Hollywood has found a lucrative business in taking established properties and remaking, rebooting, or revamping them for newer audiences. Fairly tales have been the latest goldmine thanks to Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" raking in over a billion dollars at the box office. Disney and ABC took the "Lost" style of storytelling for their series "Once Upon a Time," which transplanted familiar characters into a real world setting. Disney has done a lot to sanitize those age old stories, which originated as frightening and grotesque cautionary tales. NBC looks to return the tales to their darker roots as well as put a new sheen to the police procedural with "Grimm."
Nick Bukhardt (David Giuntoli) is a homicide detective for the Portland Police, who has always had uncanny instincts when it comes to crime solving. Sick with cancer, his Aunt Marie (Kate Burton), reveals to Nick that he is descended from a long line of monster hunters known as Grimms. There is an entire secret society of these creatures, called Wesen, who live amongst the humans. Due to his lineage, Nick has the ability to see the Wesen in their true form. Whereas shows like "CSI" and "Law & Order" feature crimes ripped from the headlines, "Grimm" takes its cues from the original fairy tales. Each episode finds Nick investigating cases loosely based on stories such as "Little Red Riding Hood, "The Three Little Pigs," or "Rapunzel."
In the human world, Nick works with his partner Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) and Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee), who are unaware of their friend's double life. Nick must also protect his fiancée, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) from the shadowy world he has been thrust into. To do this, he relies on one of his only allies in the Wesen community, a Blutbad or werewolf, named Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell). Monroe is mostly in control of his animal side, but has a tendency to lose it during a fight or when he's around others of his kind.
"Grimm" is comparable to fan favorites like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Supernatural." The series has a similar creature of the week formula with Nick looking into a murder, encountering a bizarre beast, and researching through the texts his family has collected for centuries. You'll wish you had access to these materials too because it's hard to keep track of who or what everyone is. In fact, the gatefold packaging features a glossary of terminology. The Jagerbar are bear-like creatures, Daemonfeurer are dragon creatures and so on. Much like the vampires of "Buffy," the Wesen morph their faces from human to monster with a little CGI magic. The effects aren't very convincing and neither are the stories. The mysteries aren't very complex and detective work is minimal.
This 5-disc set includes the following episodes:
- "Pilot" – Det. Nick Burkhardt discovers that he is the latest in a long line of guardians against supernatural creatures just as he investigates the grisly murder of a female jogger.
- "Bears Will Be Bears" – A break-in leads to something a lot worse than cold porridge when a pair of burglars is hunted by the wealthy homeowners.
- "Beeware" – Nick stumbles into a centuries old blood feud between the witch-like Hexenbiests and a clan of insectoid creatures known as Mellifers.
- "Lonelyhearts" – Monroe goes undercover to assist Nick in his investigation into the disappearances of several women.
- "Danse Macabre" – The death of a high school teacher leads Nick and Hank to a troubled kid with an aptitude for music.
- "The Three Bad Wolves" – Monroe's past comes back to haunt him when an old flame returns and entangles our heroes into a twisted web of revenge.
- "Let Down Your Hair" – Nick and Hank re-open an unsolved missing persons case when a feral creature is spotted in the woods.
- "Game Ogre" – Hank is in danger when an inhumanly strong convict he put away returns and commits a string of brutal murders.
- "Of Mouse and Man" – A timid, Wesen suspect turns out to be more dangerous because of his traumatic childhood.
- "Organ Grinder" – Two teenagers named Hansen and Gracie lead Nick towards a black market organ trade.
- "Tarantella" – Nick must stop a spider-like Wesen from murdering humans to stay eternally young.
- "Last Grimm Standing" – Nick and Monroe look into a boxing gym that is a front for an underground Wesen fight circuit.
- "Three Coins in a Fuchsbau" – An attempted robbery puts Nick and Hank on the trail of a collection of cursed coins.
- "Plumed Serpent" – A beautiful fire dancer kidnaps Juliette to force Nick to battle a fire-breathing demon.
- "Island of Dreams" – Nick may have a new ally in the Wesen community in Rosalee (Bree Turner), the sister of a murdered shopkeeper.
- "The Thing with Feathers" – Nick tries to repair his relationship with Juliette by taking her on a weekend rendezvous. His romantic chances may be ruined by a couple of strange neighbors.
- "Love Sick" – A double date turns sour when Nick learns that Hank's prospective girlfriend is Adalind.
- "Cat and Mouse" – Nick learns that a wanted fugitive is actually a freedom fighter battling against the clandestine control of the royals.
- "Leave It to Beavers" – To solve a murder, Nick must deal with a clan of beaver-like Wesen, who are extremely wary of outsiders.
- "Happily Ever Aftermath" – In a twisted take on Cinderella, Nick investigates a young couple estranged from the wife's stepmother and stepsisters. Meanwhile, Juliette looks into the deaths of Nicks' parents.
- "Bigfeet" – An old friend of Monroe's suffers from a rare condition that prevents him from changing into human form.
- "Woman in Black" – A series of murders reignites Nick's search for the cursed coins, but his police work is hampered by a mysterious woman in black.
The video is presented in 1080p with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The picture quality is clean without any flaws. Day scenes are brightly lit with the forests a lush green. Night scenes are also well done with blues and blacks coming off strong.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue is crisp and clear with roars, snarls, and growls reverberating. Some sequences are particularly bustling like the rave in "Danse Macabre."
Sprinkled throughout each disc are deleted scenes from various episodes. The majority of the extras are found on disc 5.
The World of Grimm (10:50) is the standard behind-the-scenes featurette looking at the conception and production of the show.
Grimm: Making Monsters (6:43) focuses on the special effects and make-up work used to create the show's creatures.
VFX Progressions (2:08) are breakdowns of the special effects.
Highlight Reels (5:53) are montages focusing on "Scares," "Morphs," and "The Language of Grimm."
Disc 5 also includes a gag reel and audition tapes of the main cast members.
"Grimm" has the benefit of a unique concept that blends classic legends with a modern cop drama. However, it tends to be shaky on both ends. The mysteries are simplistic and the show gets bogged down in the mythology. This is one of those shows that's still trying to find its legs during the first season.