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Talking TV

Posted by: Paul Entwistle | 23 March, 2011 - 10:52 AM
Talking TV with Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams' mother must be very proud if not relieved that his seemingly misspent youth glued to the TV is beginning tio pay off. Andrew shares his views and observations on the world of TV every Wednesday at 11.30 in.

 

 

Click here for the latest 'Talking TV' episode.

 

 

Review of the week

GRIMM

 

EPISODES SEEN – EPS 1-4

 

Grimm stars David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, a police detective who finds out he is a ‘Grimm’, someone able to see supernatural creatures masquerading as humans for what they really are. Set in modern-day Portland, Oregon, Grimm also features Russell Hornsby as his partner and Silas Weir Mitchell as a suspect who may not be all that he appears.

 

Grimm is a categorically silly television show.

 

If you spend more than, say, 15 seconds thinking about any one plot development in Grimm, you will head down the rabbit hole (plot hole?) faster than you can say ‘Hexenbeast’.

 

Grimm has silly dialogue and a wooden lead actor best known for a stint on reality television. It has terrible special effects.  Half of each episode doesn’t take itself seriously and the other half is convinced it’s the great fantasy horror drama of our times.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grimm is at its best when it knows how silly it is.

 

Although countless comparisons have been made with fellow fairytales-in-the-modern-world show Once Upon a Time, Grimm has more in common with the first season of Smallville. They share monster of the week storylines, bland heroes discovering their powers and some of the dodgiest dialogue in the business. But where Smallville got bogged down in romantic subplots, Grimm chooses to keep it simple. Start with a monster of the week, add pretty people, season with some ongoing intrigue and serve.

 

None of those procedural or serial elements are particularly good – they’re mostly ridiculous – but they’re a fair bit of fun if you don’t think too hard.

 

This is never more evident than in the third episode, ‘Bee-ware’ (Yep) which features a moment where our lead character is given a surprisingly complex decision to make for a show of this type. Unfamiliar with this brief flirtation with quality, the writers immediately undercut that moment with the kind of vague ‘it begins/he is here/she is coming’ pronoun-based portent of doom that so annoyed anyone who bothered to watch The Event for any length of time. Then even that moment is undercut by some of the worst special FX I’ve seen on a broadcast TV show in quite some time.

 

On top of that, we get lines like:

“You’re a detective, you work it out.”

(In a bee-related episode) “You better, or I’m the one that gets stung.”

“When do I have time for a bed OR breakfast?”

And my favourite: Our lead character is trying to intimidate a woman that tried to poison his mother. His partner offers to make tea, so our hero sees an opportunity to segue from the apparently innocuous subject of tea to the subject of murder by poison: “Nature is full of powerful concoctions.”

 

It’s the kind of line that either makes you switch off the TV in disbelief or laugh uncontrollably. I fell in the latter category.

 

Other great achievements in television:

-          Two police officers have to tell a man both that his wife is dead and that he is a suspect, so of course they do it in consecutive sentences.

-          Every single fairytale-based creature in the world has taken up residence in Portland, Oregon, and there are heaps of them.

-          Our hero’s partner has not clued into anything funny going on, despite the cacophony of weird things he’s encountered in, say, a fortnight. (Including, but not limited to, assassin bee swarms.)

-          The lead character’s wife has no issue with the fact he has a creepy creature-research caravan to which he retreats in the middle of the night.

 

Grimm is not entirely without merit. Silas Weir Mitchell is excellent (and much needed comic relief) as a suspect who is more than he seems in a couple of different ways. Bitsie Tulloch is fun as Burkhardt’s devoted wife, and there are moments where the show actually manages to be a bit scary, no mean feat for a low-budget prime-time US network TV show.

 

I would be neglecting my duty as a TV critic to suggest there is any circumstance in which you should seek out and watch Grimm. If the premise interests you, though, and you like shows in the Smallville/Supernatural vein, Grimm is just enough fun to be worth passing the time with.

 

GRIMM AIRS WEDNESDAYS ON FOX8 (5:30 PERTH TIME, 8:30 EST)

 

Blog comments Your Say

  • Hi Andrew,

    I was wondering if you could find out when Smalltime Gangster was due back and if the SBS series The Protectors is still in production.

    Rgs

    Jason

    jason gotch Tuesday 21 February, 2012 - 4:49 PM
  • The NFL is as close as you will ever see to a legal slave oewrns association. The players are owned by the teams and can usually expect bodily harm once a week.I can understand why the NFL would want to avoid anything that resembles racism in their business.

    Thitipon Saturday 11 February, 2012 - 8:29 AM
  • iam boy

    ahmad Friday 2 September, 2011 - 3:56 AM
  • I love Glee and Dancing with the Stars!

    House and Land Packages Perth Tuesday 7 June, 2011 - 7:12 PM

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