.” “Grimm” is not a show we’d classify as family fare, and the question remains as to whether producers can tackle the veritable arsenal of stories in a way that keeps the grown ups interested.
The case-of-the-week format, with just enough season-long mythology to keep us interested, is ideal for a Friday night genre show. We’ll certainly be tuning in to Episode 2, though we’re hoping to see more chemistry between the characters as the series finds its legs.
Watch “Grimm” tonight, Friday Oct. 28, at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.