It's a regular feature on the Tor.com blog, written up as Once Upon A Time vs Grimm, which, I think has been established, is in truth a little hard to do, since the shows really are both so different. The way Teresa Jusino writes it, though, does make sense and she breaks it down by category, scoring each on the "success' of each part:
* Script * Performances * Production * Representation * Audience Engagement
A cumulative score is given at the end of each post and, you may be interested to know, after Grimm's most recent episode "Organ Grinder" based on Hansel & Gretel, Grimm has snuck ahead of Once by 0.5 of a point.
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by Organ Grinder. While a lot of development is still needed there was a sense, this time, of the show having found it's feet a little better. It helped a lot that Juliette was featured more, that seasonal story lines had some development and that Nick totally got his Grimm on.
In the words of Ms. Jusino:
Nick in full-on Grimm Mode? Ridiculously hot. He can back me up against walls in a threatening fashion any time he wants. Attractiveness aside, that hotness had to do with the assurance with which David Giuntoli embodies Nick. Giuntoli has really hit his stride with the character, and the specifics of Who Nick Is were so clear to me in this episode because of his carefully etched portrayal.I asked for conflict and flaws in Nick and we're starting to see it! As so neatly summarized by i09:
Meanwhile Nick's Grimm powers must have finally kicked in, because the human form of Princess Eric spent the better part of this episode ordering around and threatening various magical creatures. About damned time. What's the point of being a terrifying Grimm if you're never going to cash that check? We did a cartoony spit-take when Nick smashed up the apothecaries stash of human bits. Absolutely amazing. And the fun didn't stop there — later on Nick threatened one of the Geiers with this excellent line, "Look at me, very closely. I know what you are...I'm not asking you as a cop so don't expect me to behave as one!" Good for you Nick! We'd rather he break the law this way, as opposed to his usual "entering with out a warrant" antics. Be the bad ass Grimm.
Meanwhile, Pilates Wolf finally called out Nick for being a selfish piece of garbage. It's about time.
While I don't agree with everything Ms. Jusino (at Tor.com) writes, she has many, many good points about both shows and it's interesting to see them compared like this. Considering Once's "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" fell very flat for me (and Once has been rather inconsistent since it's 2012 return - in my opinion anyway) and I thought Grimm's "Organ Grinder" was one of the best yet (definitely an upward trend of quality and interest in this show since mid-season and i09 apparently agrees!) I'm curious to see how this "battle" will play out.
If you missed the last episode of Grimm and can handle a little of the dark side, I suggest you go watch while you can. (Great guest actors for this one too and the "breadcrumb scene" didn't disappoint either.)
Of course, the two TV series, as mentioned previously are really difficult to compare, other than as any one new show versus any other new show. They both have very different approaches and audiences (for the most part) and it remains to be seen how they will develop in future. I find it interesting that Once, which initially seemed so fresh to people is now looking a little formulaic in it's approach (a complaint I was surprised to see in quite a few places around the blogging world) while Grimm, which suffered from the formula curse right out of the gate now appears to be shedding that shackle and developing some of its potential. Things change from week to week though - especially when sweeps are just around the corner - so who knows where things will go from here. For now I'm just happy that two fairy tale based shows appear to be strong enough to see out their first seasons and are planning their second. (Once has released a little information about this, though the green light isn't yet official, I believe, while Grimm is less vocal but apparently also planning beyond season one). It's all good news for people who like fairy tales and mythic stories! I'm very thankful I'm able to watch them as they develop. It's a very interesting time!
Next up for Grimm tonight is their much anticipated Itsy Bitsy Spider story title "Tarantella" with Buffy alum Amy Acker as the Black Widow (kind of like a reverse Mr. Fox story in many ways). I'm curious to see if the seasonal arc is developed even more (gosh I hope so!) as the potential with such a premise is huge.
Sunday has the return of Once, after a week off, with their also much-anticipated Valentine's Day themed sweeps show "Skin Deep", featuring Emilie de Ravin as Belle (from Beauty & the Beast), written again by Jane Espenson (she, without doubt, writes the best scripts of all on the show to date).
You can find all the "battle posts" HERE and the latest weekly write-up (on Grimm's "Organ Grinder" and Once's "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree") can be found HERE.