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Grimm – Who knew fairy tales could be so gripping?

'Grimm' launches with a bang. And continues right on through to the last moments. Has there been a better pilot this season? No.

- Season 1, Episode 1 - "Pilot"

Right out of the gate, Grimm hooks you with its no-use-sitting-down-’cause-you-aren’t-going-to-get-comfortable antics.

A jogger out for a bit of exercise on some back-wood Oregon path is horrifically ripped to shreds (off screen) by “something” that darts into and out of eye-shot. We hear her cries … and they ain’t pretty. She’s wearing a hooded sweatshirt — red, of course … an immediate reference to Red Riding Hood.

But … you knew that already, didn’t you? Because I know you’ve heard so much about this spiffy series there was no possible way you missed the opening words which flashed on the screen:

The wolf thought to himself,
What a tender young creature.
What a nice plump mouthful …
The Brothers Grimm
1812

Or … maybe you did. And, if you did, that’ll teach you to come late to the party from now on … won’t it?

The action — while edge-of-your-seat and spiffy — is just as exciting off screen as it is on screen. Proof there doesn’t need to be bloody scenes to frighten the pants off you. (I watched the episode with my headphones on and the volume turned up probably a bit too high, so the initial sideswiping of Sylvia Oster at the beginning was gloriously jarring.)

David Giuntoli (Privileged) as Portland homicide detective Nick Burckhardt (who knows nothing of his Grimm lineage until his Aunt Marie comes for a visit, ready to supply him with knowledge aplenty) and his partner (and unintentional comic sidekick) Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby, Lincoln Heights) are both neatly cast in their roles. Personally, I thought our first witness to the pair’s case was not only a nice little set up for the series and a tight, knowledgeable and engaging pilot, but the rest of the players in the game got my attention right away. And of those, I’m most excited about “blutbot” (literal German translation “blood offered” … ???) Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, Prison Break, My Name is Earl) who will continue to be featured prominently in the series, it appears. (I have a proclivity for slightly off-kilter characters and Mitchell is a favorite of mine.)

Among some of the many interesting little tidbits offered in this initial airing, there were tons of standard German items in The Postman’s house: Candy dishes, Hummel figurines, brass wall hangings, the Hank-mentioned quilted pillows, the old school furniture. I had an aunt who was German through and through. The Postman’s house? It could have been hers, hands down. Uncanny. And let’s not forget about all the Volkswagens so prominently displayed in the hour. I look forward to more of the same as the series ticks along. (Why all the German nods? Well … Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm‘s heritage, of course.)

And that strange green key Aunt Marie passed to Nick? Wish we could have found out what that unlocks. Soon enough, I venture.

Overall? A very nice intro. I’m excited for more tales as we move along. Thank you, NBC, for passing on Wonder Woman and giving us Grimm instead. *whew*

Side Notes:

  • Terrific eerie theme for Grimm. I’m certain it will pervade my dreams for months to come.
  • Speaking of music in the pilot, not only was Sylvia listening to Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” … not only was The Postman humming the song while Nick and Hank were turning his place upside down looking for Robin … the closing music was same as well, only the creepy version as realized by Marilyn Manson.
  • Did anyone note the name of the street (“Hildebrandt Road”) mentioned early on in the episode? This was a nod to The Brothers Hildebrandt, classic illustrators who have realized Grimm’s Fairy Tales, tons of Lord Of The Rings illustrations, Star Wars promos and posters and a whole lot more. Take a gander at one of their Red Riding Hood pieces.
  • And, since we’re noting names: I expected nothing less from the show than Hank discovering the kidnapped Robin’s backpack with her initials on it. (“RH” = “Robin Howell” = “Riding Hood”)
  • Did you recognize The Postman who abducted Robin? I did … right away. It was the terrific Tim Bagley. Last time I saw him he was in fine comic form on Bleep My Dad Says with William Shatner.
  • My biggest complaint? (It’s just a little one, really.) Nick’s entrance into Aunt Marie’s trailer. On the sink (?)/table top (?)/counter (?) there was a bevy of glass bottles, jars, etc. I’m certain they were adhered to whatever surface they were on by some of that earthquake gummy stuff so they didn’t fall while in transit. Yes … I’m certain of it.
  • Seriously: What’s with all the Volkswagens? Really? Somebody fess up.

Quotation:

“This sounds like what happened a month ago at Munson Creek Falls …” — Nick
“Same deal. Hiker and a bobcat.” — Hank
“The bobcat wasn’t wearing a boot.” — Nick

 

Photo Credit: NBC

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | Grimm | News | TV Shows |

8 Responses to “Grimm – Who knew fairy tales could be so gripping?”

October 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

That was the police captain at the end .. right?

October 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Yes. I missed that the first time I saw the pilot. That reveal on the second watch … very intriguing.

October 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I actually watched real time, and didn’t move except for commercial breaks. The only other new shows this season that got me to do that was Person of Interest & Revenge. I either dvr or on-demand everything, so for me this was a litmus test. I’m looking forward to more next week.

I totally agree on his Aunt’s trailer–it looked cool but threw me into thinking ‘tv studio’ instead of story space.

October 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I also really enjoyed this pilot. I think that you misheard the one German word for the wolf-like creatures…I am pretty sure it was Blutbad. The English translation is “blood bath”. I wonder what that means……

http://www.nbc.com/grimm/grimm-guide/2011/10/blutbad-pl-blutbaden/

I look forward to seeing the next episode.

October 29, 2011 at 10:06 PM

. . . . .

brainmusic:

My “ear for German” is a little rusty … and I heard “blutbot” and “blutbotten”. I happily stand corrected.

Thanks for educating me!

October 30, 2011 at 11:14 PM

I enjoyed it (as well as this review of it) immensely.

November 2, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Out of curiosity I watched the first episode via OnDemand…I’m hooked!

November 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Jepp, Blood Bath is the right translation for “Blutbad” (though I don’t understand the plural “bludbaden”. The right declension would be “blutbäder”, and yes, with a German umlaut :) but what the hell, this is fiction).

Concerning the “Wieder Blutbad”, the church of reformed blubaden, I think this is a typical mistake which several native German speakers do, too: “Wieder” literaly translates to “again” or something like that. In my eyes this should be written “wider” (without the -e-, but spoken the same in German), which translates to “against”, because the reformed blutbaden are _against_ their normal behavior, i.e. creating a blood bath.

Concerned about the problems for English speaking people – ‘wider’ would be spelled with an -i- like in eye and translated to ‘with greater wideness’ than to ‘against’ – they decided to chose the version with en -ie-, which would be right spelled and has no English false friend (and seriously, this would not be understood by most English natives. Took me a while to get this, and I’m German… :)

Well, I’m not sure if this is right, but it sounds good in my eyes. Erm, ears, I mean *cough*

Sers

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