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TV Wasteland: It's Gonna Get Grimm
NBC follows the Olympics with a surprising season premiere.
By Rob Vaux
August 13, 2011
Grimm constituted one of last season's unexpected success stories, a series about a police officer who learns that he's the last in an ancient line of monster hunters. NBC dumped it on Friday night to die, but it took root and developed an impressive cult following. It returns this Monday for a new season, bolstered by copious ads during the Olympics and occupying the pole position the first night after the closing ceremonies.
With NBC, you never know if such an act means they have faith in the show or if they're just desperate. But they certainly could have gone with something else had they so chosen. They carry high hopes for their new post-apocalyptic drama Revolution – scheduled to run regularly on Monday nights – and their history of comedy might have induced them to start with rookie shows Go On or The New Normal. Yet they went with Grimm, an established show with a relatively low-stress slot on the schedule. More importantly, they're starting it immediately after the Olympics, hoping to cash in on the event’s huge audiences and running the first three episodes on Mondays before moving it back to its regular time slot on Fridays.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying they seem to have some confidence in the show. And with Revolution shaping up to be a post-Lost bust, it may need to carry the flag for NBC's genre programming. The network's careful handling suggests that they're not willing to let it fend for itself anymore, an encouraging sign for fans who hope to see more shows like it in the future. I'm also betting it will be a hell of a lot more interesting than Stars Earn Stripes.
Grimm premieres this Monday, August 13, at 10:00 PM on NBC.
Grimm (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
The second season opens with Nick's mother returning and a new conspiracy to destroy him surfacing. See the top of the article for more.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Hugo's back to help the gang stop an artifact threatening his nephew.
Alphas (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Nina snaps and goes bonkers, prompting the team to step in and, uh, de-bonker her.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EST)
Gerard's got a plan and that ain't good; Scott's on the case to figure it out.
The Happening (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Someone tell those magnolias outside that M. Night Shyamalan is on to them…
Star Trek (FX, 7:00 PM EST)
The reset button never looks as good as it did when J.J. Abrams pushed it.
Phenomenon (Showtime, 6:55 PM EST)
One of John Travolta's better turns finds the once and former Barbarino unleashing wondrous mental powers after witnessing a mysterious flash of light.
TRON: Legacy (Starz, 10:45 PM EST)
Jeff Bridges adroitly channels true stoner wisdom in the terrific sequel to the original TRON.
Starship Troopers (Syfy, 6:00 PM EST)
As long as the Total Recall remake is in theaters, we're giving Paul Verhoeven a free ride. Also, NPH 4-evah!
Destination Truth (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Season Five (Five?! Really?!) comes to a close with investigations in Kazakhstan and The Philippines.
Collection Intervention (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Syfy's pulled some sleaze out of its hat before, but this one really takes the cake: a new show in which collectible hoarders (read: horrible nerds) are confronted about their "problem."
Dream House (Cinemax, 8:30 PM EST)
Daniel Craig has been in worse movies. I just can't think of any right now.
28 Weeks Later (FMC, 7:00 PM EST)
An ambitious follow-up to 28 Days Later finds Londoners trying to rebuild their lives after the zombie plague that decimated Britain. Things don't quite go according to plan.
Lost Souls (FMC, 9:00 PM EST)
Celebrated cinematographer Janusz Kaminski directed this supernatural thriller, which means you'll have lots of pretty images to look at while you're snickering at the plot.
Knowing (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
It stars Nicolas Cage and it involves precognition. Do I have to tell you how bad it is?
Piranha (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
I cannot stress this enough people: when Ving Rhames tells you to get the fuck out of the water, do it!
Once again, my profound love for Turner Classic prompts me to mention a non-genre movie airing tonight: White Heat, featuring the great James Cagney in one of his best performances ever. It starts at 10:00 PM EST. It will not disappoint.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EST)
Professor Farnsworth's parents are apparently still alive and drop in for a visit. Yeah, it's giving me the heebie-jeebies too.
Haunted Collector (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
They say this show is about haunted objects and yet they keep mentioning places in the description… in this case, a museum in Kentucky and a house in Connecticut.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
It's a sign of just how good Warehouse 13 is that I forgive Syfy so much for it… like this show, which details yet another dreary haunting in yet another family home.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EST)
Even the Tim Burton-loving ABC Family concedes that this 1971 version of the classic children's book beats Burton's by a country mile.
The Matrix (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EST)
If you don't cackle with glee just a little bit whenever Keanu Reeves says "I know kung-fu," then you, sir, have no soul.
Hancock (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Will Smith brings the Super-Dickery website to life in the tale of the douchiest superhero you will ever meet.
The Mask of Zorro (Showtime, 7:00 PM EST)
Antonio Banderas headlines this fun-filled take on the famous swashbuckler. Let's face it: if he hadn't played Zorro at some point, we were all going to have to hunt him down and beat him.
Priest (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
You've got to give it up for Paul Bettany who, when asked why he took the starring role in this film, replied "they actually paid me to play Cowboys and Indians for three months… and I got to be Clint Eastwood every single time!"
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EST)
A colleague in trouble prompts Fiona to break into a guarded safe, while Sam and Jesse hunt down a dangerous sniper.
Bullet in the Face (IFC, 10:00 PM EST)
IFC premieres a new series about a criminal given a new face and forced to track down all of his former associates. Two episodes will run back to back as the series gets underway.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EST)
I spoke too soon. They still like the Burton version.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EST)
It's not that this sequel to the smash hit Jurassic Park is bad, but I challenge you to remember a single thing about it… and how often does that happen with a Steven Spielberg film?
