TV Review: Clever ‘Grimm’ Returns with Early Start to Second Season

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CHICAGO – The surprisingly robust “Grimm” returns for an early series premiere tonight, August 13, 2012 with a special five-week Monday night run meant to capitalize on advertising during the Olympics and catch those who just haven’t changed the channel since they’re not used to doing so every night for the last two weeks. Coinciding with the strong Blu-ray release of the first season last week, it really feels like NBC, Universal, and the producers of this better-than-average show are taking the opportunity to push it to the next level. I expect they will succeed.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 3.5/5.0
Television Rating: 3.5/5.0

When “Grimm” premiered last fall on Friday nights, expectations were low. It seemed like a “Supernatural” knock-off, the premiere had some notable tone issues, and another fairy-tale-fantasy show, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” stole the headlines. But “Grimm” became a surprisingly potent hit when looking at the right numbers. Its DVR numbers (being that it aired on Friday night, one where DVR numbers are always more important) were pretty spectacular and its performance in the key demo (18-49) was increasingly notable as the year progressed. By the right metrics, “Grimm” could be called a hit. It does well enough that I think it’s one of those shows that could be on for years (a la “Supernatural”) even if it’s never a broad hit.

Grimm
Grimm
Photo credit: NBC

But is it any good? Cruising through the first season Blu-ray, I was impressed at how confidently the show developed and worked through the growing pains of its premiere. The cast, especially lead David Giuntoli and “supernatural advisor” Silas Weir Mitchell (who plays Monroe), developed a consistent chemistry and the writing improved every week. There are several episodes in the first season that made me smile at the way they took a fairy tale concept and spun it in a modern way (I particularly liked the tale of a Deadmau5-esque DJ as Pied Piper). And the show reached a nice balance of mystery-of-the-week and overall-series arc plotlines, something co-creator David Greenwalt mastered on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”

Grimm: Season One
Grimm: Season One
Photo credit: Universal

“Grimm” opens its second season with a pair of highly dramatic episodes and I’m not sure that’s the best approach to bring in new fans who might get hooked by the Monday night airings and the building hype. “Grimm” works better when it’s slightly tongue-in-cheek but the first two-parter is VERY serious. There’s sleeping beauty drama as Nick’s girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) lays in a coma. There’s parental drama as Nick’s mother (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) turns out to be alive and fighting the Grimm fight with him. And then a cargo ship arrives in Portland housing a deadly creature looking for Nick’s head. It’s intense.

And it’s strong fantasy storytelling. Both episodes fly by in terms of pacing and, most importantly, Giuntoli is the confident lead that he really wasn’t until a few months into the first season. This is fun, clever, well-made action drama. And it’s a perfect transition — a Hollywood blockbuster-esque show to end the dismal summer network TV season and serve as a bloody appetizer for the promising fall one.

“Grimm: Season One”

The first season of “Grimm” was released on Blu-ray and DVD last week and it’s a stellar set. Universal’s TV-HD releases are some of the best on the market. Not only are the video transfers nearly flawless but the special features are interesting and copious. I wish all studios treated their modern programs as well as Universal does. Fans won’t be disappointed.

Synopsis:
And you thought they were just fairytales…

The classic Grimms’ fairytales come to life like never before in this “dark and imaginative” (Mike Ayers, CNN.com Entertainment) series from the producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s descended from a long line of “Grimms,” who are charged with keeping balance between humanity and the creatures of myth. With newly awoken abilities to detect the evil lurking among us, Nick struggles to keep his old life separate and safe as he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries of the Grimm world. Now, watch back-to-back and uninterrupted all 22 Season One episodes of this uniquely evocative series that critics rave “offers genuine scares” (Michelle Tauber, People).

Special Features:
o Grimm Guide: Explore The Creatures Of Grimm With This Interactive Guide
o Deleted And Extended Scenes
o The World Of Grimm: Discover the Characters, Creatures and Inspiration Behind The Storylines
o Grimm: Making Monsters - Go Behind The Scenes With the Teams Who Bring The Monsters To Life

“Grimm” stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, and Bree Turner. It returns on NBC on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 9pm CST and the first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 7, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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