I’m re-watching Grimm, the old NBC urban fantasy series set in Portland, Oregon. It ran for six seasons, from 2011 through 2017. I’ve re-watched a few seasons before, but I can’t remember when I watched it straight through from start to finish.

Wikipedia describes the show as a fantasy police procedural, and that’s as good a description as any. They aren’t any worse at being cops than lots of other “straight” cop shows — I’m looking at you, Blue Bloods. The fantasy twist, of course, is that young detective Nick Burkhardt can suddenly see people who don’t look like, well, people. Some look like mammals — leopards, wolves, cats. Some look like reptiles (including dragons!) And some look like nightmare monsters. Nick soon discovers that he is a Grimm, one of an ancient human bloodline who can recognize the Wessen, humans who can morph, when threatened, into animal-like beings, and are the source of much human folk lore and fairy tales.

Every time I re-watch the show I decide there are new things I like, and I still dislike many of the things I disliked the first time around. The order of my favorite things changes each time I watch, though. Here’s my current list from things I like most to least.

Portland. Unlike other shows, Grimm was filmed in Portland. In fact, I discovered a charity because the cast and crew of Grimm did a fund-raising event for them and posted it on social media. The show likes Portland, and name-drops the various districts — and things like Voodoo Donuts.

The Ensemble. I have always loved the ensemble. Let’s face it, Nick is brave and handsome and everything, but in many ways he’s just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, ya know? Thank goodness he has a brilliant girlfriend Juliet, (more about her later); two super-smart and knowledgeable Wessen friends, Monroe and Rosalee, a street smart partner and a witty wise-cracking sergeant, or he would have been dead by Episode 2.

Monroe and Rosalee. I “ship” this couple. Honestly, Big Bad Wolf (blutbad) Monroe, who is vegetarian, a clock-maker who goes crazy with Halloween and Christmas decoration and does Pilates every day, and Clever Fox (fuchsbau) Rosalee, apothecary, herbalist and woman with a checkered past. This was one of the best romantic couples — no, the best romantic couple, on TV. Of course, the way of true loves runs fairly smoothly for them to provide a contrast for the terrible things that happen to Juliet just because she loves Nick. And Rosalee and Monroe have their differences. One key difference is, they try to work them out.

Bud the Beaver. Bud is a regular guy except he’s a Wessen beaver. This is one great comic character with a heart as big as Oregon.

Hank. Nick’s smart partner, played by Russel Hornsby, is awesome.

Girl Power. Okay, what is done to Juliet throughout the show is inexcuseable, but throughout, she is a strong, smart, independent woman. While Rosalee’s primary traits are honesty and compassion, she is no pushover either. Very often, the storyline is “Women, they get the job done.”

Captain Sean Reynard. He’s Nick’s captain. He’s a bad-guy! No, he’s a good… well, a not-so-bad guy! He’s a bad guy again! He’s an okay guy! He’s also like eight feet tall with green eyes and gravitas for forever, and really knows how to wear a suit, all of which are minimum qualifications to be a Royal, which is what he is, even though he’s illegitimate.

Easter Eggs. Only this time around did I realize that the episode number often shows up in an episode as an apartment or hotel room number. For instance, in Season 3, Episode 15, the perpetrator might be staying in Room 315. In my favorite wink, the end of Season Two (a two-parter), the medical examiner, dictating a report, says, “Report number 221 dash 222.”

There are things I didn’t like the first time I watched it, and I’ll never like. One of these is Juliet’s storyline. Juliet, who is a veterinarian, is a smart, tough, caring woman. From fairly early on, her story begins to run parallel to Nick’s. That could be good in many ways, but the show also lets Juliet and Sergeant Wu carry the consequences for Nick’s bad choices. The show was never fair to Juliet’s character.

“But we can’t tell (X) about Wessen or they’ll freak out!” As the story unfolds, first Hank, then Juliet and ultimately Sergeant Wu catch a glimpse of the Wessen world. In every case, Nick delays and delays telling them the truth. In a couple of cases Monroe and Rosalee advise him not to share, for the absolute weakest of reasons. This is meant to create tension. Instead, it just creates amazing impatience on the part of the viewer, and makes Nick look petty, controlling and, once again, stupid.

Adalind. Hated Adalind when I first watched. Still hate her. This is no knock on Claire Coffee, the gifted actor who plays the perky blond hexenbiest/lawyer. Much like Sean Reynard, Adalind plays by her own rules which moves her on the character meter from Bad to Not So Bad to Really Bad to Kind of Okay. I never bought Not So Bad or Kind of Okay. Never have and never will.

Wessen stereotyping. Okay, so this is picky… but. In order to help the viewers, the showrunners have certain criminal wessen return. Klaustreiks, for instance (or Klaustrikes?) are bad alley-cat type Wessen. In six seasons we see two. They are both bullies who exploit women. Blutbaden get a little more diversity since Monroe is mellow and he has a couple of mellower wolf friends. Some kind of reptilian creatures are street-gang low-lifes in several episodes. All the beavers we meet are crafty (in the sense of being builders, engineers and tinkerers), helpful, loquacious and nervy. Really, less stereotyping of the Wessen community, please!

Years later, I am still enjoying the rewatch of the show. Grimm continues to entertain!

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