Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Grimm' a genre hybrid that doesn't quite work

On Friday's series premiere of "Grimm," we were introduced to our second take on fairy tales in less than a week's time, this one a little more of a police procedural.

Nick Burkhardt is a detective who suddenly finds himself having inherited the power to see certain people's "true selves": creatures from Grimm fairy tales.

This first episode saw him pursuing a monstrous predator who went after women and young girls wearing red (gee, I wonder which fairy tale that's about?). The problems here, in a show from two talented producers (David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf from "Angel"), range from the minor (how is it that the first victim's iPod just happened to cycle back to the same song, "Sweet Dreams," that she was listening to when she was attacked?) to the more important (since Nick is a "Grimm," why doesn't he try to see what each of these creatures is up to, instead of just being generally creeped out by what he sees - especially when the first one he saw seems to be a villain?).

By far, the best part of this show was Eddie, the "Big Bad Wolf," who seems to be more like the comic relief. There needs to be more of him - a lot more. Nick and his partner, Hank, aren't really that interesting so far.

It's easy to see where they can go with this concept, especially as Nick struggles with whether or not to keep his powers a secret from co-workers and loved ones, and the promise that this will use the "X-Files"/"Fringe" formula of a "monster of the week."

Even so, I expected more from this. It's an interesting concept on paper, but doesn't seem fully formed. It also doesn't help that the show's effects aren't quite up to what we've seen on other genre shows ("Terra Nova," it's not).

With Friday night's competition being the final game of the World Series, and the aforementioned competition on a weekly basis (not to mention "Supernatural"), it's a huge understatement to say that "Grimm" faces an uphill ratings battle. We'll see if it can go the distance.

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