Being Sick With Netflix

While I was sick and trying to get well, I did what all adults do when sick these days…..I picked a series I have always wanted to watch – and watched almost 2 seasons of it via streaming online.

I had always wanted to watch Grimm for a few reasons:

  1. It’s filmed in Portland – my place of residence for 20 years now – and wanted to see how Portland looks on a show.
  2. I am constantly walking thru their filming in downtown,  and want to see what they were filming those days.
  3. One of my favorite books takes a childhood fairy tale and puts an adult spin on it.  I like that approach to story telling.
  4. It looked like it could be really good or really bad.  I wanted to find out.

I had started watching it here and there whenever I had time.  It had me intrigued, and I have watched too many Joss Whedon shows to know to give a series a chance – more than a couple episodes as it may get better.

What I have decided is that Grimm reminds me of Buffy.  Why?

  • Nick (the Grimm) only learns he’s a Grimm right before someone dies.  And through that death, he becomes the Grimm with responsibilities.
  • Nick has his own Scooby Gang like Buffy did.  It even consists of people who he is supposed to be fighting but who really just want to live in peace – so they help him go after the bad ones.
  • There is definitely a story telling arch like with Buffy.  Buffy has a big-bad each  year that is the season’s overarching story arc.  Grimm seems to have that too.  And when not directly pushing forward that story arch, the minor arcs seem to follow a cadence –  Buffy episodes often followed the trials of growing up;  Nick’s episodes always follow a fairy tale.
  • When encountering something no one has ever encountered before, they go to the trailer for research just as Buffy and the gang went to the library.
  • Weapons – lots of weapons – ancient ones too.  While Buffy had her favorite stake “Mr Pokey”, Nick’s go-to is clearly his 9mm.  Both have had a cross bow in their hands more than once.
  • Both universes seem to have a complicated leadership structure in the background with powers greater than most understand.  The watcher’s council in Buffy – the council that handles the wesens in Grimm.

Grimm has some unique elements I like – complex history among the wesen (the monsters, if you will), a struggle between being a cop vs being the Grimm (which is VERY interesting given some of the situations he finds himself trying to sort out), and a neat Medical Examiner who I’m waiting to ask him “what the hell is REALLY going on here”.

There is one thing that totally annoys me about the show.  His girlfriend.  She starts off the show very sell assured – very brainy – and very curious.  She’s in a relationship but all that she is as a person is not wrapped up on the relationship.  Yet, as time goes on, she gets, not overwhelmed by learning the truth, but a bit more weak by it.  In one episode, she is curious about some fur found at the scene of a horse who was mauled (she is a vet who is treating said horse), so takes it to a lab to try to figure out what it is.  Awesome. Go-science!    Later, after she learns about the wesen, she is helping mix a potion with the apothecary who comments they need a better way to administer the position.  The girlfriend sorta looks at her like “huh? how could we do that?”  Only when the apothecary suggests making it an inhalant does she remember she’s got the training on this, snaps out of it, and becomes the expert who knows how to do it.  I hope this improves as time goes on.  There are glimmers of hope, so far – but I’d love to see her go back to being smart and independent and all.

Overall, I’m enjoying the show and will watch it until it gets too absurd.  Right now, I’m enjoying it as an indulgence into fantasy.  And laughing as they put together story lines around well known children’s tales – but with a very neat twist.

I guess there are worse things to do while being sick.

Though, I’m sure it’s already been done, it does make me want to seek out all of the key locations they used to shoot the series. Could make for an interesting photo project….maybe.

What do you think?