Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tv Review: Grimm or Once Upon a Time

This coming week two different shows based on fairy tales will come out on tv.  While I will probably check both out I feel like I should hang my hat with one. But first lets talk about the differences and general plot of both.

What is with the lace one the queen's head?
Once Upon a Time features the fairy tales in their more Disney-esch world. They lived there until the evil queen cast a spell that sent all of them to our world. Cameron from House plays Emma Swan who I am putting my money down for the swan princess. Jennifer Goodwin is Snow White. The fairy tale world has magical lighting and some very standard writing. The evil queen seems to float when she marches into the main hall. Most of the promotions keep saying "from the writers of Lost" but I don't know if its the whole writing team or what. I mean are they trying to tease me with the possibilities of twists?

So far it seems pretty straight forward, they have to remember who they are and figure out how to get back to the fairy tale world. I don't know if I will be able to be interested in a story that has given me practically the first season's outline in the trailers. That isn't to say that this should couldn't pull something out of the hat. But as of now it is some where between Gilmore Girls  complexity and the Disney movies it is based on. We know from the second episode who people are going to end up with, but they are going to make us wait seven seasons to see it.

The show stands in a kind of limbo as to what kind of show it is going to be right now. It does not seem to be mystery or a suspense. But at the same time to say that it is a light hearted show would be false as well because many of the characters seem to be depressed. It has elements meant for children but all of the characters are very much adults. I am concerned about the atmosphere of the show in general. There seems to be this whimsical sense one minutes and a depressed rainy town the next. The clips I have seen online show a disjointed lighting and tone from scene to scene.

Grimm alternately is going full on adult audience. In Grimm a police officer learns that he is the last surviving descendant of the Brothers Grimm. With his blood line comes the ability to see the monsters from the fairy tales hiding in plain sight. He uses his new ability to catch these monsters and stop them from hurting people. The preview and the ads also hint that he will have a wolf as a helpful side kick.

This show does not have any actors that you are really going to recognize from anything important. This show is going for a more predictable standard of a procedural. Yet I am captivated by the show so much more. Tone alone is so universal that it has a haunting kind of theme. Even when the main character is not in the middle of hunting a monster you get this feeling a a doom hanging over him and those he knows and loves.

Yes they do give away the entire first episode in the trailer but really I am so captivated by this concept that I don't care at all. The idea of fairy tales as warning is great because it is much closer to what they were when they first came into being.

I feel like by now you can tell which direction I am swinging. I would also like to take this moment to say that Grimm knowing it has an air date after Once Upon a Time has released code for their twitter followers to watch the first episode, and put a preview on Hulu. So if you are still debating you can get a sneak peak.


  1. Grimm is what The Dresden Files should have been. Smart Funny Fast Paced. Too bad Jim Butcher gets no credit for a re-write of his own series down to the locket from his mother to the Volkswagen beetle it is an out and out copy of Harry Dresden.

  2. Now that you mention it that is exactly right. I now understand why I was so drawn to this show. I have a Dresden Files problem and this show is what it was supposed to be. Also the tone is much closer to Dresden than the show ever was. And he is not balding...