I have to admit, I really love the Friday night line up of paranormal genre shows. I’ve been a long time Supernatural fan and have found the new fairy tale series, called Grimm, really enjoyable. Although it is more of a procedural than the action adventure of Supernatural, Grimm has a lot of the same elements. With a few tweaks, I think it could harness a lot of the Supernatural fans.
For those of you who haven’t seen Grimm yet, it’s about Nick, a guy who inherits the power of a grimm. With that power, he’s able to see monsters who are disquised as humans, lurking amongst us. He inherited this ability from his aunt, but currently has little understanding of what it means to means to be a grimm. His only clues are in the trailer that his aunt left him after her death. Within the trailer are books and weapons that help him hunt the monsters.
From the beginning, Nick is completely out of his element. Fortunately he quickly befriends a blutbad (werewolf) named Monroe. Monroe is not your average blutbad. He’s a vegetarian, who has sworn off violence. Monroe is by far my most favorite character on the show and the best developed. His quirky humor gives the serious cop show tone a nice break.
Grimm has a growing fan base and they were just renewed for another season. However, even us fans think there is room for improvement. So here are a couple of things that I think Grimm could learn from Supernatural’s Winchester boys.
Better Define The Grimm Profile
The Winchester boys are hunters. They hunt demons and have added hunting other bad creatures as the story has evolved. They have no powers except their wits and the knowledge that these creatures exist. The evil creatures have always been much more powerful than them, but they used their brains to trap, trick and foil the bad guys. Because this is all they have, most of the evil creatures underestimate and often mock them.
With the grimm profile, we have had hints that Nick is some kind of powerful hunter. So far, we don’t see any additional abilities. Does that mean he is like the Winchesters? Is it all about his ability to see the monsters and the knowledge his books provide him on how to hunt and kill? I’d accept that except for one problem: the monsters are too afraid of him. Nick doesn’t look scary or imposing. He has no idea what he’s doing. Yet every monster he meets is terrified of him. Their fear would imply that he has additional powers.
So give us hints about those powers. Monroe would know. Or if Nick doesn’t have additional powers, then explain why the other creatures are so afraid. What leverage does a grimm have? Is it just the grimm reputation for being a monster killer? That seems flimsy. Also, how do the monsters know that he’s a grimm? We see the monsters the way Nick sees them. What does a grimm look like to the monsters?
We need a clearer understanding of what a grimm is. Even if Nick doesn’t know, the audience needs more information. Or at least hints that there is more information that we’ll be getting later.
Ramp Up the Grimm Danger
In Supernatural, the boys are always on the move because they are vulnerable. If they stay in one place for too long, the demons and monsters will know where to find them. They have also acquired leverage over the years. They know a certain amount of spells that can capture or destroy. Plus, they had an angel looking out for them for many years. Granted, sometimes the angel made things worse.
I find myself wondering what’s protecting Nick? Monsters hunted down and almost killed his aunt. Why haven’t they attacked him? As a new grimm, one who is unaware of his own abilities and powers, he’s very vulnerable right now. We see these shady characters who are plotting around him. There are implications that he’s in danger. But why hasn’t there been an attack on him just for being a grimm? He’s been attacked in the line of duty, but never for what he is.
According to trailers, the March 30th episode is taking the plot in that direction. Why did it take so long? Why hasn’t the police chief (one of the monsters) eliminated him, instead of almost mentoring him over the past few weeks? This is a big plot issue that needs to be tightened. I need to know why his chief didn’t just have him killed immediately, before Nick's knowledge and power grew. As a cop, it would’ve been easy to have him killed in the line of duty. So that plot hole needs to get filled.
In Supernatural, we learn that hunters don’t often live long. That alone builds tension. We know that little stands between them and death. Even their helpers (angels) are often not looking for the Winchester’s best interests, but are manipulating the boys for their own intrigues. All of this leads to ongoing excitement. You never know where the next threat is coming from. With Grimm, we are still very focused the solving of crimes and don’t have a strong concern for Nick’s life. Adding that element will build tension.
Accentuate The Humor
One of the things I love about Grimm is the humor. The humor is quirky and offbeat. They take monsters and turn them on their ears. Like Monroe, the blutbad, who collects antiques, loves herbology and is obsessed with history. He’s a werewolf nerd, and I love him. Other monsters have also had unusual traits and phobias, such as the monsters who thought grimm’s were just bogeyman used to scare children. A group of them scout out Nick and even invade his home on a dare—only to be terrified in discovering he's a real grimm.
I love the humor and think that they could even ramp up the silliness in the way that Supernatural does. The Winchesters are often faced with the ridiculous or ironic. They have private jokes and spoof real life situations. Grimm has some of these elements, but I’d love to see more.
All-in-all, Grimm feels like Supernatural’s less cool cousin. It has all the makings for an awesome show, but is holding back on the tension and humor as if it is afraid of really putting itself out there. If Grimm could harness the many lessons from the success of Supernatural, they could pull that fan base over to their show and build a loyal following.
I very much hope we’ll see that in the coming episodes and into next season.