'Grimm' Masters The Supernatural
The second season of NBC’s emerging cult favorite Grimm is fast approaching, but fans and curious newcomers might do well to catch-up on season 1 episodes before embarking on the sequel — available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Dark, seductive, and enthralling, Grimm’s fairy tales have never been broached so ambitiously as here. The 22-episode, 5-disc set is currently being distributed in limited edition packaging and includes never-before-seen bonus material, which rounds out the not-so grim experience.
With a refreshingly realistic and modern approach that still maintains the fantastical aspects of the original children’s stories, veteran producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have proven that they’ve mastered the supernatural on the small screen. NBC’s latest is filled with wicked storylines that are intricately wound at every turn — each episode seemingly trying to outdo the previous, leaving viewers spell-bound. Grimm was introduced to the primetime line-up to mixed expectations from viewers and critics alike, but showed itself to be immune to the skepticism that followed the season premiere. These aren’t your typical bedtime fairytales: producers stayed true to the twisted supernatural elements of Grimm’s storytelling, which has been downplayed in recent years for fear of extending dubious morals. Grimm revives the stories, and ditches the Hansel-and-Gretel-like characters.
David Giuntoli (Grey’s Anatomy) plays homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who soon discovers that he descends from a long line of Grimms: stewards tasked with protecting humankind from formidable folklore creatures. In the first episode, we see an unsuspecting Burkhardt run face to face with these creatures as they attempt to attack his aunt. Jack-of-all-trades Monroe (Silas Weir) is a solitary, reformed Wessen creature who becomes Burkhardt’s reluctant informant and unlikely friend. The pair works together in secret on numerous investigations, in which Burkhardt uses the only guide left to him by his mysterious ancestors: a book profiling the gruesome range of beings of the Grimm universe. With no remaining relatives to guide him through this burdensome legacy, Burkhardt struggles to balance his personal and professional lives, and to uncover the truth about his Grimm lineage.
Charged with these newly found obligations, our titular Grimm initially attempts to navigate this double life without others knowing who he truly is, but anyone connected with Burkhardt is somehow ultimately dragged into the dangers of the Grimm world, and he eventually divulges all to his live-in girlfriend Julliette (Bitsie Tuiloch). The deliciously frustrating irony of it all is that everyone seems to have potential except Burkhardt. Although he does progressively embrace his Grimm-hood, he continues to be passive and hesitant. A combination title of gruesome beast hunter and police official should produce a useful hybrid of a man — we’re still waiting for that realization from Burkhardt. For now, the detective’s uncertainty about everything is successfully conveyed in a less-than-successful hero model.
The dynamics between characters are likewise slow to progress, yet well-integrated into the plot. Final episodes deal with Hank Griffin's (Russell Hornsby) post-traumatic Grimm stress disorder, a curse-stricken Juliette, and the re-emergence of Nick’s presumed-to-be-dead mother as a woman in black. Viewers are left wondering if Monroe’s character will remain as loyal in future episodes, and how Nick’s revealed past will lead to the possible unraveling of his present. The apparent struggle between normalcy and unexpected Hexenbiest mishaps speaks to viewers seeking a cathartic release from their own hectic life. Grimm provides a cultish intrigue that ultimately looks to fill the supernatural void left by the giant Lost for desolate fans, while still incorporating classic themes of greed, lust, power and virtue that are subtly whispered into the series.
The limited edition DVD and Blu-ray provides an enhanced experience for fans hoping to dig deeper. Deleted scenes, gag reels in hi-def, and the interactive creature guide allow viewers to follow the creative thought process behind the series. We are also privy to Andy Clement and Barney Burman’s special makeup effects design and application process, and the "World of Grimm" is included for those interested in getting to know the characters, creatures and inspiration behind Grimm.
‘Bad Teeth,’ the first episode of season 2, airs Monday August 13, 10/9 c on NBC.