Amazon Prime Video in July was all about fairy tale TV shows.
Grimm (Season 6) [6/10]
Once Upon a Time (Season 1) [7/10]
The writing was definitely on the wall for the Grimm series when discussing the fifth season in the Netflix watchlist: July 2018, but it still comes as a surprise that the final one only comprises 13 episodes. Just like the 11th season reviewed for the Amazon Prime Video watchlist: March 2018, Amazon Prime offered this sooner and concluded the series. However, despite only being so short, this wasn’t the expected swansong of a series that had already struggled for years to be relevant. Some unnecessary creature-of-the-week episodes prevent this from being one final exciting season (although one about Alzheimer is very touching), and even if the last two episodes are surprisingly deliberate in killing lots of people, the main villain looks like a joke and the ending is a lame attempt to maybe start again with a new series. All in all, this isn’t a TV show I’d watch again or even get on disc any time soon.
Once Upon a Time is clearly aimed at an audience that likes more soap opera elements and doesn’t like graphic violence. Compared to the Fables comic series, it’s a much less controversial depiction of favorite fairytale characters without any bloodshed, torture, and other abusive elements. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t tragic and sad at times. Of course it struggles with introducing so many characters and telling their background stories, and it obviously shows that the modern world is far less interesting than the magic world, even if the special effects are pretty bad, as can be seen with the unnatural way actors/actresses are put into bluescreen/greenscreen backgrounds. But the way how time and character development plays a role in both worlds is engaging, as are some of the mystery elements, although it has to be said that it takes some time before actual suspense sets in. Still, unlike the Grimm series with its attempts to throw all sorts of monsters at the audience, this is a much more subtle and more successful way to mix old tales, even the ones that don’t have anything to do with each other and deviate in a surprising way from their source material.
As the standard TV shows take up quite a lot of running time, there wasn’t much left for movies, but it was interesting to devote it to two very different approaches to fairy- or folktales.
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