When you speak of fairy tales, what’s your first thought? Is it an image of Snow White surrounded by the Seven Dwarfs singing songs? Rapunzel throwing her hair from her lofty tower in a Walt Disney Film? Or maybe the Three Little Pigs building their houses to protect them from the Big Bad Wolf? Then I would say you are correct. Being a dad I know of these all too well.
However there is another side to every story, or two sides to a coin as they say, and this other side is told in the Grimm Brothers fairy tales. While the ending may be similar to the Disney versions, the journey to that end is much darker. This darker side has been brought to our screens the form of the NBC TV series Grimm.
As we in the UK near the start season 4 of this supernatural drama series I thought I would bring you up to speed on what the show is all about. I only hope to whet your appetite without giving too much away!
Set in Portland, Oregon, the series focuses on the a detective in the Portland PD named Nick Burkhardt. Nick’s a normal guy who puts in a honest shift while working with his partner Hank, before going home to his loving girlfriend Juliet. Pretty much the kind of life we all have, want or can associate with.
However, an encounter with his aunt Marie brings to light something that will change his life forever. Nick is about to go into the family business and have a whole new world opened up to him. A world filled with creatures that no normal person can see, but luckily for us (but maybe not for Nick) he’s not normal, he’s a Grimm!
The Grimm are people who, throughout time, have protected the everyday folk from these creatures known as Wesen. These Wesen look like you or me, but a Grimm can see them as the creatures they can become, there inner self if you like. Now some of them are dangerous and not to be underestimated, but most are a few who want nothing more than to live a perfectly normal life. I hope I’m not giving too much away so far.
David Giuntoli plays Nick Burkhardt, and plays him very effectively as he struggles to the balance the two sides to himself. One half a detective that fights to uphold the law and bring justice, the other half has a destiny to destroy the evil in the world and keep the normal people safe. Even though, he struggles in believing in these supernatural creatures whom he is supposed to destroy. Through this Nick fights to keep the ones he cares for from this darker side with mixed results.
The nature of the stories in Grimm have a darker element to them, which brings them more in line with the stories shown within the Grimm brothers’ version. One such example being the excellent spin that they do on one of the stories I mentioned before, that of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, but I’ll not spoil it for you.
The cast may not be full of household names or a massive amount of A-list stars, but this matters not, as the cast gel together extremely well. Once you become familiar with the characters they play, you cannot help but become engrossed in their lives. Frequently added bits of subtle humour that are displayed on numerous occasions from certain characters help warm you to this cast, especially with the characters of Munroe, a Wesen who is brilliantly portrayed by Silas Weir Mitchell, and Sergeant Wu with whom Nick works, played by Reggie Lee. The effects aren’t too bad at all for a TV production, with the Wesen shifting between their human and animalistic sides when they become emotional, which happens a lot around a Grimm.
In my opinion NBC have helped produce a gritty, yet emotional supernatural drama series. One that manages to draw in a wide variety audiences from multiple genres. As someone who loves the strange/unexplainable elements in all things, the stories use of the supernatural certainly works for me; and there is an equally good amount of action/dramatic moments if that’s what you prefer. Grimm may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as we say in the UK, but if you like something a little unusual then why not give it try. You may not look at people in the same way next time.