I honestly did not expect "Grimm" to succeed. Not only was another modern-fairy-tale series being produced at the same time, but it was going to be a police procedural.
But to my surprise, "Grimm Season 1" ended up being a very solid urban fantasy show, with plenty of dark humor, mystery and some very creepy supernatural creatures. It could use a little more arc in its storylines, but it successfully meld police detective work with the stories of the Brothers Grimm. These are not children's fairy tales.
Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) suspects that he's going crazy when he keeps seeing strange things. But when his aunt pays a visit, she reveals that he is a Grimm -- part of an ancient line of guardians who are able to see the supernatural "wesen" (pronounced "vessen"). When she dies, she leaves Nick a trailer full of weapons, ancient books and potions.
With the help of the reluctant Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a Wieder Blutbad ("big bad wolf"), Nick begins investigating crimes that are committed by wesen... while also having to keep his identity secret from his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) and beloved girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch).
Even as he investigates bizarre crimes that only he can deal with, Nick also discovers that a sultry Hexenbiest -- a wicked witch, in other words -- is bespelling his partner. And he begins to investigate the deaths of his parents, which may not have been an accident... and which were connected to whatever is going on.
"Grimm Season 1" has a pretty simple premise -- that all the strange creatures of the Grimm tales were real, and that they live secretly amongst us. Fortunately the writers keep a dark, violent edge to the season, keeping the whole idea of beaver-people and a lupine "Rapunzel" from seeming ridiculous. Their "Cinderella" story is downright TERRIFYING.
If the series has a problem, it's that its story arcs could be a little stronger. But the ones it has are pretty good, with Nick learning about his destiny and growing into it, even as Captain Renard is scheming to... do something. And the writers do an excellent job of making the wesen "real" people, like Monroe's intense love of Christmas, or the Eisbiebers (who are "average working-class joes" wesen).
The cast is also really good. Giuntoli looks like a genuine police detective, albeit with a boyish, inquisitive edge, and he plays off the scruffy, good-hearted Mitchell really well. Mitchell's Monroe is a real delight -- a reclusive vegetarian "big bad wolf" who initially is reluctant to help Nick, but ends up his loyal, trusted partner. And the cast is rounded out nicely by Tulloch, the mysterious Sasha Roiz, the jovial Reggie Lee, and Monoe's love interest Bree Turner.
"Grimm Season 1" starts off a little slow, but after a few episodes it really kicks into the dark, gruesome fairy-tale stride. One of the best new shows this season.
Blu-ray review: When I saw the pilot episode of "Grimm" I thought it would be something of a knock off of Supernatural: The Complete First Season. While both shows have much in common, "Grimm" has managed to grow into its premise and find its own identity.
Portland detective Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli)sees monsters and it's not because he's on drugs. Turns out Burkhardt is one of the last of the Grimms who fought and killed monsters that have preyed on humanity for centuries. Burkhardt like all Grimms has the unique ability to see the creatures masquerading beneath their human mask.
With the assistance of Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell)a reformed werewolf (or a big bad wolf in Grimm mythology)to help him understand the strange new world he's been dropped into, Burkhardt discovers that many of the creatures out there are just trying to survive while others have more insidious motives. Unfortunately there are those in Burkhardt's own police department who are undermining his efforts for their own mysterious reasons.
The procedural element of the show isn't quite as strong as the hunt for the various creatures but the show improves as the season wears on. I'd like to see better character development for Nick Burkhardt, his partner and fiance.
Updated for blu-ray: the transfer looks quite nice with a sharp, colorful transfer. Blacks are rock solid. Audio sounds quite nice with nice use of the entire sound stage and pulls you into the action without distracting.
The only thing I DISLIKE is the packaging. Normally how something is packaged doesn't factor into how I rate a set BUT the Blu-ray discs slide in and out of cardboard packaging. The good news is that Blu-ray can stand up better to west and tear and possible scratching compard to DVD but the bad news is that unless you are very careful there is a chance they will be scratched.
The special features don't feature any commentary tracks which is disappointing. We get to see five auditions from the actors. We get two worthwhile featurettes focusing on the creatures in Grimm and the make up effects. We also get deleted scenes.
"Grimm" has a much more droll sense of humor than the more tongue-in-cheek humor of "Supernatural" and Mitchell in particular is a highlight of the show with his often sarcastic, dry delivery as Monroe. Both shows are entertaining ("Supernatural" has its extended mythology which "Grimm" is only beginning to develop)and "Grimm" has continually improved with each successive episode.
Although the pilot is solid, the show improves as the season goes on developing its own mythology. The one flaw with the show has to do with the development of Nick Burkhardt, his partner and girlfriend--while the show does develop the characters as the season goes on they are a bit too generic particularly when compared to Monroe and the supporting characters of the show.
Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) may be the police detectives that investigate the strange reports in the area. But it's Monroe (the local werewolf) that Nick runs to for help with the paranormal situations. Nick and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) have a great chemistry. And Monroe's smart humor adds a much-needed light-hearted feel to an otherwise dark and suspenseful setting. Bitsie Tulloch plays Nick's girlfriend Juliette who knows nothing (until the end of the season) about Nick's Grimm legacy.
This is one of my favorite shows on television. Each episode is a different Grimm fairy tale or myth with a modern day twist is always full of thrills, chills, and fantastic creatures. The mixture of mystery, suspense, horror and humor makes this a must-watch show. ABC's aired its first season of the popular fairy tale series Once Upon a Time this past year as well. And though there are similarities, there is a decidedly different feel to Grimm. There is none of the corniness or fanciful magic of OUaT. This is dark and gritty, with a more realistic, modern twist to the familiar stories. While there is an overlying arc that flows throughout the season, another nice thing about the series is that you don't necessarily have to watch each one in order. Each episode is a creature-(or fairy tale)-of-the-week with complex characters and exceptional writing. Don't miss this series.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 7, 2012, this five-disc set includes all 22 episodes.
BLU-RAY BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
* Grimm Guide: An interactive book that provides insight into the various creatures featured in the show.
* 2 Grimm collector's cards
BLU-RAY and DVD BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
* The World of Grimm: Get to know the characters and creatures that inhabit the world of "Grimm" and discover the inspiration behind the storylines.
* Making Monsters: Go behind the scenes with Andy Clement and Barney Burman as they take viewers through the special makeup effects design and application process. The talented team from Hive FX also shows fans how they give life to the monsters of "Grimm."
* Deleted scenes
* Gag reel
on May 5, 2015
im totally hooked with the Grimm. love all the episodes.
on June 20, 2012
My friend told me about these series. So I decided to watch a few episodes. Gotta say, episodes are entertaining, fun, not too gory and I like the set of actors. I haven't finished the whole season 1, but there is nothing wrong with the series. Grimm series definitely left me satisfied and hungry for more. Now I just have to wait for season 2.
Update: Finished the whole 1st season. And it was fantastic! Hated the last episode only for 1 reason it was interesting and I need to see more. Grimm is amazing.
A young couple hiking in the forest stumble across a drug dealer's pot farm and end up his captives. A mysterious stranger saves their lives and sets into motion the opening of a long closed child abduction case. Hank and Nick carefully review the old case and follow up on missed leads to track down the original criminal and end up catching a few new ones. At the same time, Monroe gets to use his experience to help one of his own come to terms with their species and living with humans. Grimm just keeps getting better and better.
on October 19, 2012
After reading other reviews about the manufacturer's packaging, I bought my set used (like new) from a reseller at Amazon.com. She did a great job packing the product, etc. The reason I give it 3 stars is because the negative reviews are right; the sleeves are flimsy -- tissue paper quality -- stuck to the box with glue/rubber cement. When the sheet separates from the box, the disks slide around in each section and can slide out of the top or bottom of the package with little effort. Plus, it's very easy to get glue on the disks. I transferred the disks to jewel/CD cases. The disks look okay and the ones I've tested work well but I can't attest to how well they all work at this point. One good thing the manufacturer did was print on the inside part of the package a "Wesen Dictionary" with the names of some of the characters and other terminology used on the show, along with a brief description of same. I hope the package quality improves because at $30+ for this product new, shoddy quality is not acceptable.
As to the show itself, I love "Grimm." The beavers (Eisbiber) are my favorite characters. Also, I've long been a fan of Silas Weir Mitchell and Russell Hornsby. This is the first show where I've seen David Giuntoli; he's excellent as Detective Burkhardt (the Grimm). In fact, the entire cast is top notch. The writing is good, the effects fantastic, and the beavers are so sweet, they'd be welcome in my home any time.
Highly recommend this show to adults and older children. I'm not sure some episodes are appropriate for very young children (under 8) because the special effects are very dark at times (e.g., the Hexenbiest -- witch with black eyes, nasty toothy grimace, in need of a comb). Another example is "The Thing with Feathers" -- gross, gross, gross but in an entertaining way. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but there's one scene ... it's so cringe worthy that I leave the room until it's done and I'm someone who has always found slasher films to be more comedic than horrifying. So, whoever wrote that scene -- excellent job. Ask for a raise, you deserve it!
on March 10, 2012
Suspense, horrror, slight black comedy, great story line and loveable characters.
Yes this is not for everyone but its one of my favourite shows out there, i hope they keep making more!!!!!
