Grimm (TV Show)

Well, I guess I will foray into television shows. Probably will not do that very often, but since the Grimm’s Fairy Tales were among my favorites (and still are) I wanted to write about this show. The show starts with the premise that the Grimm’s fairy tales were warnings, not just stories. Warnings from people who could see the underlying monsters in what otherwise appears to be people to those who cannot. Those that see the monsters are called Grimms and those that cannot are everyone else.

For instance, the story of the big bad wolf and little red riding hood are based on the ‘real’ existence of Blutbaden. Basically the people/ monsters what do this undergo a physical change mostly related to their faces, and physiological changes like added strength when they take their monster form. The main character is a new Grimm (apparently the ability to see these monsters comes after a related Grimm dies.) who is also a police detective. Well, enough with this, the real question is how is it in terms of fairy tales.

The show has two failings. This first is actually only a partial failing. It seems like most really evil things done by people are actually done by the bad wesen (generic name for the shape changers). This is really more of a fault of the setting. For instance, every detective show features way too many clever murders, so here, obviously all the nasty things done are done by the wesen. This strikes against the nature of man. However, the show does redeem itself by using these wesen as models of a very Christian understanding of the nature of man. If one looks at the wesen, the bad ones are driven by evil desires they are born with. However, a few we meet are actively fighting their nature to try to be good. This is never represented as the wrong thing for the wesen. For instance the main secondary character is a reformed blutbad (werewolf) who fights his evil nature in a way strikingly reminiscent of the battle between the old Adam and the new man in a Christian.

The other failing is that it took a while to warm up. The first few episodes were fairly predictable and almost lame. The show hobbles along on the crutches of a few unique ideas and the hope that they will pick up some of the darkness from the Grimm’s fairy tales. Because, really, without darkness, the light of hope of the hero (which in Grimm’s is an ordinary fellow trying to do the right thing.) looks tepid. However, sometime around episode four the story catches up with the feeling of the Grimm’s fairy tales, and by episode 10 the show is downright macabre.

So, to sum up, the show is a fun twist on fairy tales, while it took a while for it to catch the right spirit, it has turned out to be a great re-look at some of the best, most insightful, most human storytelling of all time. (That would be Grimm itself. Don’t believe me, ask Chesterton 🙂 ) The show also gives a realistic portrayal of the trials of sinful people in its main character, and its major supporting characters.

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