Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two People Walk Out of a Building

It is not unusual for the same two people to meet more than once in one’s lifetime. Whether they are complete strangers or the most intimate of lovers, people have a way of coming back around.

This is brief tale of how two people walked out of the same building, simultaneously, at three different encounters of their lives. The first time was brief and they were strangers. The second time was a long a drawn out relationship where they had multiple departures and encounters. The third, they were once again strangers and the moment in each other’s vicinity was brief.

They first encountered each other on a street corner. She was crossing it and he was leaving the parking lot of the building where had a class together. He sat in the back and kept quiet. She sat in the front and knew all the answers. They were both leaving after a particularly daunting ethics class. She went to cross the street as he sped around the corner to get to his ever daunting part time job. She sustained no serious injury, but he got out to help her regardless, she was a beautiful woman after all. She refused medical attention and he didn’t push it, insurance rates aren’t kind to negligence. They both went on their own ways never even exchanging names (well he knew hers, she didn’t care enough to ask), not to meet again for another eight years.

The second time he chose her to be his life partner, if you will. This was the strangest encounter of all. This piece of their story starts in a home, one that he financed, but she rarely frequented. Neighbors speculated about why that might be. The most docile of these rumors was that she was a flight attendant, one that worked excessive hours at exotic parts of the world. She was rarely home for more than a day. But for the most part, the most common word used to describe her scarce presence on the block was “suspicious.” She never felt the desire to defend these accusations because she thought her behavior was normal and he never gave them reason to think that he was unhappy. The one thing they didn’t notice was that she always arrived on the same days every month, arriving and departing at the same time, each time.

They recognized his routine as frequent and regular. He went to work every morning and came home at the same time every night. In the winter, he shoveled the snow as necessary. In the summer he mowed the lawn every week. He seemed normal. She did not.

The wealth between them was obvious. He was always there for the delivery of their new furniture, paintings and home gym equipment, which was obviously never used. She was never there for these enjoyable arrivals. It was always questioned by their nosey neighbors whether he bought these things for his own enjoyment or as a way to get her to come back.

They had no children and no pets; it was probably best that way. She wouldn’t remember them shortly after every time she left, even if they had. When they met the second time, he recognized her instantly, but never mentioned it to her. She wouldn’t have remembered anyhow, he knew that. She had a different identity then.

The third time they both walk out of a downtown skyscraper, he had known her once. But they left the building as strangers, of so it would have seemed to on lookers. They did not acknowledge each other. She was moving forward to a previously arranged engagement. While he continues to take one day at a time. She will never remember him after his last engagement with her.

He never did see her again or find out why she had chosen the life of a rental, a doll. All he knew was that she didn’t remember any of the people who chose her on a daily basis. To her, at the end of the day, she was a clean slate, a tabula rasa, he was just another face in the crowd who will never recognize any love in his face. He made that choice for presuming to know what was best.

Friday, November 4, 2011



Now that we have covered the basics of Once Upon A Time, how did Grimm fare in this battle of TV fairy tale reimagining?

Grimm is targeted to a slightly different viewer than OUAT. I did not find it as appealing as its primetime counterpart. This can be attributed quite easily to its slightly more PG-13 plot. It is setting itself up as a frightening, jump-out-at-you, fairy tale, crime drama. It is structured and written so it seems more real. I think the plot seems practical and somewhat plausible.

The story focuses on Nick Burkhardt, a homicide detective, a protagonist identity/career that is becoming a bit over used at this point. Already with this it seems that the writers are limiting and challenging themselves to, not only make Nick an appealing and unique character, but to create interesting plot lines that don’t seem like copycats of other stagnant homicide dramas… with a fairy tale twist. This twist in and of itself is unique, it is presented that all of the characters who are doing less than ideal acts of crime are not human, but Hexenbiests and Blutbads…yeah, kinda weird.

Now the question that I ask myself next is: Did they accomplish what all shows set out to do, in the first episode at least? I’m forced to say that I’m not sure, and perhaps that is the genius of it. Nick is portrayed as a man who has lost something and will do whatever he has to to ensure that it does not happen again. To aid in this, we have already been introduced to multiple allies that he has in his corner. The allies include his Aunt Maire, a woman who reveals herself as a defender of the good, shortly before she reveals to Nick his lineage and his grim life calling; Monroe, a reformed “big bad wolf” if you will; and Hank, Nick’s homicide partner.

Bottom line: Nick is one of, if not THE, last descendant of the Grimm Brothers, who as we all know thanks to Matt Damon and Health Ledger, not only write about the scary and mystical supernatural in our world, but are defenders of the innocent who inhabit it. He is not remarkably accepting of this fact. Even thought he sees the evidence of it in his everyday life…shifting undead and werewolf like faces of the not-following-the-golden-rule folks.

If that doesn’t make things complicated enough for Nick, his aunt is also put in the hospital because she can’t recover from a baddie battle because of a critical illness. The show leaves you with this and the conclusion of the episode’s episodic crime’s conclusion, as well as fairly open ended.

It seems like it will be an ideal show for those occasional viewers. The show is structured more episodically than OUAT, but there are serialized elements that could hook dedicated weekly viewers. Whereas OUAT is strictly episodic, if you miss one episode, you will be asking “What?” the whole time.

Regardless, the show accomplished something…I will be watching it tomorrow when it is on hulu.

But, for those of you who feel like Once Upon A Time is more your tastes…check out the first two episodes here.