Last week’s episode of Grimm may have been one of the best on TV this year, bringing together threads formed since the beginning of the show. The result proved the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and pitted the “good” guys together with the “bad” guys against the “even worse” guys. The most unlikely of pairings occurred in nearly every scene. It was brilliant TV, and we can likely expect even more fun on this Friday’s episode.
Previously we reviewed The Official Companion to Supernatural Season Seven, a well-formatted look-back for fans of the series, with previous editions released annually. The Official Companion serves as both a souvenir book and behind the scenes look at the creators of the show. Many series have released works that were similar. Doctor Who has done this in magazine form, for example. Movies like The Hobbit released different variations of behind the scenes books, with different price points and trade or hardbound editions targeted at different audiences. The first behind the scenes look at NBC’s hit TV series Grimm is now at bookstores, and it follows a format similar to the Official Companion concept Supernatural uses, except it contains glossy, full color images, which will be a plus for diehard fans of the show.
Looking back from the end of Season Two of NBC’s hit series, Grimm: Below the Surface–The Insider’s Guide to the Show provides plenty of information not available elsewhere. It includes stories and interviews from the series executive producers and showrunner, each of the actors playing main characters (Nick, Monroe, Juliette, Hank, Rosalee, Renard, Adalind, and Sergeant Wu), writers, production designers, the make-up and special effects team, casting, the stunt team, and the props and costume creators.
Get it while it lasts…
Dark Horse Digital’s online comic book service is now offering steep discounts on select fantasy titles. Select from Amala’s Blade #0-4, Conan the Barbarian #1-10 (by Star Wars writer Brian Wood), Dragon Age: Those Who Speak #1-3, Dragon Age: Until We Sleep, #1-3, several Finder books, The Last Dragon, and even Issues #1-8 of one of borg.com‘s favorite series, Dynamite Comics’ Grimm series.
Most of the single issues are offered at 99 cents.
Purchase and download your books here. While you’re at it, download free copies of Dungeon Siege III and Falling Skies issues here.
The solicitation for the offer doesn’t include a timeframe, so get them now before Dark Horse Digital no longer has the offer available.
Happy New Year!!!
So what do we do now? How about a look at the start dates for our favorite TV shows? Many are already in progress, like Almost Human, Arrow, Dracula, Grimm, Major Crimes, The Michael J. Fox Show, New Girl, and Sleepy Hollow. Some don’t have new season premiere dates yet, like Bates Motel, Continuum, Doctor Who, Heroes of Cosplay, Mr. Selfridge, and Warehouse 13.
The most anticipated series is very likely the three-episode third season of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, finally coming back to PBS this month.
The biggest question is whether Haven will get renewed for a fifth season on Syfy. The end of Season 4 was really getting better and Syfy just can’t leave us with that cliffhanger finale.
Update yours DVRs! Here’s what we’re going to be watching in 2014 at borg.com:
Almost Human – Season 1 continues January 6 on Fox
Arrow – Season 2 continues January 15 on CW
Bates Motel – Season 2 begins in March to A&E
Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before. And that in no less way was true for TV watching. At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining. We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list. Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media. We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!
Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters. It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted. It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time. But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years. Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.
Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox. Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day. And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.
Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America. What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black. From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.
The first year of Dynamite Comics’ spin-off of NBC’s Grimm TV series has taken Nick Burkhardt, a cop and one of a family of Grimms who fight cloaked monsters living among us, and plucked him from his native Portland, Oregon of the TV series and spun him across Europe. He’s in search of his mother, Kelly—also a Grimm–and three gold coins that have the power of influence akin to the One Ring in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books. He’s brought along his partner, Detective Hank Griffin and Blutbad friend Monroe, and their quest to find Nick’s mom becomes woven into a political battle for control of the coins, first introduced in the TV series.
A whole bevy of writers, plot by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt and script by Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey, create a believable tale far away from the events in Portland in the series’ first eight issues. This means the comic book is a true spin-off—it doesn’t interfere with the fact that Nick’s girlfriend had amnesia for most of the overlapping timeframe, or that Monroe’s girlfriend is away caring for a sick relative. It also means the writers can introduce yet a third Grimm, a fighter named Maya who is a pawn of those elements that oppose Nick’s efforts. Or is she after the coins, too?
An escape via a deep dive into an oceanic cave, chases through the streets of Spain and Italy, droves of attacking Wesen–all of these things would cost plenty for a TV series in location shoots and make-up expense, so the comic book medium allows an expansion in scope of the world of Grimm into corners that might not otherwise be easily visited.
Review by C.J. Bunce
One of the best marketing efforts for a new television series must be the elaborate display a few years ago at Tin Fish across from San Diego Comic-Con advertising NBC’s Grimm, including the trailer that once belonged to main character Nick Burkhart’s Aunt Marie. Along with an arsenal of medieval weaponry to fend off bad Wesen of any variety was a book full of the writings, descriptions and notes taken by Nick’s ancestors about identifying the various creatures of the Grimm universe. Like something out of Mr. Giles’ library, the big Book of Shadows in the attic of the Charmed Ones, or Laura Palmer’s diary, the Book of Lore is a guidebook for the series’ lead, a writer’s device to allow him to sleuth through the detective story of each episode. In last night’s episode of Grimm, Nick finally began adding his own notes to the book.
