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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Things looking Grimm

     Last night, NBC's Grimm premiered. In "Pilot," Detective Nick Burckhardt (David Giuntoli, Priveleged) begins seeing people morph into strange creatures. His dying Aunt Marie (Kate Burton, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order), who raised him, warns that he is the next in a long line of Grimms, tasked with hunting down the supernatural. Since she will be gone soon, he is inheriting her powers. This comes in handy, as Nick is soon investigating a serial killer who goes after girls in red hoodies. Luckily, he meets Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, My Name is Earl, Prison Break), a reformed big bad wolf, who reluctantly tells him about the supernatural world, and helps him track down the killer, a postman (Tim Bagley, Monk, Web Therapy), who happens to be another Big Bad Wolf with a Red Riding Hood complex.

     Basically, Grimm is a crime procedural with a heavy supernatural twist. This makes it hard to figure out, exactly. With David Greenwalt, a creative force for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel on board, Grimm could start off with cases of the week, and grow into something truly special. Or it could continue this format for years to come and grow boring. Or it could pull off the rare feat of a procedural, making enough character development merge with whatever the crime is, and end up being successful because of the people in the series being extremely interesting. A cynic would think the middle choice is most likely, and looking at the fare on television, that is probably true. However, with a wonderful cast and cool mythology, Grimm certainly has the chance to be neat if the network lets it, and the writers and producers are so inclined.

     Poor Burton takes on another character that won't be long for the series. She does a similar thing in the first season of Grey's Anatomy, setting up the central character, before bowing out and letting them stand on their own. She surely won't be alive by season one's end, at the latest. It's too bad, because she makes Marie creepy and mysterious, loving and dangerous. It's a really complicated character, and Burton is up to the task. Thank goodness, even though the part may be temporary, an actress with skill is cast.

     How long will Nick stay with Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch, Quarterlife, Lonelygirl15)? She is someone that can go a number of ways, thus making her character a good one to put in the mix. Nick and Juliette are living together, and he wants to propose to her. But as Nick's Grimm destiny manifests, Marie warns him to dump Juliette, as being the spouse of a Grimm is far too dangerous. So in Grimm, Juliette, who is currently a main character, will have to go one of two ways. Either Nick is done with her, after much agonizing, and likely some serious threat to her life, which may or may not result in her death, or she bucks up and becomes a talented hunter alongside him. The latter option is the more unexpected one, and the more people helping Nick, the better his mission will go. That would be a step towards Buffy, and a sign that the series is on the right track. But maybe she'll just die, which would be boring.

     Nick and Eddie's partnership, while not at all original, has pretty good chemistry. Like so many other team ups that both characters are not equally as enthused about at first (see: White Collar, Bones, Castle, etc.), they will become fast friends very soon. Which is fine, because both have back stories that will serve to enhance the show's mysteries. Neither performer has had real starring, meaty roles before, and it's time to give them the chance, especially Mitchell, who has shone is recurring roles on popular series. In "Pilot," they seem capable. They relationship will be the heart of the series.

     On the other side of things, in what will surely clash with Nick's new career, he already has a partner in Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby, Lincoln Heights). Hank knows nothing about Nick's new abilities, but does seem to notice that Nick is now getting "instincts," which lead them to the bad guys. So Nick keeping the two sides of himself a secret is out. Hank's direction is nearly the same as Juliette's, though he probably won't just get reassigned and disappear. Either he becomes a valued ally, or he dies. Again, if the show is going for a strong ensemble with some serious serial staying power, he needs to step up. It would be a shame if Nick loses all of his connection to the human world, so minimally, either Juliette or Hank should stick. Both would be preferable.

     Lastly, Nick's boss, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz, Caprica, Warehouse 13) is working with some of the creatures that Nick must hunt. Is he a baddie, too? What are his motives? First glance makes him see evil, but that is not necessarily the case. It's nice to see the great Roiz isn't regulated to toothless, bit part boss, but is instead an integral part of the larger story. The questions I have about Renard top all others to date, so he really makes Grimm worth looking forward to.

     Watch Grimm Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. The series also stars Reggie Lee (No Ordinary Family, Prison Break).

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