While they’re a long way from dominating the television line-up, fairy tales have apparently hit their stride, with two fairy tale-themed shows popping up on the small screen recently.
Grimm has already been given the green light for Season 2, which thrills me considerably. If you haven’t seen it, then you really should tune in and give it a try. If I had to describe Grimm to somebody that’s never heard of it, I’d say it’s like a grown-up Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Law & Order. Yeah, I know that sounds really strange, but it works for me. Of course, the Buffy comparison comes simply because you have a seemingly ordinary guy that suddenly finds out he belongs to a long line of monster-slayers, destined to defend mankind against all the supernatural beasties. The Law & Order reference is because the writers have done a great balancing act with storyline. On one hand, you have all these fairy tale creatures roaming around, and plenty of them don’t care about providing happy endings. On the other hand, you have a really cool crime procedural. The police angle works so well that I believe the show would still be enjoyable if all the supernatural elements were stripped out… but then it wouldn’t be Grimm, so I hope they don’t try to do that. I can hardly wait to see what Season 2 will bring our way.
The other show that’s filled to the brim with fairy tales is Once Upon a Time. I think the jury’s still out on whether this one will be renewed or not, and I honestly don’t know if I’d tune in if it comes back. The premise is pretty cool – fairy tale characters get plucked from their enchanted land and dumped in the real world, with no memory of their true history. I love the way some of the characters have been enhanced, while still sticking pretty close to the fairy tale legends we know. The reason why Red Hiding Hood wears the red cloak was especially cool. I also like how Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin has been handled. I actually think he’s my favorite character, which is a pretty good trick to pull off for someone that really doesn’t play that large a role in the original fairy tales.
My problem with Once Upon a Time is that it’s starting to put off a bad vibe every time I tune in. Where Grimm makes me think Buffy or Law & Order, OUAT is starting to remind me of a soap opera. I realize Prince Charming and Snow White are two of the major players in the show, but this whole ‘I love you but can’t be with you but I want to be with you’ thing is starting to really get on my nerves. Fortunately, a murder mystery and the surprise suspect have provided a break from that, and I really hope the show doesn’t fall back into the unrequited-love rut. If they can get back to offering more than Charming and Snow looking longingly at each other, I might actually start to hope a Season 2 will be on the horizon.
Have you seen either show? Both of them? What’s your opinion? Love ’em or hate ’em?