Grimm, NBC’s latest fall show, has been put into the Friday “death slot,” usually an indication that a network doesn’t believe in its freshman series. The network announced an October premiere date and then followed by pushing back the premiere date, causing audiences to think NBC has even more doubt in the series than it initially would appear. But Grimm may be different… for a variety of reasons. First off, Fridays have slowly been becoming the night for these “genre” shows. It started with Supernatural being placed after Smallville on Fridays a couple of years ago. Then, Fringe made its way to Fridays where it survived half a season (and then some, as it is currently in its fourth). But the “Freaky Friday” night of television can even be traced back further, perhaps a more recent example is the ill-fated Ghost Whisperer which was a Friday staple (and a hit until it wasn’t) for five years starting in 2005. (However, unlike Ghost Whisperer, our lead has a job that puts him in the perfect position to investigate these freaky crimes. It would be like if Melinda Gordon was a professional medium and instead of Same As It Never Was Antiques had a Psychic shop of some variety.)
And when you think about it that way, including the arguably smart campaign to let Twitter followers watch the pilot episode for free before October 28th and the pre-air date screenings taking place in 10 cities across the country, NBC may actually be sticking with Grimm for the long haul. Either that or they’re waiting for the second wave of shows audiences are anxious for (Awake, Smash). Truthfully, there’s no indication they shouldn’t be sticking with it for the long haul, anyhow. Grimm is the perfect Friday night fright.
The pilot episode doesn’t allot much time for exposition — in fact, there’s practically no exposition at all. And that will either annoy you or, as it did for me, allow you to get right into the story. The exposition-less pilot might even make its characters forgettable to some (like Nick’s girlfriend) and downplay a twist or two. That said, it’s no wonder I can see how some viewers might question the characters’ actions. Somewhere in the pilot episode, a mythical creature explains what his kind’s name is but doesn’t delve deeper than that. Are we to think that only two creatures exist? Grimms and [actually I wouldn’t know how to write out their real names, so I’ll substitute it with:] Werewolves? Before anything is explained to us, Nick’s aunt lands into a coma and he’s left with bits and pieces.
But don’t be fooled by the slow movements and suspenseful music, this show moves pretty quickly. Before the title card appears, Nick (our lead) knows he’s a Grimm, sees two Werewolves, fights a Reaper of the Grimms, and is already investigating a case. Again, I underscore that you might be questioning why Nick isn’t question his own visions of these werewolf-type-creatures… or how a detective could just charge a man into his own home without any probably cause and get away with it… or even how Nick could slip up so many times with his partner (“Here, rub this on you so he can’t smell us.”).
Regardless, Grimm is quite entertaining. The show’s biggest competition may be perceived as Fringe but I think the real one is Supernatural here. That’s if Grimm continues to be a capture-the-supernatural-bad-guy-of-the-week type of show. It may not be as thought-provoking as either of its competition, but neither was Fringe nor Supernatural during their respective pilots. What truly put those shows into elite critical darlings was their ambitious storytelling when it came to mythology. And I think Grimm can really do something here with its mythology. There’s a strong potential to grow. And there’s a strong potential to keep having more brutal massacres caused by werewolves and Nick somehow, inexplicably saves the day because of who he is and what he can see. But how lame is that? (Of course, both of those shows also have incredibly strong followings which keep buzz alive. Unfortunately, its too early to tell if that can happen here.)
Grimm offers more scares than American Horror Story (believe me) and is light enough on its feet to provide a couple of chuckles. I can see how NBC thought it might slightly be a good fit with Chuck for Fridays (though, that’s a more campy show. I think the aforementioned cop job puts a dent into the campiness in a sense; this isn’t a fish out of water story as much as Chuck in Chuck is. Nick is much more well-equipped). The only question is: is it truly in competition or will it find an untapped market of viewers? I don’t know. But I do know that Grimm is a solid piece of entertainment — and quite frankly, NBC’s best new fall show (though, I haven’t seen Prime Suspect).