I have to admit I was excited to see splashy ads in Entertainment Weekly for two new prime-time series starting this fall both with fairly tale themes ABC’s Once Upon A Time and NBC’s Grimm. I find it strange when this happens and it seems to happen all the time that people or groups of people come up with the same idea separately at the same time. It seems like there is really something to collective unconscious. But back to television, I have always liked fairy tales well before I had kids and well after most young people have moved on to more grown-up content.
The pilot for Once Upon A Time aired last night 10/23/2011 at 8pm EST and being so excited to compare the interpretations I watched a 20 minute preview OnDemand of Grimm immediately after. Once Upon A Time’s concept seems to revolve around a highly imaginative young boy who lives in a town aptly named Storybrooke where all the residents live parallel lives with and have uncanny similarities to popular fairy tale characters. The show switches back and forth between present day and fairly tale. In the pilot the young boy who has a cold and maybe cruel adoptive mother goes looking for and finds his biological mother. The concurrent fairly tale begins with the conclusion Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin from Big Love), then imagines what happens next, and includes other characters from non-related fairy tales like Geppetto (a-la-Shrek style). Honestly during the first half of the show I thought this is not only bad but it is boring! I did stick with it and by the end I think MAYBE it has some potential. Grimm stars David Giuntoli as Nick a modern day detective who discovers he is a descendant of the Grimm Brothers and has special abilities that enable him to see glimpses of real, not imaginary fairy tale evil in the world. The 20 minute preview centers on the abductions of red hooded girls by an unknown man or beast (a wolf perhaps?) and Nick is investigating the crimes and also discovering his history. In my opinion Grimm has a more intriguing premise but my criticism is that the execution may be a little immature. Nick keeps seeing people whose faces morph into what looks like zombies from bad horror movies!
I did try to have my 6 year old watch Once Upon A Time which seems to be the slightly more family oriented of the two by telling her it was about Snow White but since she is “no longer into princesses” it did not hold her. In conclusion the jury is still out for me. Grimm premieres 10/28/2011 at 9pm EST.