Grimm Rippers

Profit Makers will be ripping off the Brother Grimm in a TV show that premiere’s tonight.


ABC’s wholesome and Disney-esque Once Upon a Time, premiering Sunday (8 ET/PT), and NBC’s darker Grimm, premiering Friday (9 ET/PT), both offer new spins on an ancient genre. And chances are good these fresh twists on the ubiquitous classics can be very entertaining, says Adam Gidwitz, author of his own Brothers Grimm-inspired children’s novel, A Tale Dark and Grimm.

“Fairy tales endure because they speak to (our) deep needs and deep fears,” says Gidwitz. “When the world feels disenchanted, we want to go to a place of enchantment. Watching a TV show about fairy tales or reading a book about fairy tales is like that.”

In Once Upon a Time, Jennifer Morrison (House) stars as Emma Swan, a bail bondswoman whose life changes when the son she gave up for adoption 10 years before shows up on her doorstep. Henry (Jared Gilmore) tells the disbelieving Emma that she’s the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas).

By Scott Green, NBC

Portland detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, left) discovers he’s a descendant of a long line of Grimms. The show also stars Russell Hornsby.
In flashbacks, viewers learn that all our beloved fairy-tale characters are under the spell of the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), who has catapulted them out of fairy-tale land and into modern times. They now live in Storybrooke, Maine, with no memory of who they really are. It’s up to Emma, Henry tells her, to break the spell.

“There’s a feeling of familiarity with these characters that will hopefully be enticing and make people immediately feel comfortable in this world,” says Morrison, who thinks the show could appeal to multiple generations of fantasy fans just like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Other characters in the show include Rumpelstiltskin and Jiminy Cricket.

The characters may feel familiar, but the show’s creators/executive producers, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost), say they’re adding a dose of realism. “Our whole approach has been to take these icons and turn them into flesh-and-blood people with real problems that are relatable to everyone,” says Horowitz.

In Grimm, Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s a descendant of a long line of Grimms — for the show’s purposes, not story-tellers but criminal profilers — whose job has always been to hunt down the fairy-tale monsters who secretly live in our world.

“These fairy tales are not the Disneyfied ones that have been handed down to us,” says Giuntoli. “They were laundered and sanitized for us when we were kids, but the source material is very gruesome. Anyone who likes a little scare is going to love this show.”

In the series premiere, for example, Nick — who is gifted with the ability to see monsters who live among us, disguised as humans — hunts a wolflike creature who’s kidnapping little girls wearing, naturally, red hoods.

Grimm executive producers Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt (both of whom worked on Angel) apply a somewhat heavier hand to their stories, but also are counting on nostalgia to draw viewers.

“They won’t get the sanitized versions they’re used to,” says Kouf. “We’re staying close to the original material, which was pretty dark.”

In fact, the original Grimm tales, written two centuries ago, were more horrifying than anything we’d be likely to see on network TV. “Cinderella is one of my favorite stories of all times,” says Gidwitz, “but while I love the Disney movie with the singing mice, in the Grimm version of Cinderella the two stepsisters take a knife and cut off their toes and heels and shove them into the slippers to get them to fit.”

Kouf says he and Greenwalt are “fracturing” the fairy tales by looking at them, in part, from the monsters’ point of view. In the first episode we meet a creature whose childhood tales were about the monster-hunting Grimms, who his parents told him could hunt him down and kill him. That, says Kouf, “is a perspective we’ve never heard before.”

Gidwitz says the original Grimm tales are full of inspiration for modern entertainment, and they “retain an intensity and vividness. When artists and writers go back and read them, they think, ‘These are really fresh, and I want to work with this.'”

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Grimm Rippers

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    How many of my readers understand I often speak in a poetic language that can be construed as indicating Madness. Also, I read all of Grimms when I was eleven. I see the world as a chaotic Fairytale, where most are up to no good, but, this chaos in vital in producing ‘The Authentic One’. This is why Jesus appealed to German Teutons. He passes a crucial test – and shines with The Truth, Jesus spoke in parables. He is a Gleeman to the Celts. Now, he cowers from ISIS, because his American Handlers have gone after women and gay folk. They refuse to see our black President as a Hero. Jesus has to love the bragging millionaire who hates aliens and little poor people. See Jesus go after aliens with a whip, he herding them across the border. No wonder white folks are whining about their identity crisis. Minutes after Rosamond hit the water, my family owned a identity crisis, being, how to disqualify the surviving poets and artists, and get gobs of money in your pocket. It did not occur to anyone to back my creative endeavors. The only family member who hung on my every word – became rich and famous!

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