Movies and tv: Grimm

(Mostly about the tv show, but with some linguistic digressions.)


left to right: the characters Monroe, Nick, Hank

From Wikipedia:

Grimm is an American police procedural fantasy television drama series. It debuted in the U.S. on NBC on October 28, 2011. The show has been described as “a cop drama—with a twist… a dark and fantastical project about a world in which characters inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales exist”, although the stories and characters inspiring the show are also drawn from other sources.

David Giuntoli as Nicholas “Nick” Burkhardt, the eponymous Grimm. Nick is a Homicide detective [in Portland OR], whose Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) tells him that he is descended from a line of hunters, called Grimms, who fight supernatural forces. Even before his abilities manifested, Nick had an exceptional ability to make quick and accurate deductions about the motivations and pasts of individuals, which has now expressed itself as his ability to perceive aspects of the supernatural that nobody else can see.

The main characters are Nick; his police partner Hank Griffin (played by Russell Hornsby); and his friend and frequent collaborator in investigations Monroe (last name not given). Plus Nick’s girlfriend Juliette Silverton (played by Bitsie Tulloch), who dies in season 4; and Monroe’s girlfriend (and, eventually, wife) Rosalee Calvert (played by Bree Turner). And other Portland policemen.

Hank and Nick on the job:


And Nick and Monroe in consultation:


The Grimms (the identity is hereditary; Nick got it from his mother) have been tasked, since medieval times, with hunting down and killing supernatural beings that can take human form. But Nick is a new kind of Grimm, willing to collaborate with these beings for the greater good of humankind.

Digression on Jacob Grimm. From Wikipedia:

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (4 January 1785 – 20 September 1863) was a German philologist, jurist, and mythologist. He is known as the discoverer of Grimm’s law (linguistics), the co-author with his brother Wilhelm of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the author of Deutsche Mythologie and, more popularly, as one of the Brothers Grimm and the editor of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Back to television. And to the Wesen. From the show’s Wiki:

Wesen (VES-sin; Ger. “a being” or “creature”) is a collective term used to describe the creatures visible to the Grimms. They are the basis not only of the fairy tales that the Brothers Grimm have compiled, but also of the many legends and folklore from many cultures (i.e. Anubis, Aswang, Blutbad, Chupacabra, and Wendigo).

… When in human form, Wesen are, by all accounts, physiologically that way and thus, can pass as human. … Every creature encountered by Nick Burkhardt is Wesen (excluding La Llorona, Volcanalis, the Golem, Mishipeshu, and Jack the Ripper).

The community consists of both good and bad creatures ranging from Blutbaden to Bauerschwein to Mauvais Dentes. Individually, Wesen generally behave stereotypically in accordance to their own kind (i.e. the Blutbaden being fierce and vindictive, Siegbarste being dangerously vengeful, or Mellifers having a hive-like mentality and penchant for sending messages).

Then there’s the transformation between human and Wesen. From the show’s Wiki:

Woge (VOH-gə; German noun meaning a high, powerful wave of water; a large undulating mass of something) is the act of changing between human and Wesen form.

(When they are woged, Wesen can detect Grimm identity.)

Monroe and Rosalee are both Wesen — Monroe Blutbad (wolf-like, though Monroe is vegan), Rosalee Fuchsbau (fox-like). Wesen identities are hereditary, so Monroe and Rosalee embark on a “mixed marriage”. Hank and Juliette are both ordinary human beings; Nick introduces Hank to the world of Grimms and Wesen early on in the series, since Portland, in addition to being enormously rainy, is also packed with Wesen, who get in the way of Nick and Hank’s police work. Later on, Juliette is taught about this supernatural world.

The shows are often violent and bloody, leavened with many moments of humor and affection.

David Giuntoli. The actor who plays Nick projects charm and good humor. Here he is off the show:


From his Wikipedia page:

He admits to not being very athletic as a child. In an Access Hollywood interview Giuntoli stated “I was like three feet shorter than I am now until I was a sophomore in high school. But I had the same sized head and ass as I do now. I was an awkward little fellow.”

Awkward no more. I don’t know about his athleticism, but he’s certainly gotten his body in shape. Here he is showing it off, in a semi-shirtless pose, against a Grimm-based background:


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