Grimm: The Complete First Season

> > Aug 17 2012

Grimm: The Complete First Season
By Scott A. GrayIt's rare for a show to be this aggressively mediocre. Usually there is some element of a production, be it in the story, cast, special effects, art design or overall direction, which stands out as particularly good or bad. Grimm is content to waver within a very tight margin of "fine." Co-created, and frequently written, by David Greenwalt, who, as the main mind behind excellent Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel, has had a lot of experience blending the supernatural with facets of investigative drama and gallows humour, Grimm is a full-fledged police procedural. The reality-extending twist is that officer Nick Burkhart of the Portland PD comes from the lineage of the show's famous fable author namesakes. This means our department store mannequin-looking protagonist can see mythological creatures lurking behind masks of humanity and has a long-standing family tradition of hunting them. Blanket intolerance doesn't suit Nick too well, especially after he befriends a reformed Blutbad, or what's commonly known as a wolf-man (much of the terminology is based on the German heritage of the Grimms), and he makes the decision to deal with all cases on a moral basis. His disregard for the status quo doesn't sit well with the various covert factions and power brokers vying for control based on ancient ideals, and this is where the larger plot begins to emerge. Most of the first season adheres to the "case/monster of the week" formula, with Nick trying to balance his two professional lives and his relationship with live-in significant other Juliette (the charming Bitsie Tulloch). That there isn't undue drama between Nick and Juliette is a welcome change of pace from the majority of hormonally charged programs filling the airwaves; it's a shame the show doesn't get much more progressive than that though. Grimm lacks the linguistic spark of thematic bedfellow Lost Girl, but it has a more consistent cast. Likewise, the show doesn't have the scientific specificity, or chemistry, between its leads that Bones does, nor does it have the pulpy lasciviousness of True Blood or the wit of comic series Fables, which much more successfully repurposes characters of legend in a modern context. It does have Angel alumni Amy Acker vomiting acid into the mouth of a would-be date rapist though. With moments like that, and a Deadmau5 surrogate as the pied piper episode, it's just as hard to stop watching Grimm as it is to keep watching ― the show always seems like it's just about to get better. Aided by a parade of strong guest stars and the enthusiastic charm of Silas Weir Mitchell as the Blutbad, Monroe, by the end of the season, it does get more consistently compelling. Each disc contains a handful of uninteresting deleted and extended scenes with the final disc packing in a gag reel, audition tapes, a VFX breakdown on the monster transformations, a look at the superior practical makeup, a "Highlight Reel" for those looking for a specific kind of money shot and a pretty standard look behind the creation and making of the show with "The World of Grimm."
(Universal)
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