Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: A Re-Tell of the Fairy Tale Grimm

Happy 2012, everyone!  This week, Amber West and I return to the world of fairy tales, where we re-review Grimm and Once Upon a Time on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.    

We first reviewed NBC’s new drama based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales shortly after it premiered.  The series follows Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) as he balances his life solving murders and learning that he comes from a long line of criminal profilers (Grimms) responsible for protecting the people of the world against the supernatural.   

To Recap: The Hook and Fairy Tale Number One – Little Red Riding Hood

The pilot episode might still be my favorite.  The attention to detail and fantastic one-liners hooked me immediately, but not enough to earn anything above the SSTV rating.  I mean, seriously – the program had just barely aired one episode, but the interest was there… 

The series began as a sorority girl departs from her house wearing a bright red hoodie and listening to the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” as she sets out for her morning jog through the woods.  While on her run, the girl spots an odd figurine positioned on a rock.  She stops to investigate when she is suddenly tackled by something with lightening fast speed, and the viewers can only assume she’s going to die. 

Nick and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), drive out to the scene of the crime where they discover a jogger has been ripped apart in the woods.  The detectives assume an animal is responsible for the attack, although they can’t seem to locate any animal tracks – only boot tracks.

Later that night, Nick returns home to discover his Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) has stopped by on a surprise visit.  After a cryptic, “we need to talk,” Nick and his aunt go for a walk and she begins to tell him that his family has a secret.  His parents didn’t die in an accident; they were murdered.  Why is she telling him this now?  She is dying, and the Grimm powers will pass to him in just a matter of days if they haven’t already. 

Before she can tell him the complete story, Nick and his aunt are attacked by a Reaper of the Grimms.  Nick can’t believe his eyes and he opens fire on the monster and shoots him dead, but not before the attack renders his aunt unconscious.  

Reeling from the day’s events, Nick walks into his aunt’s travel-trailer where he finds an arsenal of bizarre weapons and an ancient family book revealing his destiny.   All of this helps explain the event earlier in the day when he noticed a beautiful blonde walking down the street suddenly transform into nasty looking creature. 

As most of us would with life-altering information such as this, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend (Bitsie Tulloch) and his partner.  For now, anyway.

The fairy tale continues the next day when Nick and his partner are called to another crime scene.  This time, a younger girl has been kidnapped with the initials R.H.  Coincidence? 

This is where Nick tracks down Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Big Bad Wolf.   Monroe can see Nick as a Grimm immediately, but he reluctantly agrees to help Nick understand the mythology.   Monroe also agrees to help track down the Big Bad responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.  He drives Nick out to the woods, sticking his head out the window along the way sniffing out the Big Bad’s scent.  Afraid of what might happen if he gets too close, Monroe retreats as soon as they locate the cabin where his sense of smell has indicated the Big Bad and little R.H. are located.  Nick calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once.” 

Of course, Hank doesn’t understand how Nick tracked this man down, but he believes his partner when he overhears the suspect humming the exact same song that had been playing in the jogger’s ear buds, “Sweet Dreams.”  The take down ensues, little R.H. is rescued, and Grimm ends with the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” — I’ve got to know what’s inside you.

Let’s be honest – the song is what actually hooked me.  Not only is it a favorite (either rendition), but the chosen lyrics forshadowed what the series had in story of us.  Like we mentioned earlier, great attention to detail.

Now further into the season, Grimm has aired more episodes and tackled fairy tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Pied Piper, Rapunzel, The Queen Bee, and the Three Little Pigs.  The special effects and storylines are enticing; the use of Monroe in each episode to help Nick solve the case at hand is fun, and it is a bit heartwarming to see the two work together and develop a friendship between creature and Grimm; and the actual police procedural aspect of the story ranks up there with the other crime dramas on television today. 

