Friday, November 07, 2014

GRIMM -- Genre Show with Geeks on Staff


I've been a big fan of GRIMM since it first aired a couple of years ago. Sure, it started as a monster of the week show, but it quickly progressed into a monster hunting cop procedural that featured a grand conspiracy and a shadow war between monsters, royal families, and the mysterious Grimm. When the show first came out, there were some among my friends who called it a Buffy rip off. To a certain extent it is. The show's creator was a first season screenwriter on Buffy, but like a lot of shows made by Whedon alum this show is out-Whedoning Whedon. Tim Minear's (Firefly, Angel) show American Horror Story is a wonderful creepy ride, Once (Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, others) has a great following, Arrow (Drew Z. Greenberg) is one of the best super hero shows ever to grace the airwaves -- all of them are outperforming the Whedon produced Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in either ratings or storytelling. It's a testimony to Whedon's ability to forge creative talent, but it's also a testament to how much those older Whedon shows owed to talents other than Joss.

Now that I've stirred the pot, and guaranteed that I'll receive at least 3 death threats, on to the main point of the post...one of the reasons that GRIMM - and possibly the other shows - are out-Whedoning. I think it's because the shows are written by geeks. Now's when you come in and say...but Whedon is a geek. No he isn't, at least not in the way he once was. Whedon is now a big name with big expectations, expectations he delivers on the big screen, and that leaves him less time to be a geek than he'd probably like. He's producing several projects. Do you have any idea how time consuming that is? A friend of mine was an assistant to a screenwriter who writes comic book movies...and is a huge comic fan. You know how you are 6 months behind on your reading? This writer was years behind because the writer was writing. It's hard to be a geek/fan when you are busy creating content on a massive scale. That's what Whedon is doing, he's juggling several projects. He was a geek, but now he's too busy...in my opinion.

That brings us to the staff of GRIMM. They might be busy, and writing is difficult and time consuming, but they aren't "running a media empire" busy. That leaves them more time to maintain their geek hobbies. It's kind of like how attorneys need to do continuing education, only way more fun. If you don't spend time feeding the geek, it atrophies. So...how do I know that the staff of GRIMM is comprised of at least one geek who's relatively up to date on continuing education credits?

It's because of a Twittersation I had with the "@GrimmWriters" today. My wife and I just watched the first two episodes of this season and we were struck by how D&D inspired the first monster of the season looked.

Image Source NBC.com
I mean...that's a pretty D&D monster. So D&D that it's not in the SRD. This led me to post a tweet which received a quick response from the writer's room.

In addition to earning my permanent allegiance to the show, this tweet confirmed my suspicion in the best way. It was a great moment of fan interaction. It also makes me want to stat up the Gedachtnis Esser for Savage Worlds or d20 Modern. It also demonstrated just how geeky the writer's room (or at least the assistant responsible for the tweet) is.


Image Source NBC.com

Oh...and it might just be hinting that the @GrimmWriters need to do some continuing education and buy the 5th edition rules.
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