Monday, January 30, 2012

Once Upon a Time and Grimm: mid-season review

I initially posted my reactions to the two major fairy tale tv shows (Once Upon a Time and Grimm) after watching a few episodes. I have to admit that, though I clearly have a bias for things with a fairy tale influence, I really haven't been drawn to either show this year. I follow them more out of a sense of obligation because I have this blog than anything else, although once I start watching either show I don't dislike it.

People who don't like Grimm tend to say it's because they don't like crime dramas. In general, I do, which is why I was initially most excited about this show. But as crime dramas go, it's not really that exceptional. I would have really loved if the clues to solving the crimes were somehow to be found in the plots of the fairy tales themselves, but instead the criminals happen to morph into animals which can be found in fairy tales but otherwise have little to do with fairy tales at all. The thing I like about crime dramas is being given enough clues so that you can try to guess who the criminal is, and at the end when it's revealed, it all makes sense. In this show, the viewer isn't really that involved.

I like Once Upon a Time better now than the first few episodes-it seems less cheesy and the fairy tale plots figure in to the story more than in Grimm. One of my initial biggest reservations about the show was it seemed like the huge curse was to take away their extravagant riches and make them live normal lives, which seemed hardly heart wrenching. But as the episodes progress it's clear that what the witch took away isn't necessarily their perfect "happily ever after" endings, but the memories of their past lives and relationships. Memories and relationships are probably the most important things in life so that's a legitimate curse.

Still, it's not like I look forward to either of these shows airing each week, they're kind of a "what to watch when I'm bored" option. I think I just haven't really connected with any of the characters. In Grimm especially they're all pretty devoid of personality, except for Monroe. What do you think, readers?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't even finish the first episode of Grimm. It was too dark for my tastes.

    But I love Once Upon a Time. I really enjoy the way the present and the past lines meld together. And a lot of a characters are really well done. The Queen/Witch/Mayor is perfect for hating in a really visceral way. And Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is a very interestingly subtle villain. I can't wait to see what part he ultimately plays. Plus I love Snow White and her prince together. Though their present relationship has me worried a bit.