Category: Best Dramatic Presentation, short form
Slates: Sad Puppies & Rabid Puppies
I had never watched an episode of Grimm prior to this year’s Hugos, so it’s a new show for me. I checked out a few of the very first episodes and then skipped to the third season, watching some of the episodes leading up to the 15th one that is up for a Hugo. Grimm seems to be the male version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with fairy tale backstory and some police procedural thrown into the mix. It’s a decent show, with crimes perpetrated by different monster species, all with German names, and a council of unionized monsters to complicate matters here and there.
Grimm is an easy and lightweight series when compared with the likes of Game of Thrones, Orphan Black or other shows in which all episodes are twisting the narrative into new directions and offering fresh complications. Not terribly much it at stake for the protagonists (assuming they don’t get killed fighting monsters, but of course they won’t), and even though some narrative threads go through the whole season, all episodes start and end in basically the same situation: the crime is solved and the crew goes home happily. You can safely miss five episodes and stay onboard with no trouble.
In the nominated episode, an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus is discovered with a Wesen (that’s an umbrella for all the monsters) mummy that the other Wesen want to capture and lay to rest in peace. They happen to kill a university guard in the process, and that’s why the good Grimm police guy becomes involved. Everything plays out smoothly and easily, as it always does.
One thing I was wondering was why this episode, specifically, was picked on both Puppy slates — and why the individual fans who take absolutely no orders from slatemakers, as we have repeatedly been told, chose to, individually of course, nominate this single episode. Do they like Egyptian mythology, perhaps? For me, “Once We Were Gods” wasn’t the most memorable of the episodes I watched. According to the IMDB ratings, too, it is actually somewhere in the middle in terms of popularity. Ten of the season 3 episodes have better ratings, the highest-rated ones being episodes 13, 18 and 22.
However, TV show episodes are parts of a season, and evaluating them separately makes little sense to me. I think that Hugos would probably work better if whole seasons were nominated in this category instead. That seems to be the way that the graphic story category works: nobody thinks that nominating single issues of comics is a good idea (even though I believe it’s possible under the current rules).