The show is a modern take on the classic Grimm Fairy Tales but with some major twists. For instance, the Grimm is a person able to see underneath the mask of the creatures and other fantastical beings. They are also the ones in charge of punishing the bad ones who hurt, kill or abuse people.
These beings are called Wesen, a German word for beings. The show uses a lot of foreign languages, like French, Spanish, but German is a major part of the plot since its lore is tied to German fairy tales. Unfortunately, many actors mispronounce the words on a regular basis, which is a cause of much laughter and consternation on my part. I happen to speak German fluently, so I find myself mystified what they are talking about until I see the word written down. I do understand that English-speaking people have trouble mastering foreign accents, but they really could have done a better job. A little coaching can work wonders, no? That is why I loved the proficiency of Sebastian Roché in season 1 episode Cat and Mouse. He was just brilliant!
The first season was mainly building the show’s universe and introducing us to major subplots in the background of the monster-of-the-week episodes. It was fun to see how many new creatures were invented or old ones adapted. I loved it, but I waited for more information on the major groups fighting for dominance in the Wesen world; the Verrat (betrayal) and the Royals, but also the Resistance. Grimms in itself are a fascinating bunch – some are working for the Royals, some aren’t.
Our titular Grimm Nick Burkhardt is under pressure to hand over a mysterious key leading to something of great importance to the Wesen community and the Royals. This is also the reason why he’s had to fight off 3 Grimm Reapers – a brilliant pun of the writers. Nick works as a detective in Portland, Oregon, which comes in handy all the time when he’s investigating. His partner is detective Hank Griffin (the token black guy) and of season 2 he knows of the Wessen world – a huge improvement in the storyline because there’s only so long one can expect a competent man to be easily distracted from the shady things Nick does. Not to mention the huge amount of gruesome crimes they are frequently facing. The body count in this show is pretty high – not for the faint-hearted then.
A faithful companion of Nick’s is a Blutbad Monroe, a fountain of knowledge when aunt Mary’s trailer full of heirloom books and diaries, gadgets and potions isn’t quite enough to crack the case. Now that he’s helping out in Rosalee’s Spice shop he’s more helpful than ever. He’s spoken German is still bad even though his family is supposedly fluent in it, but I can forgive that more or less. Rosalee is a Fuchsbau and his romantic interest, but she’s a minor character at the time.
The mid-season finale ended with a big reveal. Nick finally found out whom Juliette is interested in romantically. Edelheid Schade, a former Hexenbiest, is eagerly dishing out her revenge on all and sundry, making her a really wicked villainess. I was relieved and sad to see her go in season 1, but once her alliance with the corrupt Royals has been revealed I was only dismayed. I had a good idea what levels of mayhem she is capable off and she doesn’t disappoint. Captain Renard really underestimated the potential for love to turn into hate.
I think the show is pretty solid, minus the German-fail and occasionally sub-par CG effects. I enjoy it, but would survive without it all the same. It’s kind of predictable at times, but the surprises keep me interested when they happen. The premise itself was something new to me, though I am sure other similar shows have been around for a lot longer. I don’t watch that much TV; I prefer to download fresh episodes weekly and watch them without commercial breaks when I want.