*Note, I was not aware that ABC passed on a Fables show after acquiring the rights to it. However, I still feel the idea of fairy tale characters being implanted into the world as we know it is not an original concept. It is one with lots of different possibilities and Grimm and Once Upon a Time take differing stances on such a world.
In one corner is ABC’s Once Upon a Time- the story of Snow White, her Prince and their newborn daughter Emma who was sent away at birth to be saved from the wicked witch’s curse which screwed over all of fairy tale land. The witch brought fairy tale stories to Storybrook, Maine, giving them all amnesia and taking their happy endings away. The wicked witch is now Storybrook’s mayor. In the opposing corner is NBC’s Grimm- the story of cop Nick Burkhardt who discovers he is the descendant of the Grimms, hunters who go after the fairy tale villains who have found their ways into our world. As I write, I am solidly in camp Once Upon a Time. Perhaps due to watching it first it has a leg up subconsciously on Grimm. Or it may be Once features a cast I am very familiar with vs. Grimm who has a few actors I just recognize. And Grimm refers to its heroes as “hunters” which just begs more comparison to Supernatural.
In Once Ginnifer Goodwin is the most perfect choice for Snow White ever. She is always charming (no pun intended) no matter the role or material. Emma, whose return starts the final battle, is played by Jennifer Morrison. Morrison usually plays smug, self-righteous characters but I may actually like her in this. And the cherry on this sundae is the delightful chameleon Robert Carlyle, who effortlessly plays snakes or underdogs you root for, as fairy land’s town seer who now owns the whole of Storybrook. Jane Espenson‘s involvement is also a big draw for me to Once and so is Emma Caulfield’s upcoming appearance. I’m just really overall more excited for Once.
Grimm is sprinkled with actors whose names I don’t know and I barely remember them from other roles. And in the yes it’s petty category, but I can’t help it, criticism- David Giuntoli’s (as Nick Burckhardt) hair in Grimm is annoying me. It’s stiff and too molded to his head. Less gel? Mousse? More layers? Giuntoli is handsome and from our hometown, but still. Behind the scenes at Grimm, David Greenwalt is involved, but that’s about the only exciting cast/crew member to me.
I also like my shows, even the dark ones, with some humor. Tragedy, horror, drama it’s all more effective when tempered with a touch of well done comedy. True Blood and Supernatural excel at that. Once inserted more subtle nods to the fairy tales that inspire smiles ( blink and you miss it Snow White’s student quietly giving her a pear instead of the usual apple, etc) than Grimm’s too obvious (RH as the initials of the little girl taken by the wolf, and the murdered jogger in the woods wearing a red jacket). To start, Grimm was taking itself too seriously. It could end up being too one note for my tastes. And the juxtaposition of the first victim’s jogging to Eurythmic’s Sweet Dreams vs. Marilyn Manson’s harsh version at the end- um, it’s 2011 not 1996. It was something that may have been cool years ago, but not to me now. Nitpicking, yes, but the little things all add up.
Grimm’s aspirations seem to be a more crime solving/police procedural story line. There’s enough of those on television, isn’t there? I prefer the revisiting the fairy tales and wondering who will show up – be they villain or princess. From what I read, it seems like Grimm is going to focus on the villains and that makes it seem like it is going to be a less fun version of Supernatural and other shows that have featured lawmen going after unknown creatures. Not dissing that genre of show because it can be really done well, but that’s it- it needs to be done well. Once has the general storyline of the “final battle” starting but what is that going to be exactly? I think the ABC is going to have way more territory to stomp around in the ability to change things up every week which will keep me interested.
Once went back to fairy tale land and visited the original stories and I hope that is something they do in each episode. One because it’s just beautiful to see fairy tale land, but two because it is good back story and makes it more heart breaking to see the characters in their current state. Grimm may or may not go back, but I think it would be fun and a good idea if they did.
I”m definitely going to give both a few more episodes before I decide to give up on one or both or keep watching. I can only hope neither get too lost in their show’s mythology. So many good shows go down that route (*cough* X Files *cough cough*) and forget the power of good characters with a good story that does in fact have an ending on occasion. But given the amount of fairy tales in the world- I think they both have near limitless potential for future story lines and characters.
So I have watched three episodes of Once and two of Grimm. Once is truly a fairy tale. I love that Snow White is no victim and the ladies are kicking some ass in this show. But there is romance, good, evil, pretty dresses and hair. Grimm’s second episode was enough to make me curious for a 3rd, but how many fairy tale inspired crimes are there to solve really? And the acting is still meh. But I was a bit more entertained. I wasn’t a big fan of the Aunt and since she’s passed, that might help a little. Her performance was just kind of …not good? Not believable? So I am still firmly in camp Once Upon a Time. But I am not ruling Grimm out if I find time for it.
Stuff we geek out about…
- A Little Something for the Fellas (2)
- A Little Something for the Ladies (9)
- Avengers Boot Camp (9)
- Before the Movie – Trailers (13)
- Editorials and Reviews (135)
- Interviews (19)
- Miscellaneous Geekery (48)
- Nostalgia (17)
- Sandman Re-Read (11)
- Three Favorite Things (4)
What we JUST said…
- All the Posts I Meant to Write this Month, Abridged
- Hemlock Grove-A New Guilty Pleasure
- Deborah Harkness and A Discovery of Witches
- Syfy’s Defiance- Hope They Didn’t Blow the Budget on a Song
- Cover Reveal for the New Liz Long Novel Witch Hearts
- From Gen-X, To Chris Hardwick With Love
- Before the Movie: G.I. Joe Retaliation