Grimm Season One Blu-ray Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, August 24, 2012
Grimm was one of the surprise hits of last year’s TV season. It didn’t receive nearly the publicity of other genre shows like “Once Upon a Time” or “Alcaltraz” but quietly built up a strong base of fans with its quirky characters and increasingly dark episodes. Grimm is a twist on the old Grimm’s Fairy Tales and set in modern day Portland, OR. Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt discovers that he is one of the last in a long line of “Grimms”, guardians/hunters of the creatures in the fairy tales. Grimms keep the balance between humans and the creatures of myth. Nick discovers that these creatures, known as Wesen, are all around us in human guise but that he is able to see their true forms.
Nick hides his abilities from his partner Hank (Hornsby), and his girlfriend Juliette (Tulloch). His only confidant is Monroe (Mitchell) himself a Wesen called a Blutbaden (think werewolf). Monroe becomes Nick’s sidekick and resident expert on the various forms of Wesen. In addition his commanding officer Captain Renard is also a Wesen and well placed within the hierarchy but Nick has yet to discover this fact. Nick has his own sort of Fortress of Solitude…an old trailer left to him by his aunt who was also a Grimm. The trailer is filled with dusty old tomes of information on the Wesen as well as a full arsenal of weapons, each designed to kill a different type of creature.
I had my doubts about Grimm’s long term survival for about two-thirds of the season. The show was good but settled into a repetitive formula. Each episode was essentially the same with Nick investigating a murder committed by one of the creatures, going to Monroe to learn more about the creature, going to his trailer to find the weapon he needs to kill it, and then dispatching the creature. It was a lot like Smallville’s first season when Clark Kent had to fight the Kryptonite mutant of the week. However, the last third of the season went a long way in improving the show.
Plotlines became deeper and numerous story arcs began to explore more of the background of the Grimms as well as the hierarchy of the Wesen that includes a powerful controlling group. Nick also discovers that the deaths of his parents murders may be tied into everything and the first season ends on a high note including a shocking revelation and season-ending cliffhanger.
While Giuntoli is a little on the dry side, often intentionally, he’s surrounded by an effervescent cast of characters. Mitchell absolutely steals almost every scene he is in bringing both comic relief and sage wisdom to the character of Monroe. Sasha Roiz as Captain Renard is perhaps the most intriguing character on the show as he has been played as both an ally and a possible threat to Nick. His motivations are one of the things I most look forward to discovering in season two.
The creature effects and makeup are pretty decent although a lot of the characters seem to have a rodent look to them. The makeup is especially outstanding when giving viewers some truly unique creatures such as the spider-like Spinnetod but the human to monster morphs came off a little cheap looking.
Grimm started out slowly but began building an interesting mythology by the end of the season and ended up being the best new show of 2011.
While it doesn’t come with any commentary tracks the set does come with a nice selection of extras.
Gag Reel (3:12)
Deleted Scenes (3:00) A handful of deleted scenes from the season finale episode “Woman in Black)
The World of Grimm (11:00) The shows executive producers discuss how the show was developed. Also interviews with cast members.
Audition Tapes (11:13) The audition tapes of David Giutoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby, and Bitsie Tulloch
Grimm Guide – This is an interactive book which details all of the various creatures and includes a highlight clip of each monster.
VFX Progressions (2:08) The progressions of the visual effects from actor to final creature model
Highlight Reels (6:00) Highlight reels of the shows scares, morphs, and language.
Mania Grade: B+
Cast: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Bitsie Tulloch
Written By: Various
Directed By: Various
Distributor: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Extras: See Below