Around the Water Cooler: “Grimm,” The Season 3 Premiere (SPOILERS)

THE SPECS:

Who: “Grimm” currently airs on network TV, specifically on NBC, Fridays at 9:00 PM.

What: “Grimm,” a supernatural/fantasy drama, wherein supernatural forces, the stuff of nightmarish fairy tales and legends, are disguised as human beings, and only those descended from the original Brothers Grimm, can see – and fight – those beings and their true natures (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/grimm/summary.html).

When: The Season 3 premiere aired on Friday, October 25, 2013, on NBC at 9:00 PM.

Where: The show is set in Portland, Oregon.

Why:  The premise of this show has always been intriguing: Grimms are not weavers of fairy tales but are humanity’s last line of defense against the beasts and monsters that haunt our nightmares. This generation’s Grimm is a police detective who stumbles into his family legacy by accident and must adjust what is his mostly normal life to these new abnormalities.  The mythology in this show is steep, meaning it will always be a cult TV show at best, but cult TV tends to appeal to me more than mainstream/non-cult TV, and I haven’t been disappointed by Grimm.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Grimm is a truly unique show.  Its audience is not large, but, as with most cult television offerings, the viewership is avidly loyal.  The special effects are well done, borrowing heavily from creator David Greenwalt’s prior experience on Angel.  As noted above, the story and ongoing struggles of Grimm Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) are heavily rooted in a mythology that casual viewers will not understand without watching previous seasons and episodes.  There is a jargon unique to this program: the Germanic names of the monsters and beastly natures of creatures chased and battled by Nick include things like “blutbots” and “hexenbeasts.”  The vendetta of the “Royals,” i.e. powerful supernatural enemies of the Grimms, is a tale that has been woven since the pilot.

At the end of season 2, Nick became embroiled in Captain Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) Royal family politics, as his brother (James Frain) captured Nick with the help of a creature that spits venom and turns normal people into zombies.  The season premiere finds Nick’s partner Hank (Russell Hornsby), friend Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), friend Rosalee (Bree Turner), and true love Juliet (Bitsie Tulloch) being chased by a horde of zombies, after Juliet recently regained her memory and learned the true nature of the Grimms.  Meanwhile, Captain Renard finds his brother deeply involved in Nick’s capture; Nick’s friends chase his undead body to the airport and to a plane headed for Vienna only to learn later that the plane crashes, and Nick escapes unscathed but affected by the venom, as Grimms are “different,” we are reminded by Rosalee.  The premiere is clearly the first part of a longer arc that finds the heroes chasing Nick into the Oregonian wilderness, powerful, sick, and in need of the antidote brewed by Rosalee in her magic shop.

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) What do the Royals really want with Nick/any remaining Grimms, other than their extinction? Why not just kill him?

2) Will Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio return as Nick’s mom this season?  The season preview seemed to suggest so.

3) How will Juliet deal with all of this – she just started learning all of Nick’s heritage and seems to accept it, despite her pre-magically induced amnesiac doubts?

4) Now that Adelind has her hexenbeast (witch-like creature) magic back, what is her endgame?

5) Will the show veer away from “monster of the week” tales into a more mythology-focused storytelling structure?  It may be time to do so: how many new creatures can Nick encounter? Progress is key to longevity, after all.

PARTING SHOTS

Grimm is not a bad way to spend a Friday night (not that I’ve been able to watch it live on a Friday night in an extremely long time).  It’s not the most perfect show, and its heavy mythology is a deterrent to casual viewers. Fortunately, NBC allows Hulu and other venues to air the full show and not just six episodes at a time for those looking to catch up.  Grimm is well written and worth the look, for those who enjoy a good fantasy yarn.  Also, for those who care, David Giuntoli is quite enjoyable to look at…

LOOKING AHEAD:

Grimm was ordered for a full season and has earned the faith of the network, as the program’s audience may be the most solid even if the program is not the highest rated for its time slot. Grimm will likely be renewed again as long as the story continues to be as riveting as it has been.

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