Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, October 31, 2011

Urban Fantasy TV: My thoughts on Grimm and Once Upon a Time

I love me some urban fantasy. I love shows and stories that go, "You know the boogie man. I got him on speed dial. Yeah, he's real and still eats people under I-24. You just ain't been paying attention. Come on I need to go hit the old troll up for some info on my latest case."

The next portion of the post is where I'm going to bitch about inane crap, but let me be honest. If the shows do what their trying to do right, I'll sit down every week to watch them.

First off I have this fear. Over the past few years network television has been trying to avoid sci-fi. Hell, even Sci-fi (Syfy) has been trying to avoid sci-fi. Don't get me wrong we still have sci-fi, but they are more and more reluctant to let the show go hog wild with us not being in Kansas anymore. Let's take, Lost and the first season of Heroes (When the show was awesome not okay or good but awesome. ) They went through huge lengths to establish those shows as being grounded in reality. Think about it. In Lost everybody is on crazy mind-fuck island but for the most part the rest of the world is just the rest of the world. Heck the show doesn't even really start making the weirdness plot relevant until season 3.

Part of urban fantasy is that yeah this is a world where dragons occasionally need to be slain. I loved shows like Alice and Tin-man where it's clear to the audience that we're on the other side of the looking glass.

In urban fantasy there is probably going to be a masquerade but beneath it the wild things must dance. And I just have this fear that the wild things I want are going to be mild things instead. And it's a shame. There was a golden age or silver age or whatever you want to call it of great sci-fi and urban fantasy when I was coming up. X-files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Roswell, Angel, and Andromeda were all doing their thing. And guess what? The first season of Angel is more or less the premise of Grimm. The occult detective is not new. I like occult detectives. Hell,I love 'em but it's not exactly new ground.

They don't have to be afraid audiences won't except it. If you make a good show we'll watch it. (One word and one word only, Miles, Firefly

And just to stab you a little deeper Kings. )

What's going to make all the difference is the writing and whether or not they accept that the fairy tale angle is enough to get our attention but without good writing is not enough to base a whole show around? Like I said that angle has been played up by several movies and tv shows. And if they do it wrong I can go somewhere else to see it done better. Honestly if wrong I can always crack open Mercy Thompson.

Which brings me to my next point. The Mercy Thompson books are very clear that the tales we know are watered down versions. Especially thus far in Once upon a Time it concerns me how much they're going with the Disney iconography. If part of the point of the show is to creep us out there a much better versions of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast you can go with.

All that said Rumplestilskin is a creepy little fuck no matter what story you put him in.

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