2015 Hugo Awards Best TV Show: Reviewing Grimm

Next TV show, conveniently free with Amazon Prime: Grimm. I watched the first season when it aired and half way through the second season but my joy in it lessened and I have not watched it since. Instead of trying to catch up I’m going to just watch the one episode up for the Hugo Award and see where I go from there.

Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)

I don’t mean to liveblog my watching this but I just had to pause for a moment. There’s something about knowing an archeologist that lowers my tolerance for bad fictional archeology. One, it’s just lazy. Two, it’s bad. Sure, this is some random TV show that’s all about entertainment but it’s up for a Hugo and that means something. That means the “person from the university” who was called in to examine the mysterious crates in the demolition project should not just pop them (and the contents) open on the spot with no methodology.  Bad science, people.

Now I will remind myself that maybe in a world full of mythical creatures some spell has been cast to dumb down the scientists so they are less likely to spot the magic. The minute I start having to provide backstory for the plot to make sense is not a good minute. Given, I’ve missed a few episodes so maybe they already provided that exact backstory.

Are there completely different writers for the parts with the main characters or do the regular actors just do a better job selling the world?

Having discredited the archeologist early in the show the weight of main plot rests on her passion as a scientist. That leaves the sub plots plenty of room to shine. The sub plots are nice enough but really require the context of the whole show which highlights the inherent problems of reviewing a show without catching up the whole series.

In the end the episode pulls on some semi-current news around disposal of ancestral remains vs discoveries by science. Inherent to the Grimm universe is the desire to keep science (and people in general) unaware of the mythical state of reality. So duping science is the easy choice, basically a pre-made decision which undermines the fascination of the debate as a whole. Should the natives of Siberia be allowed to guard the tombs of their ancestors or should science be allowed to learn from the bodies? Is it sense vs sentimentality or respect vs needless harm?

Given sufficient number of intelligent people I could build some really good conversations around this episode of Grimm but it would take a lot of input from outside the show to give it deeper meaning.

It was good, it was entertaining but I’m hung up on the history of the Hugo Award and the depth of respect I feel for past winners. Grimm is good, and this episode is good, but it’s not that good.

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