An in-universe version of that book is now available so TV viewers can play along with Nick as they watch the series. Grimm – Aunt Marie’s Book of Lore won’t allow you to figure out what’s going in in every new episode, but it will allow you to quickly recall why you’ve heard of a Hundjager or Ziegevolk before.
Grimm fans who attended Free Comic Book Day Saturday and this week’s comic book Wednesday were treated to a double dose of their favorite series with both a free full-length comic story and an action-packed Issue #1. Now in its second season on NBC, Grimm is in contention for the best fantasy series on television. And unlike the typical comic book spin-off that is stuck in a story that doesn’t veer far from the TV scripts, the ongoing story of Portland Detective Nick Burkhart in the new comic book series actually continues key plot lines from the TV series, taking characters where it would be costly to take them on the TV series.
The comic book series opener in the FCBD comic, Issue #0, provides an origin story overlaid on what could be a Wesen-of-the-week episode of the TV series. It also reintroduces Nick’s mom, Kelly, played on-screen by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and her possession of the Coins of Zakynthos, which have a unique history, revealed in the pages of Issue #1. Side-stepping story obstacles and secrets yet to be revealed to viewers, like whether or not Nick’s girlfriend Juliet will remember Nick after losing her memory from a cursed cat bite, the story takes Nick, police department partner Detective Hank Griffin and Blutbad vegan pal Monroe to Vienna in pursuit of Kelly. Kelly had left Nick a cryptic voicemail message, sending Nick & Co. on this new adventure far away from the streets of Portland.
Following the further exploits of Portland detective Nick Burkhart, his partner Hank Griffin, Blutbad werewolf pal Monroe, and girlfriend Juliette, Dynamite Comics has released some teasers and cover art for its new ongoing monthly series Grimm, to be released in May. The story is written by show writers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, with final script by Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey. Jose Malaga will serve as series artist. Alex Ross is back again with a cool incentive cover.
The TV series is filmed in Portland, and often you get glimpses of nearby surroundings, but because so much happens with the Wesen of the week in the woods, we think they could show some more of the beautiful and lush area where the series takes place. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for several years we have our own list of haunts we think Nick & Co. should visit on future cases in both the TV series and new comic book series. How about considering these locations, Grimm creators?
The Saturday Market. This weekend fixture is surrounded by classic architecture and brick we think we have spotted before, but how about having Nick run in pursuit through a crowd of shoppers buying homemade soaps and incense, or grab a gyro from a street vendor?
Fleet Week on the Waterfront. It’s about the “port” in Portland, the Willamette Riverfront hosts giant naval vessels each year in a grand show of seapower–a great stage for an episode of Grimm.
Original art cover sketch by Alex Ross.
Columbia River Gorge. One of the most beautiful places on Earth and we’ve yet to see Nick and Monroe drive down the Gorge to track the scent of some “creature from the Columbia River”.
It’s been almost four months since we last saw our favorite Friday night series, Grimm. And the show’s creators really kept us hanging. In the penultimate 2012 episode “To Protect and Serve Man,” Monroe caught Nick’s girlfriend Juliette kissing Nick’s boss in the spice shop and Monroe struggled in the last episode before the hiatus, “Season of the Hexenbiest,” with whether or not he should tell Nick and how he should reveal the bad news. The cause of all the problems in Portland is Adalind, back to stir up everyone again. Or worse. If it’s been too long to remember all that happened, now’s the time to caught up.
Much of the last episode revolved around Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe, who made our borg.com “Best of 2012″ list. His innocence and angst with getting stuck between Nick and Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) added some comic relief to the otherwise dark events. Nick and Juliette split after Monroe revealed to Nick (David Giuntoli) almost all that he knew and Juliette informed Nick she had feelings for another guy. Juliette ended up at Monroe’s, remembering a bit about the night she lost her memory. She’s tired of being left in the dark by everyone around her. Monroe responds, “The dark does have its bright side.”
You may have first seen Jaime Ray Newman in The Drew Carey Show episode “The Warsaw Closes.” She had a small part opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the hit Steven Spielberg film Catch Me If You Can. Soap fans may know her from her 68 episodes as Kristina Cassadine on General Hospital.
Versatile, endearing, and attractive, sometimes tough, sometimes sensitive, often devious and other times just plain fun, you just can’t help running across actress Jaime Ray Newman when getting caught up on TV series from the past several years. Since her role on General Hospital, Newman has turned up everywhere you look, and we’ve seen her in so many genre roles since 2005 that we think she is someone everyone should keep an eye out for, and an actress we can’t get enough of.
Newman played Amanda Walker in the episode “Phantom Traveler” in Supernatural in 2005. In the same year she played Lieutenant Laura Cadman in two episodes of Stargate: Atlantis.