27th Feb2014

‘Grimm: Below the Surface’ Book Review

by Paul Metcalf


Books that look behind the scenes of television shows can differ in how much depth they go into.  In the superficial sense some can just give a description of the characters, give episode synopsis and choose a few episodes to look at.  Grimm: Below the Surface is a surprisingly in-depth look at the show that impresses with the level of detail it goes into.

People who enjoy behind the scenes books generally have different levels of knowledge about the shows.  Some are fans that know a lot about the show they love, and use books like this to not only confirm that fact, but to also fill in some details.  Secretly a few of these also look for mistakes or contradictions, so the writers better get their facts right.  The other fans are the newcomers who want a guide to the show that they’ve discovered and want the details that explains what they are seeing on the screen.  I’d argue that Grimm: Below the Surface is a good book for both of these types of fans.

Giving an overview on the first two seasons and a few hints on what is to come in the third, it’s surprising just what details are gone into, in some ways it feels like no stone has been unturned when it comes to what is revealed.  Want an episode guide for the first two seasons? You’ve got it here.  Want lengthy interviews with the cast which includes their inspiration about the characters and who they believe they are? You’ve got that too.  On top of this you also have descriptions about some of the favourite Wesen creatures and information about them.  For more details into the creatures though you do really need to look at Grimm: Aunt Marie’s Book of Lore which replicates much of the famous book that Nick uses in the show.

As well as story and cast information though when it comes to a show like this there is a talented group of people hidden in the shadows bringing the show to the screen.  In Grimm: Below the Surface you get interviews by the show runners, writers, art department, visual effects, wardrobe, makeup, weaponry and others.  These interviews let you get a view behind the magic that bring the Wesen to life, create the characters we see and bring together each episode brought to the screen.  These are the people we shouldn’t really see, but can’t help wanting to know about and Grimm: Below the Surface takes us to have a glance at who these people are.  Fans of the show will love it, and as most will have seen all the episodes already will fully understand what is being discussed.

Grimm is a popular show because the creatures that have been included are based on ones we’ve grown up with in Grimm Fairy Tales, and some are even more inventive.  There is a level of familiarity for the audience that keeps them interested, especially to see what monster comes next.  Along with that we have the main story arcs that run through the show such as Nick’s constant learning of what it is to be a Grimm, Monroe’s story, and Juliette’s memory loss in many ways it connects the fans with their nostalgia with shows like Buffy and Angel which is not surprising when David Greenwalt is one of the show runners.

Grimm: Below the Surface is a book that I’d be happy to recommend to both new fans and old because there is plenty of facts about the show to be enjoyed, plenty to learn about the actors and more importantly new things to learn about the show.  For new fans it helps them to understand the show and the main story arcs, giving them an in-depth look as to what Grimm is and for more seasoned fans it provides them with exactly what they want, plenty of juicy details about the show they love.

Grimm: Below the Surface is released on 11th March courtesy of Titan Books.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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