X-Men: The Last Stand (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
AKA Brett Ratner ruins it for everyone.
Gulliver's Travels (HBO, 7:00 PM EST)
I don't hate Jack Black, but this inept update of the classic Jonathan Swift story really made me want to start.
Puss in Boots (HBO, 8:30 PM EST)
If they called it Shrek 5, do you think people would still love it?
Sin City (IFC, 7:30 PM EST)
Just because it's in black and white doesn't mean it's cool.
Godzilla (Showtime, 7:30 PM EST)
Because what we all want from a Godzilla movie is endless scenes of the giant lizard hiding in the sewers.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A wild night out goes bad for Bo, and Trick and Kenzi step in to help her out.
Bullet in the Face (IFC, 10:00 PM EST)
IFC pushes forward with its dark crime comedy, as Gunter finds himself caught between rival crime lords.
Edward Scissorhands (ABC Family, 6:30 PM EST)
Yup. They really like Tim Burton.
Alice in Wonderland (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EST)
Hanna (HBO, 7:00 PM EST)
Saoirse Ronan shines as a genetically engineered assassin pursued by government forces. Take an evening out for this one if you haven't seen it yet; it rocks!
From Dusk till Dawn (IFC, 7:45 PM EST)
Is it worth it if IFC cuts it up with ads? Yes, but only just. Stupid IFC…
Jurassic Park (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
Say what you will about Spielberg; when the people ask for dinosaurs, he knows how to deliver.
Cowboys and Aliens (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EST)
Jon Favreau is a long way from Iron Man in this painfully earnest story about cowboys and, um, aliens.
Kiss of the Dragon (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Jet Li plays a compromised intelligence officer who turns to Bridget Fonda's hooker with a heart of gold for aid. It's pretty much a pile of crap, though Li is always fun to watch.
Twin Dragons (FMC, 10:00 PM EST)
Jackie Chan takes on the dual role of twin brothers in a typically fun-filled outing for the martial arts master.
Angels and Demons (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
You can spot the bad guy the minute he steps on screen. That's impressive.
The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM)
Yes, that's the actual title of this new special exploring the concept of time as it appears on Doctor Who. Whovians will rejoice; the rest of us will probably scratch our heads.
The Nerdist (BBC America, 10:00 PM EST)
The Nerdist continues matching its content with the Doctor Who special preceding it. In this case, it explores various notions of time travel.
Real Steel (Showtime, 8:00 PM EST)
Hugh Jackman stars in a robot boxing movie that does much better than it has any right to.
The Descent (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
You won't find a better horror movie in all of television this week. (Well okay, maybe one…)
Diary of the Dead (IFC, 10:00 PM EST)
George A. Romero tries to find the old zombie magic, with only mixed results.
Dawn of the Dead (Syfy, 6:30 PM EST)
Still, I'll take Romero any day over Zack Snyder's intense but smug remake of the 1979 classic.
Daybreakers (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
In a world where everyone's a vampire, blood has become a precious commodity. The universe is grand, the story only so-so. Repeats Sunday at 7:00 PM EST.
WALL-E (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST)
Pixar has never been better in its tale of an Earth destroyed by pollution and the little robot left behind in the trash.
Die Hard (Cinemax, 6:45 PM EST)
Or as it's known in our household, the greatest Christmas movie ever made.
The One (FMC, 7:30 PM EST)
Jet Li delivers another frustrating star vehicle, this one concerning an evil parallel universe version of a good cop trying to kill his clone to seize ultimate power. He's so good and yet his movies are so bad…
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (FMC, 9:30 PM EST)
Ang Lee's kung-fu epic hasn't lost an inch of its power, grandeur or heart-breaking tragedy. Also, Michelle Yeoh!
Armageddon (FX, 7:30 PM EST)
With a cast this good, all we care about is the asteroid. What does that tell you about Michael Bay's priorities as a filmmaker?
Salt (Starz, 7:15 PM EST)
It would be a lot easier to enjoy this film if we weren't presented with shocking evidence of Angelina Jolie's eating disorder in every single scene.
Transformers (TNT, 8:00 PM EST)
We just can't escape Michael Bay tonight, can we?
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EST)
Bill's religious fervor is apparently legit… which causes Jessica no end of consternation when he drags her into it. Elsewhere, Sookie explores her faerie ancestry, and Sam and Luna sneak into the Authority to rescue Luna's daughter.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9:00 PM EST)
The second season ends with the aliens moving in on the resistance forces and Tom uncovering a devastating secret.
North by Northwest (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Alfred Hitchcock's classic about an ad executive mistaken for a secret agent may have single-handedly invented the action movie genre.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend (FMC, 7:00 PM EST)
This should have been a knock-out, with Ivan Reitman directing Uma Thurman as a crazy super-girl who can't leave her hapless boyfriend alone. Instead, it's dull, dated and painfully unfunny… even with the great Anna Faris tagging along for the ride.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This, on the other hand, is a little slice of B-movie awesome, thanks to the glorious slumming powers of Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Captain Jack is still a lot of fun, even in this fourth outing.
Ghost World (Sundance, 8:00 PM EST)
The indie comic gets a sterling adaptation with a little help from Steve Buscemi and Thora Birch.
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Remember when I said The Descent was the best horror movie save one this week? The one is here.
Teeth (IFC, 10:45 PM EST)
It's certainly not in the same league as The Exorcist, but it should put a bite in your Sunday night. Get it? Because… right, let's just end things there.
Have a great week everyone!