Anyhow, after having made it almost through the entire first season of both new fairy tale-based shows, I feel like the clear winner between them is "Once Upon a Time." It has its lame moments, but overall, it gets it right. "Once Upon a Time" manages to take just enough from the source material to give us that Grimm flavor, but gives everything a clever enough twist to keep it new and fresh. Plus, the intertwining, overlapping storylines that criss-cross btween our mundane world, where the poor storybook characters have been trapped, and the fairy tale world from whence they came add some interesting layers to the narrative. Not to mention the outstanding talent featured on the show, not only on the regular cast, but popping through in little guest-star-bursts of wonder. (Examples, you say? You want examples? Well, say hello to Emma Caufield of "Buffy" fame, appearing as the witch from Hansel and Gretel! And isn't it lovely to see Kristin Bauer from "True Blood" as Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty?)
Mirror mirror, on the wall? Who's the best fairy tale show of them all?
This isn't really a complete failing in and of itself. Despite the name, by no means do I think that a show that calls itself "Grimm" needs to be chock full of good fairies, glass slippers, and evil old crones. But it needs to decide to be something instead of meandering back and forth between ideas and occasionally spinning fruitlessly in circles. Does it want to be a show that puts a crime drama twist on fairy tale material or an urban fantasy crime show with absolutely nothing to do with all things Bibbidy Bobbity Boo-ish? When we're alternately faced with a Big Bad Wolf pedophile preying on a modern day Little Red Riding Hood, a la the former, and then a slew of episodes featuring bee and spider monsters with evil mechanations that bear thwarting a la the latter, the inconsistency grows tiresome. I lost the thread of where this show was coming from and what it was trying to be a long time ago. It's like an indecisive child trying to pick a Halloween costume. Are you a fairy princess or a detective? And yes, wearing a trench coat with a tiara makes you look ridiculous, so decide already.
Where was that woodcutter when Little Red really needed him?
So far, the answer is no. He has nothing else about him that makes me believe he's a legendary warrior who monsters live in fear of.
Oh, no, wait. I spoke too soon. Apparently, he can also research, which seems to be how he's managed thus far. So fear him, monsters, or he's going to look up stuff about you in his book! I mean, if I learned anything from G.I. Joe, it's that "Knowing is half the battle!" But the other half needs to be significantly more interesting and make for more compelling TV than watching Nick Burkhart read a book.
Maybe he battles evil with the power of his sexy pout? Did that work for his elderly aunt, too?
This picture borrowed from: http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/2011/10/13/real-world-alum-battles-big-bad-wolves-in-grimm/
My advice to "Grimm"? Go back to your roots and try to re-work it from there. Once upon a time, we had a pilot which took the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and gave it both the sinister flavor of an original Grimms' fairy tale with enough urban crime drama flavor to make it truly unique. The creepy magic was there in the form of our Big Bad Wolf, but crossing the old school Big Bad Wolf with his real-world modern day equivalent, the pedophile, brought a reality to the plot that made the fairy tale into a metaphor, of sorts. It was clever. It was unsettling. And it was interesting. And while some of the subsequent episodes have roughly meandered in that general direction, none of them have tried to really make that kind of connection since.
So take heed, "Grimm," and show the world that there's more than one fairy tale show out there that can be a force to be reckoned with. Otherwise, your title is going to need to lose an "m" to be truly accurate.