June 15, 2024

Modern Day Fairy Tales

Grimm is a newAmerican police drama series with an unexpected twist. Each of the cases that Detective
Nick Burkhardt faces is caused by creatures that are loosely inspired on the
characters from Grimm’s fairy tales that actually exist in modern society.
Furthermore Nick himself is a Grimm, a hunter required to maintain the balance
between the human world and the mythological creatures, an ability inherited
from his ancestors.

The first episode was based around the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and was every bit
as predictable as you would expect it to be. Girls wearing red hoodies are
abducted by a “Blutbad” (more commonly known as a werewolf) and are kept in a
cabin in the forest. Nick, with the help of another conveniently placed Blutbad
in the neighbourhood called Monroe, tracks down the perpetrator and sends him
off to prison. It was hardly original and ground – breaking, but was
interesting enough to entice me to watch the second episode.

Subsequent episodes are based on tales such as Goldilocks and theThree Bears, The Pied Piper of
and The Three Little Pigs, were more originally interpreted into less predictable crimes. The tales are
mixed with historical fact too, using the German names for the creatures rather
than the fictional ones we are more familiar with, thus making the creatures seem
darker and unfamiliar.  It is not just Grimm’s fairy tales that provide inspiration for the show but fantasy
characters in general. The most recent episode to air in the UK, “Game Ogre”
explored a series of murders committed by an ex con who is in fact a modern day
ogre. This was by far one of the best crafted episodes in my opinion and
successfully managed to translate the fairy tale character into a modern day evil, whilst avoiding cliché.

Nick’s aids in these investigations are Detective HankGriffin, his friend and partner, who is completely unaware of his partner’s supernatural abilities and his neighbour Monroe.  Monroe is a reformed Blutbad who chooses to ignore his murderous urges in order to properly assimilate himself in society. He is knowledgeable about the characters that Nick often has to deal with and becomes Nick’s point of reference when the books that his ancestor’s left him are inadequate. He also provides a lot of the lighter moments with his sarcastic nature.

Reworked fairy tales are currently a huge trend both in cinema and film with the recent releases of Mirror
and Snow White and the Huntsmen which are both based on the fairy tale of Snow White. Another TV
show that adapts this technique is Once Upon A Time that recently premiered on Channel 5, which centres on a town
where fairy tale characters still exist. I have yet to see this show, but if it is as good as Grimm, I will definitely be giving it a try.

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