I just don’t get Grimm

Grimm is a new show this season, appearing on NBC.  It stars David Giuntoli as Detective Nick Burkhardt, a Portland detective, who just happens to be a Grimm.  What is a Grimm, you might ask?  It’s sort of a mythological policeman, someone charged with keeping the supernatural, mythological and just plain weird creatures that lurk among humanity in check.

In general, I like police procedurals that have oddball elements.  Shows like Castle and Mentalist are some of my favorites because they bring something different to the table.  Grimm ought to fit right into that mold.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

What’s my biggest problem with Grimm?  It’s that these creatures are so damn common!  Actually, that’s not really the extent of it, these creatures seem to far outnumber actual humans.  Sometimes, I wonder if there are any actual humans in the show!  Ultimately, Grimm is a pretty typical monster-of-the-week show, wrapped in a police procedural.  One of the hallmarks of monster-of-the-week shows is that the monsters need to be rare.  In Grimm, though, just about everyone Nick runs into is a monster.  His Grimm powers allow him to see the critters for what they really are when they “slip”, getting scared or nervous, etc.  We can never be sure if the people he doesn’t see as creatures are really human, or just really in control.  I’m honestly waiting for us to find out that Nick’s partner, Hank, or his girlfriend, Juliette, are critters too.  Why not?  Everyone else is!  It really makes no sense for these fairy-tale creatures to hide among humans when they seem to outnumber humans by a large percentage.  Maybe we’re going to find out in the end that there are no humans whatsoever in the show, this is just some weird alternate universe.

So what about the creatures themselves? In the show, they’re classed generally under the term “Wesen”, German for “creature”.   So far, at least, they’re primarily of German pseudo-mythological origin, which I suppose is understandable since the story loosely revolves around the Brothers Grimm tales.  My issue is that all of these critters seem to be absurdly generic and typecast.  All Bauerschwein act like this, all Hundjäger  do that.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of individuality or variation in the different “species”.  It’s about as ridiculous as saying “all blacks do this” or “all red-heads are like this”.  Graphically, I find the creatures to be problematic as well.  It’s like someone just found a CGI morph program and is using it with wild abandon.  The majority of the critters are just anthropomorphic animals.  Yes,  Wesen are furries.  Even the Grimm is just a stereotype, all Grimms act a certain way and are essentially the Wesen boogieman.

It becomes even more unbelievable as time goes on though, as we find out that these Wesen have whole secret societies in place.  They have support groups, they have furry shrinks, they have communication networks and to be honest, it doesn’t look like they’re all that careful hiding what they are.  How can you hope to hide a widespread creature population when they’re as careless as they’ve been shown to be?

Another problem is, I just don’t find the characters compelling.  I haven’t found any reason to care about any of them.  I couldn’t care less about the relationship between Nick and Juliette, I don’t care about Nick, I don’t even care about the oddball “big bad wolf done good” Eddie Monroe.  He’s probably the most interesting of all of them, the creature made best friend of the creature-killing Grimm, but outside of his quirks, there’s nothing exceptional about him either.

It seems like Grimm is a show that you either love or hate.  I haven’t seen anyone lukewarm.  My wife likes it.  I’m bored with it.  Usually, I fall asleep in the middle of it.  I can’t bring myself to care about any of it.  I guess I’m sort of stuck with it since the wife wants to see it, but unless they dramatically change the focus of the show, it doesn’t look like it’s anything I’ll ever enjoy.

12 thoughts on “I just don’t get Grimm

  1. I thought I loved the show but I realized, I'm a teenager so basically I'll love mostly anything horror. But what I liked about this is…before I watched it, I thought it was an innocent story character, they dont harm people and I was bored with the idea, but when I watched it… Oh my.. O.o Anyways, I don't hate it but I wouldn't kill to watch it. I'd consider that "luke-warm"..

    1. Seriously, I just don't get the attraction. I mean, I'm not saying not to watch it, but what is it, specifically, that keeps you coming back? I don't get it. Then again, I didn't get the attraction of shows like Lost either.

  2. The creature names are totally ridiculous.. I am a german native speaker and those names, they hurt… most of those creatures do have german names.. these are made up word combinations someone looked up from a dictionary and mashed together without taking german grammar or word structure into account.. The names ruin any immersion into the monster of the weak feeling.. I just start giggling when they are used. Sadly there was really a lot of potential in it… the way it is it simply seems to be a cheap version of early supernatural seasons.

    1. Like I said, I like how it started, it had potential, but then they had to have a new species every single week and there were more monsters than normal people running around, it's ridiculous. All of these shows have the same problem, why don't writers recognize that stuffing so many "secret" creatures into the show makes it highly unlikely that any of them are going to remain secrets for long?

      Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.

    1. I honestly don't know, but since I haven't bothered watching it since maybe the second episode of the second season, I don't know if it's gotten any better or not. From what I've heard, it hasn't, even people who raved about it in the first season have stopped watching it. I guess it's no surprise, television tends to cater to the absolute lowest denominator.

  3. I’ve watched every episode of Grimm so far, and some of the problems you’ve mentioned aren’t really problems, at least to me.

    Firstly, the everyone being wesen thing. That was something I had trouble buying into as well, seeing as every single case was related to them, but there is a (weak) explanation: wesen, due to being more animalistic, have a much harder time following the law. Yes, it’s full of holes, but that’s the best I’ve got.

    Of course most of them act the same; it’s in their DNA. Most animals behave the same in most situations, and so do we; we’re just more attuned to the differences. Moreover, their Wesen natures are something they have to struggle to control, and not all of them succeed. And of course everyone is afraid of Grimms; wouldn’t you be instinctively afraid of a species that seems to have evolved for the sole purpose of wiping yours out?

    I actually think all their precautions are very good – I don’t see anything careless about them. When they slip, no one can see them but Grimms and other Wesen, and humans can only see them if they want them to. Besides, you have to take into account how willing we are to lie to ourselves when we see something we can’t explain. In fact, in the world of Grimm, a significant number of people in mental hospitals are there because they saw a Wesen.

    I could go on and on about why I like this show, but really, if you don’t see it yourself, there’s no point, is there? To each his own.

  4. Nick is soooooo weak!

    I may stop watching. Every week I hope for Nick to grow a pair. But, nope…. Weak sauce cop is just going through the motions… Just end it already… “Trouble” is the new hero.

    1. You didn't like how he avenged his mothers' killing? he has lightning quick reflexes, is a dead-eye shot and can beat up multiple people at once… I guess he was weak when he beat up a whole pub!

  5. Nick is such a girl. He’s supposed to be a freaking Grimm… Any wesen can kick his ass. Kinda tired of seeing him flying into another bookshelf. I wish they would buff him up a bit. Come on… let the writers watch the start of Blade (1998) a few times over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPG only)