It's Grimm up North

The police drama is a television staple. People like watching coppers solve crimes on the TV much more than they tend to like the actual police, who do things like show up at your house at two in the morning when you were totally having a quiet party and I don’t even know where that powder came from officer and it’s probably just talc anyway.

Ahem, so… TV cops. People love them. However, there are only so many times you can replay the same old cops and robbers storyline before it gets boring. So you mix it up, but after you’ve done musical cops, sassy lady cops and hell, even Canadian cops where’s left to go?

Well according to Grimm, what we we’ve been waiting for is a supernatural cop.

Nick Burkhardt is a boyish, good looking detective who discovers he’s the descendant of a group of monster hunters called Grimms who have to take out all the malevolent fiends from fairy tales.

These monsters are still around and an awful lot of them conveniently live in Portland, Oregon alongside our hero. Now I’ve never been to Portland, but it does seem like a good place to be a monster because every hundred yards you seem to stumble into one of what seems like several massive forests in the middle of the city: ideal for all your monster lair needs.

However just so we’re not too confounded by all the monster stuff, the programme is careful to stick to some classic cop show clichés: for example the very first scene features an attractive young jogger listening to music on her iPod, which we hear, full blast. She’s then brutally mauled by a monster, her headphones fall out and we hear the same tune tinnily repeating from the scattered headphones.

It’s a trick that’s become ubiquitous in crime drama in recent years. The first time it was done it was probably quite effective, but now it’s just played out. Although Grimm does get bonus points for using  ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurthymics, because that’s a tune.

Similarly we quickly learn that our hero is observant because he’s always looking at things. Every time he walks into a room we get a good five seconds of him looking around quizzically, because he’s observant! Because he’s always looking, because he’s super super observant. DO YOU GET THAT HE’S OBSERVANT?

But for all that it embraces certain conventions, there’s a lot of evidence this may well turn out to be a decent show.

Our hero’s powers are subtly revealed to us in the first episode as people who generally look like ordinary folk  occasionally reveal their true monstrous faces to him. This is handled well and with realistically creepy CGI. Also Burkhardt’s cop partner is good value and even if he’s essentially playing a watered down Bunk Moreland, any kind of Bunk is good for all concerned.

More importantly, the broader mythology behind the show looks pretty interesting. Our hero is informed of his monster fighting destiny by his weird, cancer riddled aunt and the hints we’re given by her and a entertainingly friendly werewolf thing suggest of an intriguingly broad history of monsters secretly battling this lineage of Grimms.

In fact, it was evocative of early series of Buffy spin-off show Angel, when Angel was just a vampire private detective and didn’t have to run a demonic law firm and battle his dimension hopping son every five minutes.

This isn’t too surprising, as Grimm was created by David Greenwalt: one of the chaps behind Angel. Although time will tell whether Grimm will  have the same staying power as David Boreanaz’s rooftop brood-fest, the story of a magical cop tracking down a different monster each week as we slowly learn more about a dark and threatening world is one I’m on board for.


Grimm is on Watch, Mondays at 9pm.


About Ian Dunn
I love avocados, WH Auden and dinosaurs but I don't like effort.

One Response to Grimm

  1. Pingback: Spartacus: Vengeance Series Blog – Episode Four – Empty Hands « Tellysquawks

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