network tv’s obsession with fairy tales

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen ads for two shows on two different networks that I really can’t wrap my brain around. Writers have apparently lost all inspiration and are now just trying to find clever ways to use story ideas outside of copyright to create a new show.




The first is NBC’s Grimm, which I repeatedly saw in ads during Sunday Night Football. All I could think was … they clearly don’t know their demographic. As a football fan, the last thing I want to watch is some show about current-day crimes that have premises reminiscent of Grimms’ Brothers fairy tales. No really. A cop is the last “Grimm” and finds that murders and stuff are like old fairy tales. Way to take a totally overdone tv genre (procedural) and make the crimes centered around stuff we already know about. They could have at least made the lead actor hot. But no.

And the whole fairy tale thing would seem novel if I hadn’t already seen ads for ABC’s Once Upon a Time while watching college football. Again, demographic hellooooooo? Anyway, this show ditches cop procedural and tries to go for a LOST influenced “wtf?!?!!!” story-telling style. I guess. Although in the first trailer I saw it stated that a wicked witch puts a spell on a castle and all the people there think they’re living in modern-day New England as Ordinary People. But they’re not, they’re fairy tale characters. The mystery, I guess, is how they get back. I’m guessing they just have to kill the wicked witch? Wow. That was a brain twister. The town’s name? Storybrooke. I’m sorry but am I getting this confused with a Nickelodeon show? No? Okay then…

The killer for me is that the shows both premiere the same week. At least they’re on different days, so I won’t run into the situation where I doubted reality because VH1 and MTV were both showing R. Kelly’s “Gotham City” music video at the same time.

I’m guessing that out of the two, the one that will survive is Grimm because it can fall back on police procedural. Once Upon a Time sounds like a television version of the comic book Fable but not nearly as interesting.

Rather hilariously, when searching for images for this post, I saw more than one blog review say that Once Upon a Time was on NBC, and saw images for Grimm in the same search. This fall is clearly the battle of the fairy tale. Who will win? The Dolphins, hopefully…

I wonder how much ABC and NBC paid Google to make their shows the top hits when used as search terms? Probably a lot, because everyone has overdone the Brothers Grimm and the phrase “Once Upon a Time.” I mean, isn’t that a Taylor Swift song or something?

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8 thoughts on “network tv’s obsession with fairy tales

  1. dinosaurboner says:

    I’m guessing that neither will survive. You gotta wonder how much networks are in cahoots when they do shit like this. It’s the same thing as when Natalie Portman and Meela Kunis made the exact same movie, just with a different name, right after being in a movie together. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT

  2. scottodactyl says:

    Network TV is so god damn lame. Other than a few shows in NBC’s Thursday night comedy line up, there is almost nothing of value (to me) in the 4 major networks. Even something huge like Terra Nova on FOX was a huge hype to a mediocre result. Then again, people are stupid and will watch any cop procedural show on TV. Yet, most of these people have never, and will never, watch the Wire. Hate TV audiences more than any other audience. And it’s their stupid ratings that let shit constantly flood every channel. But I guess if it’s what the majority of people want, then who am I to say that the system is wrong overall. Fuck me, right?

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