The horror genre is something that can certainly be hit-or-miss as it is adapted for primetime network TV. Combining elements of a standard police procedural with classic tales of monster mayhem, NBC's "Grimm" was a solid, and somewhat surprising, success for NBC in the 2011-12 season. Modernizing and reinterpreting Grimm's Fairy Tales certainly provides plenty of gritty and unpleasant material for Season One's 22 episodes. With takes on stories like Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and The Three Bears (among many others), "Grimm" makes for a much darker vision than ABC's fairy tale inspired fantasy "Once Upon A Time." This is targeting a different vibe and aims for creepiness and chills which, for the most part, hit their mark. While some tales are stronger than others, the show's technical aspects effectively create an overall mood which distinguishes the look and feel of the show. The dark and spooky sets, the make-up and special effects, the props, and the music really help the show stand out.
Both Blu-Ray and DVD releases will be 5 disc sets. The initial DVD/Blu-ray release is slated to be in limited edition packaging that will include exclusive "Grimm" collector cards. The Blu-ray will be in hi-def with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/ Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Both DVD and Blu-ray release will have subtitle options.
DVD Bonus Features:
World of Grimm Feature: Discusses characters, creatures, and inspirations behind the stories.
Making Monsters Features: Make-up and FX team members showcase how they can bring a creature to life.
Grimm Guide: Interactive book on Blu that lets you get a closer understanding of the different creatures.
"Grimm" tells the tale of a Portland homicide detective (David Giuntoli) who discovers a family legacy that he never expected. In early episodes, his aunt (Kate Burton) appears with quite a secret. She raised him after his parents untimely death and now must pass on the knowledge that he is what is known as a Grimm. Essentially he is a gatekeeper between the human world and the realm of mythological creatures (wesen in Grimm-speak). He has the power to see beneath their veneer as they are hidden among us, and his duty is to serve as a protector and a executioner. Guintoli, however, as he inherits the mantle is not the ruthless Grimm of his ancestry. He is a kinder and gentler Grimm and sets up a more classic struggle of good versus evil as opposed to man versus beast. His closest ally is, in fact, a the equivalent of a werewolf (or Big Bad Wolf, scene-stealing Silas Weir Mitchell plays the Blutbad). As the season progresses, a larger conspiracy seems to be at work behind the scenes. Might this new Grimm be in over his head?
While I enjoyed "Grimm, it still feels like a show finding its way. The entire premise is amusingly faulty, as practically the entire town of Portland is some kind of creature (good or evil). If the Grimm actually did eliminate any non-human presence, it would be absolute genocide leaving only a handful of residents in the Pacific Northwest! Now that's a show I'd pay to see! Each episode revolves around solving a case, just like a standard police procedural. While some are quite well done, many are too easy to predict. I also don't know that the show has developed its cast of characters sufficiently. Aside from Giuntoli and Weir Mitchell, many of the supporting cast remain relatively ill-defined or underutilized (most especially Bitsie Tulloch as Giuntoli's girlfriend). But still, "Grimm" provides something a bit out of the ordinary and these episodes kept me entertained. For Season Two, I'd like to see the continuing plot lines get stronger and dig deeper into the back story and mythology. KGHarris, 6/12.
on June 25, 2012
For me personally I would give this all the stars in the world, because Grimm is my very favorite thing right now, but from an objective standpoint I can recognize that it's not perfect. But even with its occasionally sloppy plotting, awkward pacing, uneven special effects, and bad German, it still manages to be a wonderfully entertaining show. And not even in an overly campy or so-bad-it's-good kind of way. Grimm has a lot going for it--a fun, imaginative premise, great on-screen chemistry between the characters, a good dose of humor, and gorgeous settings and cinematography. For a show that's really kind of dark, it's also very colorful, both visually and figuratively.
Basic premise: Wesen ("vessen") are the talking animals and other creatures (trolls, ogres) of fairy-tale lore, living unseen in human society. The Brothers Grimm were early creature profilers, able to see their hidden faces when they lose control. Portland police detective Nick Burkhardt, as his Aunt Marie is dying of cancer, finds himself seeing monster faces on some of the people around him, and discovers his family's Grimm heritage. The show is an odd mix of fairy-tale fantasy and police procedural as Nick solves Wesen-related crimes and tries to hang onto some sort of normalcy with his partner and his girlfriend while getting drawn deeper and deeper into his new role.
Grimms are something of a mythological horror in the Wesen world--as Monroe tells Nick, "You're the monster under the bed....You're not real, you're a scary story we tell our kids: 'Be good or a Grimm will come cut your head off.'" So not only does Nick have to deal with being able to see these creatures that no one else can see, he also has to deal with finding himself revealed as the ancestral boogeyman of a certain portion of the population. The news that there's a real live Grimm in town is shaking up the Wesen community. The subsequent realization that he's not an ax-wielding maniac comes as a welcome surprise. (Nick has an advantage as a cop and a Grimm--he can arrest people rather than cutting their heads off.)
