Saturday, 16 February 2013

Grimm: Pilot

"The misfortune of our family is already passing to you..."

Why Grimm? Well, basically it's my girlfriend's favourite programme, it's something to watch together, and the premise is pretty cool. Also, intriguingly, there's a Buffy connection in the person of David Greenwalt; this gives grounds for optimism. I'm going into this programme blind; I have no idea what the critics think and I intend to keep that way for as long as I realistically can. The only research I plan to do is to make sure I'm aware which Grimm fairy tale is being referenced by each episode.

Oh, and btw this isn't replacing Buffy and Angel; there are episodes in the pipeline. Watch this space.

Anyway...  to start with, a gripe: the DVD for Season One has no subtitles. This is a very basic failing and people might want to boycott it until, you know, it gets re-released in an acceptable form. But as for the content, I'm intrigued. I'm a little alarmed by David Giuntoli as Nick; so far he seems rather wooden. But the quote at the start, and the fact that the story seems to be based on Red Riding Hood, are both intriguing; I understand that each episode is adapted from a Brothers Grimm story. This leads to certain questions, of course: Nick comes from a long line of "Grimms", but did the Brothers Grimm exist in this universe? If so, presumably people within the narrative will soon become aware that they are reliving the fairytales. Things could get very, very metatextual, very, very soon. Good.

The mix of genres is interesting; a police procedural crossed with fairytale fantasy. The visual style, with its deep colours (especially greens) and dreamlike quality, evokes the same "fairytale" mood that was established in the 2011 season of Doctor Who, which had a very similar look. On the other hand we have a very promising "buddy buddy" cop dynamic, with the excellent Russell Hornsby as Hank. Frankly, I much prefer him to Nick as a character at this point. I can't help noticing, though, that Portland has the most palatial police station I've ever seen.

Obviously, this is a pilot, so we can excuse the amount of exposition we get here, especially from Nick's dying Aunt Marie. A fair amount of exposition comes from Monroe, our friendly "vegetarian" Bl├╝dbad (the superb Silas Weir Mitchell), though, and he's cool. Very, very cool. My lovely girlfriend has compared him to Spike off of Buffy, and I can see what she means. I think I'm going to like this character.

The cliffhanger ending is well cool, too. I particularly like the musical contrast: the episode ends with Eurythmics' version of "Sweet Dreams" but the episode ends to Marilyn Manson's version. Cool. So far this looks as though it's going to be my sort of series.

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