Grimm: Season 1 created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf  (Universal Television, GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, and Open 4 Bisiness Productions, LLC, airs Friday nights at 9/8c on NBC)
Starring David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, and Reggie Lee

The Grimm of Old

Historically, the Brothers Grimm collected folklore and published these stories in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. With fairy tales acting as an oral tradition, the Grimm brothers met with people to write down their stories.

Being an oral tradition, fairy tales obviously varied from town to town, and the stories from the Germanic origin were much darker. For instance, in the Grimm version of Cinderella, the evil step sisters chop off their toes in order to try to fit into the glass slipper. Furthermore, pigeons pecked out their eyes and they were punished with blindness for the rest of their lives.

“When the wedding with the prince was to be held, the two false sisters came, wanting to gain favor with Cinderella and to share her good fortune. When the bridal couple walked into the church, the older sister walked on their right side and the younger on their left side, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards, as they came out of the church, the older one was on the left side, and the younger one on the right side, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each of them. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.”

However, in versions of The Little Glass Slipper, specifically the version by Charles Perrault,  Cinderella forgives her wicked step sisters and allows them to live with her in the palace.

“And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball.  They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.”

The Grimm of New

Similar to the Germanic sources, the television series Grimm brings this dark perspective onto the screen.  A homicide detective named Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) in the city of Portland, Oregon learns of his descendancy from the Brothers Grimm. Due to his origins, he can see what some people really are – creatures that are not fully human. One such creature (a big not-so-bad wolf named Monroe, played by Silas Weir Mitchell) reluctantly helps Burkhardt and his human police partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) to solve crimes.

Mystical Detectives

Surprisingly and with some accidental good fortune, all of Detective Burkhardt’s casework happens to coincide with the mystical realm. Despite these coincidences, the show is still very compelling.


Escape


The emergence of Harry Potter and Twilight brought the fairy tale back into the public eye. Perhaps unjustifiably, fairy tales get a bad rap. Although they are what we read to children, G.K. Chesterton says,

 “Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” 

Furthermore, Chesterton also states that fairy tales are a way to escape from this world much in the same way that a prisoner seeks to escape his prison cell. Such imagination is a noble pursuit – to escape to a place where good always does triumph over evil.

Grimm provides this escape. Wonderfully and with great suspense, it paints the picture of a detective trying to rid the world of evil. If you have nothing else happening on Friday nights, I recommend that you check out Grimm.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
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Andrew Jacobson is the director of Choral Studies at Bellevue Christian School in Bellevue, WA. He holds an M.M. in Music Education from Boston University, as well as a B.M. in Music Education from the University of Washington. He loves wine, food, reading, music, and movies. You can reach him via email at arjacobson@gmail.com.


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