Even so, while the idea of a cop battling fairy tales creatures from big bad wolves to witches and demons is intriguing, this show needs work, starting with its lead.
David Giuntoli, who plays Portland Police Officer and budding demon hunter Nick Burkhardt, looks the part. Nick is pretty sharp on reading people. When he starts seeing some of the faces turn demonic, however, he’s puzzled, but not scared. The story also hampers him because aside from seeing faces, you can’t really tell that he has these new powers emerging in him. He looks through the books his Aunt Marie left him, and sees her collection of weapons, but that’s it. Even Buffy Summers was able to kill her first vampire on her first night.
He doesn’t even get to solve the crime of the week: someone attacking girls who wear red, eating one and kidnapping another. He catches the bad guy, but he’s not the one who identifies him.
What’s more, he’s introduced into the world of Grimms very quickly. All he’s told by his Aunt Marie is that it’s his turn to take up the lonely job of battling monsters from fairy tales and that he has to give up his girlfriend to do it. Sounds like what a Slayer is expected to do. Naturally, he won’t.
The real star of this show is Silar Weir Mitchell, who plays Monroe the Blutbad (wolf guy who isn’t bad, that is). He’s able to ease Nick into the Grimm job better than Aunt Marie. He also has the best lines of the show. When he meets Nick the second time “What, you just get the books tonight?” He proves he’s not so bad thanks to drugs, diet and Pilates, then proves he wasn’t the guy who kidnapped those two girls, “I’m a clockmaker, for God’s sakes. I don’t go around abducting little girls.” He does admit his darker instincts do emerge when he gets close to other Blutbaden, and his driving skills are quite unusual.
However Nick does get one good line, when he tells Hank (Russell Hornsby), his partner, that they’re the only guys tracking down the real suspect, “I already cried wolf once. You think they’re gonna believe me?”
There are small things that show its Buffy and Angel DNA. Nick starts to get nightmares about cases, just like Buffy did in her first show. After Aunt Marie is attacked by a would-be Reaper of Grimms Nick mentions that she was a librarian… like an English guy who joined a school in Sunnydale. There are also some witty lines, and it looks like Monroe will be a hybrid of Giles and Doyle from Angel.
If NBC wants to take this show forward Giuntoli has to be featured better. OK, Nick’s kind of lost in this new Grimm world, but show that he’s a fast learner. Give him more wit and abilities. He IS a cop, and apparently a good one. Don’t have some Blutbad make him look dumb.
The twist at the end, where Nick gets drugged when someone tries to kill Aunt Marie, is only designed to get you to come back next week. There was a nice touch, though: seems like a dirty cop is involved, but why would he prefer to protect the Big Bad Wolf than us mortals?
Hopefully, NBC should repeat this episode, for those people who can’t see it again online. From the teaser for next week, it will be the Nick and Monroe Show. Future episode should make Nick a stronger lead and able to protect his girlfriend from Big Bad Anythings. It’s inevitable Hank will figure this out, and he should. Even Nick needs a Scooby Gang of more than a Blutbad.
The premiere will be available at nbc.com/grimm along with a video of what is to come, and on Hulu.