November 14, 2011

Once Upon a Time there was a Grimm...

Now matter how old you are, you're never too old for fairy tales.  Re-writes of fairy tales as novels, modern twists on classic favorites, live action movies... fairy tales never lose their wonder or appeal.  And this fall, fairy tale lovers, you are in luck, because on TV there is not just one but two fairy tale inspired shows for you to enjoy.

Crime shows are probably one of the most popular genera of tv shows out there.  Grimm feeds into that genre, but Nick Burkhardt isn't your ordinary cop and, as the show's tagline reads, these villains aren't your ordinary suspects.

NBC's new television drama Grimm taps into both the crime and the fairy tale worlds.  Nick, the main character, discovers when his elderly aunt comes to visit, that he is the last of the Grimms. The Grimms are, it turns out, hunters.  Hunters of supernatural creatures who threaten the world.  The fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm aren't just innocent tales to entertain listeners, they are veiled warnings about the monsters that are out there.

Each episode parallels a different tale - such as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears".  Living up to their name and the threatening premise, these modern adaptions are anything but innocent fairy tales.  It is part crime show, and with that does come some very intense scenes and a bit of violence and blood.

The main cast is done very well, and you get the feel of Nick's struggle as he tries to deal with and uphold his family legacy, while keeping it from his best friend and partner Hank and his girlfriend Juliette.  Nick isn't totally alone in his adventures, when things with supernatural creatures get a little tense, Nick calls up his reluctant sidekick Eddie - a reformed "big bad wolf" - who not only adds insight into the supernatural, but some pretty hilarious moments to lighten the mood as well.

Overall, while younger viewers may use caution when deciding whether or not to watch, older fans of fairy tales and cop stories will enjoy the suspense and action that is Grimm.

I'm new to the world of television shows, and while I've discovered many entertaining and very enjoyable shows this fall, the crown jewel of them all is Once Upon a Time.

ABC's Once Upon a Time (OUaT)  has closer ties to fairy tales then does Grimm.  You see, the character's lives don't just parallel fairy tale characters, they are fairy tale characters.  The main cast? Snow White, Prince Charming, an Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, a Huntsman, a young boy named Henry who is the son of Emma... the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.  The premise?  On Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding, the Evil Queen cast a curse upon the couple and everyone in attendance.  They would lose everything they held dear and would be doomed to a world where the only happy ending was the Queen's.  Seeking the aid of Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Prince Charming discover that their unborn daughter is the only way they can be saved from the curse.  The evening their daughter is born, the Queen casts her curse and sends everyone to the world with no happy endings: our world.

There is nothing to dislike about this show.  The characters are amazingly well developed and each has an intriguing back story that is told through flashbacks throughout the episodes.  Each person, even the most minor of characters, is well developed and completely believable.  The costumes are gorgeous and very well designed (with the possible exception of the Queen's guard...).  The plot lines of each episode are engrossing and leave your jaw hanging at the end, each time, without fail.  The soundtrack is fantastic as well, and really adds to the drama.

Having a 10 year old boy as a main character and the very close connections to the fairy-tales keeps this show clean and one that can be appreciated by younger viewers as well.  So if you love fairy tales and you love good stories and characters, do yourself a favor and begin with Once Upon a Time.

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