When we began reading about the making of the TV series called Grimm in the Oregonian, a buzz went through the Portland metro area. It seems everyone knew someone that was working for the production company. The idea of a series of dark fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm come to life in a modern setting was just quirky enough to suit Portland’s taste.
The word was that the area around Portland reflected the setting for the stories told by the Brothers Grimm. Green moss hangs from cedars on the northside of the trees and the roofs are totally obscured by the moss and fallen debris from giant evergreens that surround homes. It was said that when the series premiere aired in California, viewers wanted to know how they glued all that moss to the sides of trees and houses. Unique landscape and dark rainy days makes for the perfect eerie backdrop. Certainly the Brothers Grimm knew how to raise the hackles on the back of a reader’s neck. They would have loved Portland’s Forest Park with its forbidding corners.
We all waited for the first episode to air, then watched the NBC show on that night. The pilot was based on the color red and its appeal for Grimm fairy tale characters. A chill ran up my spine as I was watching it.
The Grimm pilot opening scene was set in Portland’s West Hills. In this episode a woman wearing a red jogging jacket is murdered on a trail near Skyline Drive. A little child wearing a red coat also disappears; the assumption is that the both crimes had been carried out by the same person.
Why is this chilling? This is where reality intersects with the TV show. In the spring of 2010, a young boy named Kyron Horman went missing from our city of Portland. The school he vanished from? Skyline Elementary. He has never been found and the mystery surrounding his disappearance still has the Portland police bureau following tips and leads.
With its moss covered cottage set in the dark forest, a basement prison room and a cast of characters ranging from the monster hunting Grimm descendant to a reformed beast turned Pilates lover and drinker of lattes, the series has my attention. I have to admit I even watch the re-broadcasts on Syfy.
I see Grimm has been picked up for another season on NBC. The Brothers Grimm wrote 209 dark tales back in the early 19th Century. It seems we are in for a lot of these modern age fairy tales, too dark for children but just right for grown humans that like a little suspense. And I for one, will be looking for a little reality in each show.