Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall TV Scorecard: Week 5

* With the bulk of fall premieres behind us and an intermittent schedule of mid-season debuts ahead, this will be the last week of Fall TV Scorecard on Wood's Stock.


Dracula (NBC)

A television show about vampires is hardly an innovative idea in the modern entertainment landscape (see: Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etc.) but NBC's latest drama earns some bonus points for going back to the original and most celebrated source: Bram Stoker's Dracula. The story is still set in turn-of-the-century England, but with few twists on the central characters and plot.

Most notably, Dracula (played with effusive charm by Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Professor Van Helsing are partners in a plot of revenge against the shady Order of the Dragon, a secret society that has performed nefarious deeds for centuries. Currently, they represent an organization of politicians and businessmen whose power is derived from oil industry profits, leading Dracula to combat them economically by posing as a Nikola Tesla-esque electrical innovator.

While that central structure could come off a bit high-hat, there's still plenty of the expected sword fights, neck-biting, period costuming, sexual metaphor and rivers of blood to keep us entertained.

Grade: B+
Class: Subscribe

Grimm (NBC)

Now in it's third season, Friday-night spookfest Grimm has fully set up its chessboard with all indications that the real game is about to begin. The major characters, except Wu I suppose, have been cued in to the rules of the game – namely that we live in a world where storybook creatures, or Wessen, hide in plain sight as regular folk – and the various warring factions are now reasonably aware of each other.

Season 3 picks up right where the last season left off, in that our hero Nick has been put into a semi-comatose/undead state in order to be shipped off to Vienna for the unsavory bidding of the mysterious royal family. But since he's a Grimm, he reacts a little differently to the process, waking up mid-life and wreaking havoc on his captors.

Sadly, the premiere episode is devoted fully to cleaning up the mess we were left with and does nothing to advance the storyline. It's also yet another two-parter, meaning at least two weeks will be spent digging the story out of the corner the writers put themselves in. It also all-too-conveniently ties up most of the loose ends created by the season finale, making much of last season's final events look pointless in hindsight. I, for one, thought putting Nick behind enemy lines in Vienna would have been interesting, but unfortunately that's a world we're not yet going to be allowed to see.

Still, Grimm is as fun as ever and the teaser for the new season promises that we will eventually get into more interesting territory.

Grade: B-
Class: Subscribe

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