“These guys, they carry grudges all the way to the grave. And usually it’s your grave.”
What are there far too many of on the TV? No, not medical dramas. Or property porn. Legal dramas? Cooking shows? Victorian-sideshows-with-racist-undertones masquerading as documentaries or reality TV?
Well yes to all the above, obviously, but that’s not what I meant.
I meant crime procedurals.
CSI: Everywheresville, USA. That alone accounts for several million investigated corpses. Then there’s all the rest, your Without a Traces and Law and Orders etc etc. In these shows the good guys usually get their man and everyone goes away happy, except when they don’t and Dexter has to step in to chop up said with malice aforethoughter and wrap him in a bin bag and everyone else goes away happy.
As you might expect, liberal America poster city Portland, Oregon does things a little differently.
Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is just an ordinary cop working homicide and trying to do his job as best as possible when he discovers, courtesy of a dying aunt, that he is a descendant, nay a veritable scion of the brothers Grimm and as such can see the true forms of Wesen (“Vessen”), mythological creatures occasionally given to offing human folk.
Not all the time, mind, just when they lose control of their emotions. Because otherwise it would just be silly.
The brothers Grimm were in fact recording documentary evidence like 19th century detectives and decapitating bear-men and wolf-men and such, not merely writing down the horrifically violent and often heavily sexualised stories that people used to tell the kiddywinks.
Cinderella? By all accounts it was a fur slipper before the BGs wrote it down, not a glass one. Think that ‘perfect fit’ through for just a second. Just sayin’, dawg.
And so begins Grimm, the wackiest, most overblown, ridiculous and genius trashy cop show ever. Watch it, you’ll hate it: it’s terrible; you’ll love it, guaranteed. See, it goes like this: 1st five minutes = WTF, next 5 minutes = this is dreadful, next minute = fine, I’ll give it until the next ad break, two episodes later = obsessed much? You’re officially a write-off.
It’s got people trafficking, jealous lovers, cookies, magic coins, fight clubs, people being poached to make mythological creature Viagra. Best stock up on monster mace – turns out there’s a fanged beastie in every corner of Portland. It’s a true original and yet so, so generic crime caper, but with fairy tales. I only wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall when it was pitched:
Yeah so, like, CSI meets the wolf from red riding hood? Yeah the wolf’s in it, but Burkhardt finds the wrong one first when they’re chasing a kidnapper – they’re called, uh, Blutboden by the way. Yeah we just made up some words that sound a bit, y’know, German. Anyway, this one is called Monroe, yeah I know, great name even if it’s not very dog-like but he becomes Burkhardt’s best friend and sort of like a guide. Geddit?! We’re gonna’ get him to say stuff like “don’t you dare say heel!” Oh and Burkhardt solves crimes with his partner, Hank Griffin. I know, right?! No I don’t know the mythological significance of the griffin, I just think it sounds frickin’ harsh! He gets dragged around but he doesn’t know what’s going on so there’s all this tension ‘cause Burkhardt wants to tell him and his girlfriend the truth but can’t. Yeah we’re not too bothered about the girlfriend to tell the truth. But we could probably write in some references to the Nazis if you guys want, that’s definitely something that could happen.
Hmm? I dunno, do you think Nicolas Cage might be interested?
Sadly not, but Giuntoli plus partners detective Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) and Monroe (Silas Mitchell) have a genuine likability about them that’s typically lacking in less luridly ludicrous police shows. That they wear the material so lightly is probably what makes it even remotely watchable, admittedly. Mainly it’s about Silas Mitchell. Bitsie Tulloch is a bit wasted in the girlfriend role that is little more than a plot device. Then there’s the boss cop (Sasha Roiz), about whom there may be more than meets the eye.
To recap it’s pathologically stoopid, the CGI is lame, the Wesen designs usually laughable rather than scary, season two opened with one of the cheesiest credits sequences you’re ever likely to experience, the girlfriend role’s a bit thankless but the guys are having a whale of a time (TV and film in microcosm, really).
If that’s not a rock-solid promise of rambunctious entertainment then I dunno’ what is.
Series two features on the channel Watch in the UK on Mondays at 9pm, it’s probably long over in the States but I’m sure you young criminals will all find a way to stream it on t’internet. For shame.
“It’s obvious: it was committed by a barefoot man carrying a wolf.”