Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

My, weird new TV series... what big odds you face!

  • Print

Once upon a time, there was a TV drama based on the notion that all those often-terrifying fairy tales we heard as children were actually true.

No, wait -- make that TWICE upon a time.

Just five days after ABC's fantasy-fuelled newcomer, Once Upon a Time, premièred to favourable reviews and satisfyingly healthy ratings, NBC follows suit with another rookie show in which the real world and the realm of the storybook make-believe collide.

Grimm, which might also describe this one's chances of survival, premières Friday at 7 p.m. on CTV and 8 p.m. on NBC. Unlike ABC's OUAT, which is essentially a family-driven soap disguised as a fantasy thriller, Grimm is basically a cop show dressed up as a fairy-tale crossover.

At the centre of the story is Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), a Portland-based homicide detective whose casework takes an unexpected turn when he suddenly starts seeing strange and terrifying things. One day, the folks he passes on the street are just citizens mixed with the occasional suspect or fugitive; the next day, many of those faces suddenly transform into grotesque, ghoulish masks when his eyes meet theirs.

He tries to ignore what he's seeing and focus on the case he's been assigned -- the gruesome murder of a young woman attacked while jogging -- but it seems like everywhere he looks, he sees another monstrous temporary transformation.

It's also worth noting, just so you know where we're headed, that the murder victim in question was wearing a red hoodie while running through the forest, and the evidence suggests some kind of carnivorous animal may have been involved.

Thing become clearer, and more complicated, for Nick when he arrives home after his shift to find his ailing Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) -- who raised him after his parents' mysterious death when he was a teenager -- has arrived in Portland and has something she must tell him before she dies: "There are things you don't know about your family."

Before she can fully explain, however, she's attacked outside Nick's home by a ferocious half-human creature; she survives the assault, but is badly injured. As she drifts in and out of consciousness, she takes Nick's hand and summons her strength to tell him what he's seeing is real:

"This is no fairy tale. The stories are real. What they wrote about really happened. You are one of the last Grimms."

Yes, the guys who wrote the darkest collection of childhood yarns are Nick's direct ancestors, and they weren't fantasy authors, they were chroniclers and battlers of Earth's evil doings.

And now, it's Nick's time to join the fight.

Fortunately, Aunt Marie has provided Nick with a trailer full of books and scrolls and weapons he can use as he figures out what just exactly what kind of battle he's in. His first opportunity comes the next day on his cop job, actually, when a young girl -- yes, wearing a red hoodie -- disappears while walking near the forest on the way to her grandpa's house.

Could it be that the child abductor is also the Big Bad Wolf responsible for the previous day's murder?

Thanks to his newfound skills as a discerner of dark presences, Nick might be just the guy to solve this one.

As a cop-show mutation, Grimm is necessarily a much murkier spin on the fairy-tale theme than Once Upon a Time. It's also less ambitious, at least in its première, in its employment of those fantasy elements for storyline purposes, aiming mostly at wolves and demons and such, and leaving on the shelf most of the familiar bedtime characters embraced by OUAT.

As a result, Grimm feels more limited and much more run-of-the-mill. That, and the fact it's scheduled on the worst audience-building night of the week, could mean that this new arrival's prospects aren't much more than its title suggests.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2011 D4


Updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:17 AM CDT: corrects typo, adds fact box

3:06 PM: corrects "descendants" to "ancestors"

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


NDP MLAs pitch their ‘Pledge of Solidarity’ in attempt to heal caucus

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think the punishment should be for Dustin Byfuglien's cross-check on New York Rangers forward J. T. Miller?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google