Thankfully, help is at hand with the arrival of a new series that finally provides an answer to that age-old question “What if Grimms’ Fairy Tales were true?” You know, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk? And, yes, apparently loose versions of all of these feature in this series (and I suspect “loose” is the operative word here).
Tonight’s episode begins, like most modern TV dramas, with the brutal murder of a young woman. Let’s call her Little Red Riding Hoody. She appears to have been killed by some kind of wild animal. There’s a cottage in the woods, too. And a big, bad… Blutbad (you see, because they’re based on Grimms’ Fairy Tales all the creatures have fun German names – my favourite is Jägerbär, because it sounds like somewhere you’d knock back one-too-many shots).
Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (relative newcomer David Giuntoli, who looks distractingly like Brandon Routh from Superman Begins) is soon on the trail of whatever it is that’s killed the victim. As it is, he’s been having some weird experiences lately – you know, people in the office turning into hideous demons only he can see, that kind of thing – but that’s probably just overwork, right?
Wrong, of course. A visit from his ailing aunt – and another from a scythe-wielding monster – convinces Nick that these creatures are all too real. What’s more, he discovers he’s the latest in a long line of so-called Grimms, which makes it his job – alongside the police work – to stop them.
The monsters aren’t all bad, though. Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is a reformed Blutbad. He sticks to a special diet and does pilates to help him curb his natural instincts – although he still likes to mark his territory by peeing on the fence.
This opener sets Monroe up as Nick’s sidekick – an inside man in the supernatural community – and injects some humour (you might expect more of it from a series billed as “from the makers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but Buffy creator Joss Whedon is not involved, being too busy in Hollywood making blockbusters like The Avengers).
It’s a watchable first episode, and kicks off some intriguing story arcs, but it seems likely the success of Grimm will hinge on the relationship between Nick and Monroe. And the demons and werewolves, of course. There just aren’t enough of them on TV.