Saturday, November 5, 2011

Things Are Looking Mighty Grimm

Little Red Riding Hood leaves her college dorm room dressed in pink running shoes and a tight red sweater, iPod cranked up to “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, and sets out for an early morning jog through the forest primeval. Minutes later, amid snarls and thrashing underbrush, Little Red is torn limb from limb.

Goldilocks and her boyfriend break into a secluded house, looking like something out of a primitive Tiki bar, helping themselves to the contents of the wine bar, the fridge, and a little R and R in the homeowner’s bed. Little do they know they have stumbled into the lair of three “bears.”

If this sounds like the dark flip side of Disney, you’ve got it right. It’s NBC’s breakout new cop thriller, Grimm. Our hero, homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, recently learns that he is a “Grimm”, a descendant of the original Brothers, blessed or cursed with the ability to “see” our favorite storybook monsters for what they really are. Drawing on a long tradition of supernatural television from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery to The X Files, Grimm infuses new blood into that old standby, the TV cop show.

One of the best things about Grimm is its visual style, thanks to the producers decision to film the show in and around Portland, Oregon, where the woods possess a natural fairy-tale like quality not unlike Germany’s Black Forest. But this is network television, so the violence is nowhere near as graphic as, say HBO’s True Blood, and the 45 minute plots are not overly complex, nor is there any envelope pushing here.

Grimm airs in the perfect time slot, early Friday evenings after the gym and happy hour, and before more serious late night partying begins. For those of us whose tastes lean toward the Gothic and Supernatural, it’s a great way to kick off the weekend.

Grimm airs Friday nights at nine on the NBC network. The first two episodes are currently available for online viewing at Hulu dot com.

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