I love the whole Grimm/Wesen dynamic and the way it plays out on the show. There's a certain unavoidable intimacy in a shared secret--this whole I-know-you-know-I-know thing. Nick didn't ask for any of this and the Wesen certainly didn't ask for him, but they've got each other. I particularly enjoy Nick's scenes with Rosalee in "Island of Dreams," the way he's all kind and straightforward and she's willing to see him as a sympathetic figure.
David Giuntoli's lead as Nick does come across as rather dull and uncharismatic at first. Really, the one thing that surprised me the most about this show was how much Nick's character grew on me over the course of the season. (Silas Weir Mitchell's Monroe is immediately engaging. Nick takes a little longer.) It's fun to watch him gradually go from complete befuddlement to a greater understanding and acceptance of his role and his relationship to the Wesen community. My favorite thing about Nick is his enduring kindness in the face of all the weird. He's a good guy. But he doesn't hesitate to use the scary Grimm reputation to his advantage when he needs to. Toward the end of the season we see him emerging as something of a leader, which we are led to believe is not a role that Grimms have traditionally held. It'll be interesting to see where they go with this in the future, as we get hints of greater machinations happening on a large-world scale.
The show does take a while to get going. The first couple of episodes are watchable but a bit too self-serious. The third and fourth are rather painful. It picks up--there are some good strong episodes in this first half--but it is rather formulaic and Monster-of-the-Week for a while (much like the early days of Smallville) and makes you wonder if it's actually going anywhere. There really is development and world-building going on, but it happens slowly. The season takes a noticeable turn around the tenth episode, where we finally get to see Nick starting to work his Grimminess. Ultimately I think the payoff of the long-term character arcs is one of the strengths of the show, but it does require a little patience at the beginning.
The lack of explanation could be a big turn-off for some people. We don't learn about things till they actually come up on the show, and Nick isn't one to ask questions that don't relate to his current case. (For a main character he seems oddly incurious.) It's annoying, especially at the beginning. It gets better, as the gaps gradually get filled in and Nick has enough information to function, and we have enough to follow along without (usually) wanting to yell at someone. But there are still a ton of unanswered questions. I sometimes feel like the writers are just making things up as they go, which I guess is okay as long as it doesn't lead to egregious inconsistencies. So far so good.
Things continue on at a good pace (with very few bumps) toward the finale, and then we're really left hanging. I feel like the structure of the season as a whole suffers from the lack of any kind of closure, but season two is coming soon, so I guess I won't complain too much.
"Big Feet" (#21) for me was really the breakout episode of the season. It has a much tighter and more personal focus, and explores some interesting themes of choice and identity. Good solid writing and great performances from everyone. "Leave it to Beavers" (#19) is also a favorite, as the culmination of some fun long-term character arcs. I love the way they spread out the beaver storyline over the season. I hope we get to see more of them in the future.
I do not think this show would have made it without Monroe. He's definitely the most well-drawn and well-realized character. Especially in the earliest episodes, when the show was still finding its feet, I think a lot of viewers probably would not have tuned back in if not for Monroe. He's such a complex and interesting character, and so fun to watch. The friendship between Nick and Monroe is really the heart and soul of the whole show--these two, the guy-who-sees-monsters and the monster-who-is-seen, coming to terms with each other and developing a trusting and supportive relationship.
Grimm viewers cover a wide age range, but the really *enthusiastic* fans seem to be almost exclusively female. This may seem funny for a cop/monster show, but that's just the way the characters work. There's something that appeals to a kind of Beauty-and-the-Beast romanticism, with these people managing to connect with each other despite what they are on the surface. A cast full of good-looking men doesn't hurt in that respect, either. Silas Weir Mitchell has certainly brought in the mature fangirl crowd. I know plenty of over-forty women who would like to take Monroe home and feed him.
This show is not going to appeal to everyone. It does get rather grisly. It's a homicide procedural, and someone always dies horribly. (The visuals generally are less disgusting than I've seen on shows like Bones and Fringe.) It's not the sort of thing I would watch with young kids. David Giuntoli's rule of thumb is that if you're young enough to still believe in Santa Claus, you probably shouldn't be watching Grimm. But I have heard of a lot of families that enjoy watching with their older kids.
On the whole, there's room for improvement (I would like to see some of the other characters utilized a little better) but the series is off to a great start and promises to take us in some interesting directions. I hope it stays around for a few years!