DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
Buy Exclusive Game of Thrones Merch at the HBO Shop Now!
 
 
 
 
Ode to ‘Grimm’
March 31, 2017  | By Monique Nazareth  | 4 comments
 

“Foretold our fate; but, by the god’s decree, all heard, and none believed the prophecy.”

This quote, from the Latin epic poem The Aeneid, appears before one of the episodes of Grimm in its 6th and final season.  NBC is bringing Grimm to an end on Friday, March 31. It is a great line to describe the show’s premise and my feelings when I found out the show was coming to an end.

The show, which combines police drama with horror, features our hero, Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, top), a Portland, Oregon cop who discovers he’s a Grimm, as in the brothers Grimm.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were academics who collected and published folklore in the 19th century. The TV show imagines those tales not as folklore, but true stories about real beings, know as Wesen. Wesen is German for “beings” and Grimm for “creatures.” The Wesen appear as human to normal people, but the Grimm sees what they are when they woge, that is, turn into their creature selves. The Wesen can spot the Grimm by the look in his or her eyes.  Just as these creatures come from legends told to us over many generations, as children the Wesen were warned about the Grimm who is on earth to kill them. Indeed, the storylines were borrowed from legends and cultural folklore and placed in modern day life.

It’s an interesting premise, but what I love about the show is that it doesn’t fall into the trap of taking itself too seriously.  There are great humor and great characters mixed into the storyline.  It’s not all about the “Chosen One,” but about his friends, as well. In that sense, Grimm is a great successor to Joss Whedon’s brilliant creations Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Indeed, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, David Greenwalt, was a co-executive producer of Buffy and a co-creator of Angel.  His partner in Grimm is Jim Kouf who also wrote for Angel. They brought that same sensibility to Grimm, which often took monsters as metaphor.

Just like in Buffy and Angel, not all Grimm monsters are bad. Right from the beginning, Nick befriends Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, above, left) who is a Blutbad, or a big, bad wolf. Monroe is a history geek and understands the Wesen so well he helps Nick and assists him in distinguishing between good and bad, as does Monroe’s later love interest and Fuchsbau (a Wesen resembling a fox), Rosalee (Bree Turner). Blurring the lines between the two are the Zauberbiest and Hexenbiest, or warlocks and witches, including Nick’s boss, Captain Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz, below, left) and his lover Adalind (Claire Coffee). By the way, if you’re noticing a lot of German words here, the German language runs throughout the show, perhaps in homage to the Grimm brothers and their original stories. Then there are the human friends he has to introduce slowly to this strange new world, including police colleagues Hank (Russell Hornsby) and Wu (Reggie Lee). The casting is brilliant! They also made Portland central to the story much as New York was a character in Sex In the City. The settings, and even the other characters, were so distinct to the Pacific Northwest, you couldn’t forget where all this was taking place. In this sense, Grimm reminded me in many ways of the ‘70s show The Night Stalker which made Chicago a part of the show.

What also made the show stand out was its premiere on Halloween, or as close to it as possible, playing up the horror element. What’s remarkable is that it was a Friday show that found, and kept, a following. And, despite it having been on for six seasons, it never jumped the shark. Its co-creators certainly seemed to feel it was a good time to end.

Kouf told TVLine:  “You know, 123 times through the fairytale world, and you start getting a little slim.”

And Giuntoli told TVLine he appreciated that they get the final ending they want: “I like to call it the Oregon, death-with-dignity, kind-of-our-hospice run.”

So here we are with the final cliffhanger. Our villain, the equivalent of Buffy’s The First Evil, is known as Zerstörer. As told by the prophecies, Zerstörer has come to this world with a staff so powerful it may have been used for good and evil throughout history from Moses to David and Goliath.  This skull-faced creature, now in human form as an Aryan model, is walking and killing at will through the streets of Portland as he searches for his child-bride, Sean and Adalind’s daughter Diana, as well as for the final piece to his all-powerful staff. And, as we recently discovered, he may also be hunting for the Grimm’s son, a Grimm/Hexenbiest mix. It’s the final battle to the death and death has come to this gang, just as in the endings of its predecessor shows. Will the Grimm survive?  Will he lose his power? Will he dump his Hexenbiest lover for his true love, Juliette? What of the über-powerful child, Diana, riding the line between good and evil and her Grimm half-brother Kelly?  Will he show his true raison d’être?   We’ve been forced to say goodbye to old friends in the cruel lead up to the ending; can we bear more losses?

And will I be ready to say goodbye to all these terrific characters? I have to concede that though I am sad to have to do just that, it’s better that Grimm ends while the fans still love it. To borrow a quote used by this great series, this one from Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata Salazar and used in Season 5:

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
QFDJK
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
4 Comments
 
 
Stuart
Never jumped the shark? What about Trubel? That's when I stopped watching.
Mar 31, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
My farewell to one crazy show---Sarah Watches For You!: Grimm October 28 2011-March 31 2017 http://sarahwatches4u.blogspot.com/2017/03/grimm-october-28-2011-march-31-2017.html?spref=tw--
Mar 31, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Joanne Miller
Thanks for the great article and summary. I'm sorry to hear the show is ending.
Mar 31, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Bob Lamm
Glad you loved GRIMM. I liked the show at first, but it wore me out by the end of Season One. I couldn't cope with "123 times through the fairytale world" or even close. Where I really differ with you, though, is mentioning GRIMM and THE NIGHT STALKER in the same breath. Despite silliness equal to GRIMM's, THE NIGHT STALKER was far better due to the wonderful performances of the late Darrin McGavin as Carl Kolchak. He was superb and hilarious!
Mar 31, 2017   |  Reply
 
Monique
Thanks for your comment. I love "The Night Stalker!" Darrin McGavin is a big part of what made that show so great! At the same time, I think it was incredibly influential on shows like "Buffy," "Angel" and "Grimm" in it's brilliance of combining horror, cliff hangers and humor. My point was Chicago was integral to that show in the same way Portland has been to "Grimm." I also think you may have quit "Grimm" too early. It was very well written particularly in this final season.
Mar 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $15. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History