The first creature that Nick saw transform on the street has a bit of a recurring role, and has since been identified as a hexinbeast (the blonde monster from the pilot episode, played by Claire Coffee).  Nick and Hank were assigned to protect her in “The Queen Bee” episode, despite the fact that she attempted to kill his aunt while in the hospital (of course Hank has no idea about Nick’s past encounters with her). 

As viewers, we know this hexinbeast is working for Nick’s police captain (Captain Renard played by Sasha Roiz), but Nick has no idea his boss is a bad guy, a Reaper.   

Which poses the question, why not?  Nick can see the creatures transform in front of him, so why can’t he see that his boss is one of them?  Also, we know that the creatures know immediately just by looking at him that Nick is a Grimm, so what is it that they see exactly?  Does his face transform as well? 

Obviously, I’d like for the series to answer some of these questions; but in the meantime, since sitting on the hot plate after the pilot, the simmering water is now boiling and Grimm earns a MacTV rating.  The water is clearly hot enough for us to drop in the pasta in order to enjoy some MacNCheese, and we’re anxiously awaiting its return in a few weeks. 

What do you think? Do you watch Grimm?  Which of the episodes has been your favorite and why?  What do you think about Monroe?  How long before Nick’s captain is exposed?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her second review of ABC’s new hit, Once Upon a Time

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few sci-fi hits – SyFy’s Being Human and an update to Fox’s Terra Nova (it too was left simmering on the stove…).

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Grimm Versus Evil

This week, Amber West and I are visiting the fairy tale world, and we’re sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Grimm and Once Upon a Time

We’ve all heard of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, right?  

NBC’s new drama based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales follows a detective as he balances his life solving murders and learning that he comes from a long line of criminal profilers (Grimms) responsible for protecting the people of the world against the supernatural – Grimm versus Evil.    

The first episode of Grimm begins as a sorority girl departs from her house wearing a bright red hoodie and listening to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as she sets out for her morning jog through the woods.  The opening scene immediately screams modern-day Little Red Riding Hood, right?  

While on her run, the girl spots an odd figurine positioned on a rock.  She stops to investigate when she is suddenly tackled by something with lightning fast speed, and the viewers can only assume she’s going to die. 

So far, so good….      

Next, we meet the Grimm on what should be the happiest day of his life (Detective Nick Burkhardt played by David Giuntoli); instead, it might just be the beginning of the end.  Walking out of the jewelry store where he just purchased an engagement ring for his girlfriend (Juliette played Bitsie Tulloch), Nick notices a beautiful blonde walking down the street suddenly transform into nasty looking creature.  He shakes it off as his eyes playing tricks on him.   

Nick pockets the diamond ring, and he and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), drive out to the scene of a crime where they discover a jogger has been ripped apart in the woods.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough left of the victim for identification purposes.  The detectives assume an animal is responsible for the attack, although they can’t seem to locate any animal tracks – only boot prints.

Later that night, Nick returns home anxious to propose to Juliette only to discover his aunt has stopped by on a surprise visit.  After a cryptic, “we need to talk,” Nick and his aunt go for a walk where she begins to tell him that his family has a secret.  His parents didn’t die in an accident; they were murdered.  Why is she telling him this now?  She is dying, and the Grimm powers will pass to him in just a matter of days if they haven’t already. 

Before she can tell him the complete story, Nick and his aunt are attacked by the Reaper of the Grimms.  Nick can’t believe his eyes and he opens fire on the monster shooting him dead, but not before the attack renders his aunt unconscious.  

Reeling from the day’s events, Nick walks into his aunt’s travel-trailer where he finds an arsenal of bizarre weapons and an ancient family book revealing his destiny.   As most of us would, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend and his partner — for now, anyway.

The next day, Nick and his partner are called to another crime scene.  This time, a younger girl with the initials R.H. has been kidnapped .  Coincidence?  Using his new Grimm powers, Nick tracks down Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Big Bad Wolf.   Monroe can see Nick as a Grimm immediately, and he reluctantly agrees to help Nick understand the mythology. 

