Will Grimm Survive?

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

Two new fairy tale tv shows popped up this season. I reviewed Once Upon a Time HERE, a quirky twist on Snow White and all the fairy tales, now I’m reviewing Grimm. With much anticipation I DVRd both shows and made my husband watch. We’re still watching both, but I find myself looking forward to Once Upon a Time slightly more. Why?

Grimm follows a darker story line about a descendant of the Grimm family who discovers he has special abilities and is able to see the strange people who live among us and disguise themselves as human. His inherited abilities now force him into a job as supernatural police and he must not only enforce moral laws on his own, but discern what morality is. So far he’s been a pretty black and white character, adhering to the exact letter of what he thinks is right. Despite killing at least one character who might be on his side.

I’m not sure if it’s his goody goody black and white world view that slows this show down, or the way every plot line is revealed that is a little too similar, but I’m waiting for that magical thing to happen. You know, that thing that happens to good shows after they get comfortable with themselves. So-so shows never have it. They make it through the bumpy first few episodes, but never hit the magic. Great shows hit it early on. They may start off looking like every other show, but then they take off and find themselves.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer did it. The remake of Dark Shadows never did. Unless a show figures out it’s personality and gets away from the stated box it starts with, it won’t fly. This is especially true for shows that are risk takers. Shows that are different from the norm. Like Grimm. Any show about supernaturals has to prove it’s worth earlier and stronger than a regular show because it is not only proving it’s worth to skeptical bigwigs at the production company, but it is proving itself to a narrow, highly discerning specialty audience. The paranormal geeks.

Will Grimm make it? I don’t know. They need to take this blue eyed cutie and give him some teeth. They need to take his by the rules side kick and give him some more depth. They’re trying to make it complex, trying to show not all the uglies are baddies, but that’s not enough. That’s external plotting being developed. We expect that. Give us something unexpected and twist it. Then we’ll watch.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Grimm, and seeing if it can struggle out of the box it used to sell itself to the network. Because that’s what it needs to do to sell itself to us.

Have you watched Grimm yet? What about Once Upon a Time? Do you agree with me that paranormal shows need to have more than a regular show? What do you think makes one successful?

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Will Grimm Survive?

  1. I watched a clip of ONCE UPON A TIME (didn’t you give us the link?). Loved it.

    Haven’t yet visited GRIMM and, after this review, I think I’ll hold off for a bit. Let us know if the pacing improves.

    You do realize (I know you do) that many of the things that spell the death knell for GRIMM apply to us and our books.

    • I think that’s what Brinda is saying also, that killing the pacing for shows applies to books. But a tv show has a few tries to get it right. We have only a few pages before we had better get the person hooked, not a few books!

  2. Brinda Berry

    I haven’t watched either show, but I’ve really been MIA in television viewing. You are right though. The show has to reveal its character and “find itself” quickly or it won’t make it. As Gloria said, it’s the same for books. I used to be the one who would force myself t finish a book no matter what. Now, I am always low on time, so I will quit reading if it doesn’t grab me and pull me in within the first quarter.

    BTW, I am the biggest Buffy fan ever. I own several seasons on DVD and aspire to own them all.

    • I miss Buffy, I was sad it ended and I watched Angel too. Now, of course, I have moved over to Bones and love that too. Warning though, I tried to read the books after watching the TV show and they are nothing alike. I think I would have enjoyed the books as a mystery series if I hadn’t seen the show though.

      And I am with you on the books or shows or whatever. My time it precious so why waste it on something I’m not enjoying. I feel like that with desert as well. If it isn’t good, why waste the calories!

  3. I really love Once Upon a Time. Prince Charming is HAWT! Grimm- not so much. It didn’t hook me. I agree with your assesment. I love that your page is snowing by the way. Very cool!

  4. Late to the party but here I am. I agree with your assessment, Jessica.
    I watched the first two episodes of Grimm, the first with anticipation, the second episode with a wary eye. I do love the reformed wolf he befriends in the first episode, but the show felt flat. The conflict was one dimensional, IMHO. Here are the bad guys, and here is the good guy. The dying aunt telling the main character his destiny, with lots of holes because she’s left it too long, felt cliche. She raised him, could she not have sliced in some information here and there, laid the groundwork, so to speak? I wanted to get into this show, but couldn’t.
    Once Upon A Time, however, had me glued in the first two minutes.
    As a writer, dissecting these two shows is an excellent example of how to do it right, and how to do it not so right.

    • I do like the werewolf character, maybe that’s because he’s the deepest character in the show. He has a drive to be the Big Bad Wolf, but he’s decided to behave. He drinks beer and plays the violin and is grumpy. I wish the main character had as much interest. We talk a lot as writers about GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) and the main character has those, but his conflicts are all external. He needs an inner conflict to struggle against. I’m still watching, but I doubt they’ll deepen it in time to save it. Too bad they didn’t focus on making it stronger out of the gate, it’s a great idea.

  5. Ok, so this is one way we’re not twins, Jessica! My tastes run more to West Wing (now gone from the airwaves). What I really liked here was your comment about shows finding themselves, hitting their groove, and going on to greatness. That’s what West Wing did.

    • OK, not paranormal twins. But I did love the West Wing. Jed Bartlett rocks! I thought the West Wing succeeded on so many levels: a stellar cast, a complicated plot that didn’t talk down to it’s audience, real characters with depth. And Stockard Channing. Any show with Stockard Channing is bound to be a hit! Excellent taste Elaine and I wish there were more shows like the West Wing, but they don’t come around often. (I watch PBS Mystery too!)

  6. Pingback: Grimm Suvivial | JessicaAspenWrites

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