‘Grimm’ Season One Blu-ray Review

Only a spotty transfer mars this otherwise solid TV on Blu-ray set.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

“Grimm” Season One was released on Blu-ray earlier this month to capitalize on the second season premiere on NBC. It is a decent, though far from perfect transfer, with a nice but not in-depth collection of extras.
When the picture is clear, “Grimm” looks great on Blu-ray. It’s a more colorful show than you might expect given the overcast forest landscape of Portland, but they get a lot of green out of the natural settings and all the interior locations have different colored lighting.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of digital noise flaring up in lots of the interiors and nighttime scenes. I never understand why a show that is aired in HD would have a white haze of digital specks on Blu-ray. Surely they have mastered it in a quality high enough for broadcast. Wouldn’t they factor Blu-ray needs into the equation? It’s a common flaw in many TV Blu-rays, but it’s not Universal so obviously it can be done right.
The HD quality also reflects poorly on the visual effects. I know it’s TV and they do the best they can quickly, but they look like TV morphing transitions, and once the picture is this clear they look even more so inferior. The practical makeups hold up beautifully, always good to see more detail there.
There is a healthy collection of extras on the Blu-ray, though none deep enough to probably satisfy the hardcore “Grimm” fans. Perhaps the best is the “Grimm” Guide, which is exclusive to the Blu-ray edition. This extensive menu of Wasen creatures and glossary terms let’s you look up pretty much everything, with written mythology and video clips to illustrate. Although the real hardcore fans can probably point out something that’s missing, but it looked complete to me.
The rest of the extras, also available in the DVD version, are pretty standard but solid. There are deleted scenes for many episodes, and EPK style featurettes with soundbites from the actors. They sound very standard and explain a lot of material for first-timers, which is not really the audience for the Blu-ray but at least we get to hear the actors speak.
Audition tapes show how strong the cast was before shooting even began. I always wonder how a producer or director can see those audition tapes and tell what the actor will be like in the show. It just looks like play acting in plainclothes in front of a curtain to me, but I guess that’s why I’m not a television producer.
I can definitely recommend “Grimm:” The Complete First Season Blu-ray to fans of “Grimm.” You’ll be a little disheartened at some of the quality and you may only scan through the extras, but it’s got everything here.