Nick, the Creature Slayer: A Review of Grimm
- Friday, November 18, 2011
If the concept sounds a little familiar, perhaps it's because it's reminiscent of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, the Joss Whedon cult series about the eponymous teen girl who is told she is the Slayer, the female appointed and enabled to kill the undead in her small town. That series resonated with viewers who perceived a tale of youthful female empowerment and the rare coming of age story not about a young man's destiny.
So far the new series is trying to build up the type of mythology that both the aforementioned X-Files and Buffy used to capture the audience's imagination. But whereas the first series was about knowing through faith or science and the second about maturing into an adult amidst the fearsome obstacles of adolescence, I'm not sure exactly what themes Grimm is about. Nick has no problem believing his monstrous perceptions, and, as a veteran police detective, is pretty well empowered already.
The conceit of fairy tale beings in the real world is itself not a concept to sustain a multi-season run as it could quickly become a monster-of-the-week show. Yes, we know there's a conspiracy of sorts with Captain Renard but this is concept without an apparent theme or subtext. Classic fairy tales, similar to the great mythologies, have survived because readers intuited a greater meaning to them than simply fantastic children's stories--there were deep structures that could be both instructional and reassuring. G. K. Chesterton famously said, ""Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." Grimm so far seems like just a cop show with a gimmick.
Guintoli has a kind of smooth Prince Charming appearance but his good looks are the type that limit rather than suggest the possibility a deeper, more complex, character. In fact, it's Silas Weir Mitchell's edgy Eddie Monroe character that offers the only real bright spot so far. He's funny, but dangerous, and the series needs more of that sort of witty weirdness. So far, Grimm hasn't found the magic formula to live happily ever after.
*This review first published 11/21/2011
**Watch Grimm Fridays on NBC
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