DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Grimm: Season One, Blu-ray, 5 discs (2012)

An urban fantasy plot with mystery, some dark humor, and creepy mythological creatures.

Published on August 16, 2012

Grimm: Season One, Blu-ray, 5 discs (2012)

All 22 Episodes plus Pilot
Cast: David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby, Sasha Roiz
Studio: NBC-TV/Universal Studios 61123351 [8/7/12]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Extras: Interactive Grimm Guide to explore the creatures of Grimm, Deleted & extended scenes, “Grimm: Making Monsters,” Audition tapes (5), UltraViolet, more
Total Length: 15 hrs., 51 min.
Rating: *****

Some fans believe this updated modern fairytale/police procedural to be the best current series on TV, and Season Two—which has just started—is promised to be even better. The series—from the producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel—is an urban fantasy plot with mystery, some dark humor, and some creepy mythological creatures.

Nick Burkhardt (Giuntoli) is a Portland, Oregon detective who in the pilot thinks he might be losing his mind because occasionally he sees people briefly morph into hideous creatures. Soon his aunt—who is dying of cancer—visits with a trailer full of ancient books, potion and weapons. She tells him they are both Grimms—descendents of an ancient line of protectors of the world from the supernatural “wesen” creatures, who seem to be all around. After she dies, Nick is visited (again after many years absence) by his mother, who he thought had died in a crash with his father. She is also a Grimm.

Nick is following up on a man who has abducted a little girl and suspects it to be Monroe, who turns out to be not the perpetrator but a reformed Wider Blutbad (big bad wolf). He is a vegetarian, reclusive, and plays the cello. Monroe, with his highly-advanced sense of smell and knowledge of the wesen, becomes a sort of reluctant sidekick to Nick to aid him in tracking down the supernatural baddies. Another side story is Monroe’s also-reformed-wesen girlfriend, whom he meets a few episodes in. Nick’s actual partner doesn’t know anything about the Grimm/wesen thing, and neither does Nick’s girlfriend at first—though a later episode has him convincing his unbelieving love interest of his supernatural situation. You’ll eventually learn some of the many different German names for the different creature types, and just to be fair there are a few French and Spanish ones. There are even lactose intolerant raccoon-creatures called Waschbars, who require a homeopathic treatment for their ailment. (Didn’t I say it had some humor?)

Each episode usually deals with a different wesen doing some dastardly thing, along with problems Nick’s boss Captain Renard causes. Plus there’s a wicked witch. And there is a group of super-uber-wesen who want to get hold of three important coins which Nick has, and especially want him—and all Grimms—dead. “Reapers” keep getting sent from Germany to do him in. Not all the wesen are terrible though—some are just average working-class people. Some of the wesen seem a bit silly, such as the bees and the beaver-people, but others are genuinely scary. (I wanted to see a whole crowd of beaver-people, but you only get to see one.) Another is a whole family of bear-people. The series improves as it goes on. (They promise Season Two will be more violent and scary and Nick more active in his fight scenes.)

The basic theme behind the series is that all those strange creatures in the Grimm fairytales are real after all and they live secretly among us. It’s no secret that those of us living here in Portland really enjoy seeing the stores, bridges, parks, restaurants and bars we are familiar with in the series.

—John Sunier




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