We’ve all had a show we’ve loved too late—the show we put off watching because we didn’t think it would be good, or it was too weird or creepy. We’ve all DEVOURED episode after episode and season after season.
My sister has been trying to convince me to watch Grimm since the show first started airing. I don’t remember the reasons I gave her. I’m sure they were totally valid and crucial to my very serious criteria for shows to watch – which is pretty well summed up by hot guys and crazy storylines that are literally impossible. Anyone who’s heard me wax endlessly about Teen Wolf will have a different opinion on my criteria, but I think the main reason I put off watching Grimm was that I thought the premise had been done piece by piece in a lot of other shows—fairy tale based plots (Once Upon A Time), evil monsters to slay (Supernatural), Male antagonist with a destiny he had no idea about (The Walking Dead), and a police procedural (Law & Order).
During a lull in my TV watching, a friend finally convinced me to try Grimm. Three episodes in and I was hooked. I flew through all five seasons in about three weeks. I loved everything about the show, and I dealt with my sister’s continual cries of “I told you so” again and again. When I finally caught up with all the episodes online I realized this was the last season, so I started thinking about what I loved about the show.
At first I thought it wasn’t quantifiable. I just liked it. Some things are like that.You like the cast and the stories, and that’s it. When one of my other friends asked me why I liked it so much, I actually had to give a reason and this is what I discovered: the things that had turned me off before (mix tv genres and predictable plots) brought me joy.
If you’ve never seen Grimm, allow me to catch you up and try not to spoil you. The story is about Nick Burkhardt, a police detective in Portland, OR who learns from his aunt that he is a Grimm. This means he is descended from the original Grimm line, and he can see the Wesen (monsters) that the rest of us can’t. His job as a Grimm is to protect humans and kill Wesen, but Nick doesn’t have any intention of following the family line. Left with a trailer full of books, weapons, and potions from his aunt, Nick attempts to find out what it means to be a Grimm along with his girlfriend, partner, and friends.
Grimm took its fairy tale premise and blew it up. None of the story pieces went in the way I expected. I am not intimately familiar with the Grimm brothers versions of the classic stories, but I found again and again the story kept surprising me by being more than the predictable answers. The writers could have been lazy and used the classic Grimm tales as a framework for the entire episode plots, but they never did. In between using those stories as inspiration, they were able to build a new framework of Nick Burkhardt’s life to make season long story arches that added depth to the ‘monster of the week’ episode plots.
More than the plots I fell in love with all the characters. Everyone’s relationships to Nick were strong, but not static. These friendships and love interests evolved over time just like real relationships do. Nick and Juliette are actual #relationshipgoals that aren’t easily destroyed by plot conflicts. Nick’s partner, Hank, is definitely who I’d want to be if I found out monsters were real, but he never lets the the scary things keep him from doing his job. One of the first Wesen Nick met when he became a grimm was Monroe, and they soon became best friends who rely on each other and support the other’s quirks. Women who weren’t used as props to help the guys on their story arcs.
When a new female character, Rosalee, was introduced I knew she’d end up with someone, but it wasn’t the inevitable pairing that happens on some shows. Rosalee had just as much to contribute to the team before she started dating. This romance was a slow burn, and when it did finally happen it felt right. Nick and Juliette were the only couple on the show for a while, and my favorite moments with them were just domestic. Real life fiancee’s David Giuntoli (Nick) and Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette) made their relationship feel true by showing us all the facets of their personalities, not just the romantic moments.
As any show full of people fighting supernatural fights, there is a good amount of action from episode to episode. Along with the power to see Wesen, Nick is also strong enough to fight them, and that leads to some pretty creative fighting sequences, and often the fighting is happening in huge expanses of the woods of Portland.
Since the show shoots in Portland, the show has taken full advantage of the amazing views and scenery that the city has to offer, and it is beautiful. Often shows take place in amazing places and I think “I want to visit there” only to discover it’s in a lot in LA. Grimm has real scenery and real weather, which is awesome to see on screen.
So if you are looking for a new show to binge watch you can take any of Netflix’s recommendations, but if you want a show that will be well-rounded, interesting, funny, action-packed, realistic, and satisfying—then get started on Grimm. Right now you can watch seasons 1-5 on Amazon Prime. When you get caught up, and I promise it won’t take long, you can catch up on the last season on NBC Friday nights. The series finale will air on March 31.