Monroe also agrees to help Nick track down the Big Bad responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.  He drives Nick out to the woods, sticking his head out the window along the way sniffing out the Big Bad’s scent. 

Nice touch….

Afraid of what might happen if he gets too close, Monroe retreats as soon as they locate the cabin where his nose has indicated the Big Bad is hiding the girl.  Nick calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once” wasting the department’s resources.   

Another nice touch….

Hank doesn’t understand how Nick tracked this man down, but he believes his partner when he overhears the suspect humming the exact same song that had been playing in the jogger’s ear buds at the first crime scene, “Sweet Dreams.” 

The take down ensues, little R.H. is rescued, and Grimm ends with the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” — I’ve got to know what’s inside you.

Yet another nice touch.

Obviously, after just one episode, it’s too early to award Grimm with anything other than the SSTV rating.  This television series is definitely sitting on the hot plate and is warming up; but, the water is not hot enough for us to drop in the pasta to upgrade the rating to MacTV, but it is showing potential after just one hour.

What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of Grimm?   Do you think the dramatized fairy tales will last on television today?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of ABC’s new hit, Once Upon a Time.  Will Emma accept her destiny and return magic to Storybrooke allowing the fairytale characters to come back to life and return balance to the charmed city?  

We didn’t laugh enough last week, so come back next week when Amber and I review a few of our favorite comedies.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Friday FabOoolousness: Long-Lost Childhood Reads

Most people love to pick up a book, curl up in their favorite chair, and read another’s words printed on the page (or on the Kindle and Nook screens).  Some read to relax, and others to stimulate their minds, while most read to temporarily escape from whatever current reality surrounds them.

Those that like to read started with books in their hands when they were very small.  Many, like me, raced to the bedroom at night so that mommy and daddy could read a bedtime story before turning out the lights.

Most children enjoy the classic fairy tales such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, or Snow White.

I read the classics, but the Serendipity Book Series by Stephen Cosgrove was my favorite read as a child.  These books each teach an important lesson like most fairy tales, but sadly this series doesn’t have the same popularity with children today.

The one that I probably read the most was about a little bunny named Leo, whose ears weren’t like the other bunnies in the field.  Leo the Lop shares a great message for all ages alike – “normal is whatever you are.”  Don’t the children today need to hear this message?

Muffin Dragon (also known as The Muffin Muncher) teaches the important lesson of sharing after a village dragon eats all of the baker’s muffins.

Sassafras, the little elephant, learns that imitating others isn’t very kind after she hears an echo of her very words.

Flutterby, the little flying Pegasus, flutters about trying to discover exactly who and what she is.  It takes meeting a wise butterfly for Flutterby to see her true beauty in her reflection.

Freezing, The Gnome from Nome seeks desperately to find a way to warm up, and when he meets a sea otter learns that true warmth stems from friendships.

Shimmeree and her other crystal horse friends learn that they don’t have to fear the unknown after she discovers a seed that blooms into a beautiful rose spreading beauty across the land.

There are over 50 books in the Serendipity series, but these six hooked me as a child and so began my addiction to reading.  Luckily for me, my Serendipity books are safe and sound in my mother’s cedar chest along with my baby blanket and other childhood keepsakes.

As I grew up, I read books all the time, some more than once like Charlotte’s Web and Little Women.  Reading for enjoyment during the early years undoubtedly helps a child transition when reading becomes an assignment in school.

Maybe the fabOoolous Serendipity series is the reason I have an addiction to buying books today?  Maybe Cosgrove is one of the reasons I write?

Regardless, I can’t recommend books enough, and Leo the Lop, Muffin Dragon, Sassafras, Flutterby, The Gnome from Nome, and Shimmeree deserve all the credit for creating this word lover.  Oh, and my parents.

What books did you read as a child?  Do you read those same books to your children today? Have you read any of Cosgrove’s Serendipity Series?    I’d love to hear from you!

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