A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this aptly titled series is inspired by popular Grimm's fairy tales, but you shouldn't expect many happy endings when it comes to the characters' lives. There is nothing light about the content, from human faces that morph into monsters' to the fright, suspense, and bloody violence that's an integral part of this police/supernatural drama, so it's a definite no-go for kids. There's also some light language ("hell," "ass," "pissy," and the like), and some of the stories touch on drug use, both for medicinal purposes and as a result of addiction.
What's the story?
In GRIMM, police detective Nick Burkhardt's (David Giuntoli) life is turned upside down when he begins seeing strange things that defy explanation and seem to be invisible to everyone else around him. It's only when his ailing aunt (Kate Burton) reveals to him that he's the latest descendant from an ancient line of Grimms -- people who are tasked with keeping the peace between supernatural creatures and the human world -- that his visions make sense. Besides coming to terms with this new world of Hexenbiests, Blutbaden, and Lausenschlange, Nick also must keep his identity a secret from everyone around him, including his girlfriend, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), and his partner on the force, Hank (Russell Hornsby). Fortunately he's flanked by a reformed werewolf named Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), who helps him navigate the workings of this hidden society.
Is it any good?
Whether they're witches or werewolves or vampires, the entertainment world sure loves its trends, and one of those is popular fairy tales served up fresh with a modern twist. But unlike family-friendlier spins like Once Upon a Time, Grimm takes a decidedly grittier approach and so appeals to a slightly older and more mature audience. In fact, maturity is a necessity when dealing with this show, which matches the hazy, gray backdrop of Portland, Oregon, with dark doings and sinister, mythological creatures who morph in and out of human facades with seamless effect.
Don't let the fact that these stories are based on fairy tales fool you. There are no sweet dreams to be had at the close of these chapters, so kids and sensitive tweens should steer clear. Of course, some adults will find the idea of applying fairy tales to a police procedural a bit absurd, but in some mystical way, the concept works in this enticing drama that's great for thrill-seeking teens and adults who can handle the violent content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of movies and TV series inspired by centuries-old fairy tales. How does this series compare to others? What is it about these stories that continues to hold our attention? Are the original stories recognizable in this show?
Look into the real-life Grimm's tales, and you'll discover a surprising level of violence. How do more modern adaptations of these stories (think Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel) compare to the originals? Why are stories altered through multiple retellings? How do these changes reflect the time in which they're told rather than the time during which they were written?
What role does violence play in this series? How do the writers blend the fantasy violence of the Grimm stories into real-world crimes and other violent acts? Does it work? Is the violence too explicit in any way? Do you think that this show would appeal to a greater audience if violence wasn't an issue?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love fantasy
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