This review going to be relatively quick. Last year seemed to be the year of the Fairytale. In the last 12 to 14 months we’ve had several major motion pictures based on Fairy tales, a bunch of new popular comics based on modernizing Grimm’s Fairy Tales and on TV we have Once Upon A Time on ABC and NBC’s entry – Grimm.
Season One hit Blu-ray last week in a really nice package but it loses a couple of grade points because of its incredibly stupid use of Ultraviolet digital copy – a service that is garbage in it’s own right. This is why people pirate, because studios constantly find ways to screw customers and make things harder than necessary.
Grimm stars David Giuntoli as a Portland Detective Nick Burkhardt. When Nick’s aunt comes to town and gets killed he starts seeing strange things. People who really aren’t people. At first he starts to wonder if he’s crazy or not. He eventually discovers that he’s the last in a long line of mythical warriors known as Grimms. It’s now his job to police the world of the Supernatural. Along for the ride is his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) and the Human Wolf Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) who serves as Nick’s unofficial guide to the all things weird and wacky.
The series has all the typical flaws of a season one supernatural show. It starts a little slow and unsure of what it wants to be. It takes almost the entire season before any sort of mythology starts to form. The first 10 episodes focused too much on the procedural aspects and the “Gee whiz, this is the episode with the Three Little Pigs.”
During this building phase a Supernatural show needs to have a strong compelling lead and supporting cast.Unfortunately, Grimm did not have that. Due to Giuntoli’s noticeable lack of charisma it was a struggle sticking with this show. He looks lost and not connected to the show through most of the season.
Everyone in the Underworld fears Nick because he’s a Grimm. He never comes across as a bad ass. His only power seems to be his ability to see these beings in their natural form and he has access to a bunch of old books and weapons that his ancestors left him. Somewhere along the middle of the season – around episode 14 or 15 the show started to click.
The show was created and produced by Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel alum Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf. It’s a very slick looking show and setting it in Portland gives the show a unique feel. Now that the painful building process of Season One is over, there are enough solid pieces here to move forward.
Grimm Guide – A guide to all the creatures in Grimm. It’s laid out like one of Nick’s old books with a mixture of text telling the history of the creature and a video clip from the show. I love the idea of this but it seems better suited to being an Mobile App. The layout doesn’t work well at all and is hard to navigate.
The World of Grimm – A 10 minute Featurette about the Show
Grimm: Making Monsters – A 6 minute look at the creation of the monsters of Grimm
Digital Copy of the Entire First Season – At first this seems like an amazing bonus. How many other TV Series include the Full season as a digital download? Let’s pump our fists in the air and scream, “YES!” let’s hope more studios do this. Then reality hits, it’s Ultraviolet Digital Copy. Not only does Ultraviolet digital copy suck (in the best of situations) – for so many reasons, I probably can’t list them here. But let’s start with the signup procedure – in order to get Ultraviolet you have to sign up in TWO different places – Ultraviolet’s website and Flixter.
The application is only available on mobile platforms (iPads – not sure if there’s an Android Flixter app). If you don’t have an app you can use your web browser and watch all your movies on the Flixter website. There is no native desktop client that allows you to watch your movies offline. You can download directly to your iPad. People who don’t have iPads? Good luck accessing your digital copy without an internet connection.
Now all of these studios like Universal, Sony, etc. are building their OWN Ultraviolet portals. So you have to sign up on these sites as well. I don’t know about you, but I for one am sick to death of being forced to register on every site I go to and to top it all off, I already have accounts with these studio sites. Why do I need yet another one just to access the GD Ultraviolet pages? No, I don’t want to use Facebook connect to login anywhere other than, Facebook.
There was a survey a few months ago that said less than 5% of all users even bother to redeem their digital copy discs and that’s through iTunes which is relatively easy and straightforward. I’m willing to bet its less than 1% for Ultraviolet and probably even less when they do crap like this. Yet studios are starting to charge Extra for sets that include Digital copy versions. If I won’t even waste my time trying to register, yet again, to download something, then you know “normal” folks won’t.
As bad an idea and implementation Ultraviolet is, why is this 3rd layer required? Remember, with this new system, we’ll eventually have to register on every studio’s Ultraviolet site to access this content. It is BS. Give us the choice between iTunes and UV.
Due to the crap with Ultraviolet, I’d really like to give this set an F. But it probably isn’t fair to penalize the entire set for this. Grimm isn’t a bad series, it’s watchable but not must see TV. If you have patience and stick with it, it starts to come together towards the end. For season two, it’d be nice to see Nick kick more butt, maybe gains some sort of powers, and see more of a mythology form.
- TV Series – B-
- Audio/Video/Presentation – B
- Extras D
Final Grade C
Usually TV shows don’t even come with a digital version, and the price is no different because you get a redemption code. If you don’t like UltraViolet, rip up the insert and throw it in the trash, and pretend it’s like 90%+ of other TV sets that don’t have any digital version at all. By the way, the reason why studios created their own UltraViolet portals is because there weren’t too many participating retailers at launch. However, you could just use Flixster and bypass the studio entirely. (Disclaimer: I worked on this show but these are my views, not my employer’s.)
Thanks for the comments! Yes all your points are valid but I wouldn’t just rip up the insert. If I purchased this set and I wasn’t able to get my Digital Copy then I really would have been upset. I just don’t think it’s ok to make this process more cumbersome than it already is. Congrats on the success of the show.
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