GRIMM: A midseason review by Kristen Micek

Editor’s note: Hey folks! A couple weeks back, we introduced Kristen Micek as the latest member of the Crimespree crew. Today, she offers up her thoughts on NBC’s GRIMM.

GRIMM,  the NBC series created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf, has recently aired the 12th episode of its first season. GRIMM airs Friday nights at 9/8cst.

In the dramatic and witty police procedural, detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) must find a way to uphold his human laws when faced with the supernatural fairytale beings that live among us. Set to the backdrop of a quaint, mossy Portland, Oregon, the show balances the dark stories with lush scenery and vibrant lighting reminiscent of their fairytale inspiration. When Nick’s last living relative nears death and passes the family legacy onto him, he discovers that he is the descendant of the Brothers Grimm and his newfound calling allows him to see the monsters that hide among us. When a young girl in a red hoodie is kidnapped, Nick appeals to reformed blutbad Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) for help in finding the girl before she becomes dinner. During the investigation, Nick fights to reconcile what he is allowed to do as a cop and can explain to his partner Hank (Russell Hornby) with what he knows to be true as a Grimm.

The pilot introduces many interesting story arcs, including Nick’s reluctance toward his newfound calling and two opposing forces of which one wants Nick’s death and the other want to use him to a yet unknown advantage. Yet, the story seems to feature the episodic drama characteristic of police procedurals, rather than following through on these larger story arcs. The arcs have not been forgotten, as a few cryptic clues have been meted out in recent episodes and foreshadow that more are coming.

The episodes are entertaining and reinvent various fairytales, such as Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel, to fit our day and time, but the lack of character development and progression leaves viewers wanting. The episodes focus more on the Grimm monster of the episode than the main characters themselves. Monroe is the only recurring character with sufficient depth, while Nick and his girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) still seem relatively flat. Nick’s legacy as a Grimm rarely conflicts with his professional life or with his relationship with Juliette, although recent episodes have begun to remedy this weakness with the creatures intruding into Nick’s home life and Juliette’s growing suspicion that he is hiding something. Hopefully, they’ll forge ahead with these conflicts and use the remaining episodes to further develop Nick and Juliette, while exploring how being a Grimm is affecting Nick’s life.

Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe is one of the most entertaining characters in the series, offering up most of the comedic elements. This once bloody and rebellious blutbad is now a clockmaker with a fondness for fine wine, classical music, Pilates, and French press coffee. His relationship with Nick is one of the most developed and entertaining in the show, with a nice level of tension as Monroe must defend Nick as tolerant and open-minded, despite knowing his family would roll in their graves if they knew he was aiding a Grimm. The past few episodes have seen a nice progression as the two develop as friends rather than Monroe solely being Nick’s source of information, adding an emotional core to the show that would be otherwise lacking.

The tightly written pilot and strong recent episodes prove that the show has enormous potential, despite the small lag the series suffered in middle episodes. While each episode features a crime, the show moves past the traditional question of who committed the act to focus on the shades of gray involved when dealing with a hidden culture of supernatural beings. This promising series will have viewers hoping to see what fairytales will be reimagined next and anxious to see what will happen when Nick is no longer able to keep his two lives apart.

Kristen Micek.
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