As TV genres go, the field of supernatural drama is more tightly-packed than a Ryanair passenger’s hand luggage, so it is with trepidation that we watched this pilot. In all fairness, Grimm comes from the ‘people’ who helped make vampires cool again with Buffy, so they probably deserve another shot.
Whether this little number from NBC will live up to its predecessor remains to be seen and the jury is certainly still out after this opener, yet establishing a series while providing an ample amount of action isn’t an easy balancing act and Grimm does a decent job of both. Viewers certainly won’t be at a loss for monster moments and there are some genuinely scary flashes in this debut, yet whether they’ll still be doing the job a couple of weeks down the line is uncertain. Eventually sub-plots and layers will be needed to compliment the visuals and although a few are haphazardly chucked at us, at times it feels like the producers are rushing to build things that would be better left to breathe. The studio’s fervor to get viewers interested also led to an epic four minute trailer last year, so much of this first episode will not be as fresh as it should be and there’s also a lot less edginess here than they’d like to admit. Despite this, it is fun, bubblegum entertainment which could create a niche for itself if it finds a few more gears. Introducing a mythology of its own also won’t do it any harm (we briefly hear about Blutbads and Hexenbiests) and while it has dropped a million viewers since premiering in the states last year, decent ratings suggest it’s found a good fanbase.
We kick-off with young detective Nick Burckhardt (chisel-jawed everyman David Giuntoli) hunting the killer of a student who is attacked as she runs through the woods (red hoodie and all) and soon learn that our man has the ability to spot monsters disguised as humans. As it turns out, this is quite a handy trait because his town is full of them. Initially he thinks he’s losing the plot, but he soon discovers that he’s the last descendant of the Grimm family (a line of hunters who fight evil supernatural forces) and is indispensable in the town’s fight against crime, 90% of which seems to be monster-related. There’s a nice, if slightly unoriginal, touch when he bumps into Monroe (American drama vet Silas Weir Mitchell) a ‘rehabilitated big bad wolf’ who explains his family tree to him and fills us in with backstory as well. Let’s hope he’s got a few more revelations up his sleeve.