This series somehow escaped my radar for far too long but when it eventually found its way into my life, I was more than thrilled. It’s a glorious example of how certain directors/ filmmakers can take an idea and then with huge amounts of respect and reverence to the original, create something genuinely unique and interesting as an offshoot from the base idea. This series, for example, being based on the Grimm Brothers who wrote most of the fairytales that we know variations of today. And they intertwine the concept of Grimm’s (Grim Reapers) pretty damn perfectly. There are six whole seasons full of mystery, monsters, and some deceptively deep cultural commentary.
The series follows Nick Burkhart, a detective for the Portland Police Department. The crux of the series occurs when his aunt comes to town to visit him. She bestows upon him a rather specific and challenging familial obligation. ‘Curse’ or a ‘gift’, depending on the way you look at it. He’s informed from his dying aunt about the wonderffully macabre world of Vesen, that there are other subspecies of humans existing within many human beings, called “Vesen”. The Grimm family has been, throughout countless generations searching for and killing Vesen all the way back to their original ancestors. The favorite method of dealing with the aforementioned subspecies, has been discorporating them.
Interestingly, the Vesen tell their own children horror stories or scary fairytales that involve an evil Grimm coming to chop their heads off if they misbehave. Normal humans can only see Vesen if they want to be seen. But Grimm’s can see them when they don’t want to – making them prime hunters.
The CGI is exquisitely done – watching the transformations on-screen of which there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties.
Interestingly, the series presents Nick as a far more progressive and logical Grimm. A new age of them. Being a member of law enforcement and undoubtedly endowed with plenty of ethics and a guiding moral compass. On top of learning about this whole new wonderful and dangerous world, his drive is mostly to arrest Vesen who has committed certain crimes. Where he can, to always handle it professionally and by-the-book. Where he can’t, involves some coloring outside of the box. It dives into our own human history with a well-crafted narrative about huge historic events and figures with a new spin on them.
What makes it a particularly intriguing series – is the ideologies that are knitted into it. The entire six series challenge antiquated ideas and beliefs. Old rules and laws that are not and should not be prevalent in today’s world. It challenges preconceived notions. Just because something is tradition, historical, or I ‘the way it’s always been’ is not a good enough reason to continue the same way. It also reiterates the age-old lesson we attempt to instill in all generations, admittedly so many ignorant idiots have refused to learn this very lesson – Judging someone based on one rudimentary marker or aspect. Aka appearance. The series challenges injustice – whether racial, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. More than anything it challenges ‘tradition’. Now we’re not talking about celebrating festivities – your Christmases and Easters. We’re talking old, outdated traditions, beliefs, customs, expectations, etc. Male traditions of violence and emotionally withdrawing, the “suck it up, be a man” type mantras and beliefs that have existed for time immemorial. Assuming personality traits based on someone’s home country. Assuming biases based on ethnicity or any other type of distinguishing. Whatever ideas you thought you had about life and the world and how we now exist – those outdated ideas and beliefs – well it’s time you kicked those to the curb. And Grimm is here to lead by example.