TV.com Throwdown the Results Show: Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm

Welcome back to TV.com Throwdown! It's the second week of this series and our first ever results show! Last week we asked you to tell us which new fairy tale drama does a better job of bringing the classic stories to life—Grimm and its real-world fairy tales, or Once Upon a Time and its dual universes that keep fairy tales intact and separate from our world—and boy, did you respond! Pat yourselves on the backs, guys, because the story received more than 200 comments and many of you showed real passion for the topic.

Those of you who skimmed the votes already know which show won: Once Upon a Time in a landslide. By my tally, the final vote was 95 to 31 in favor of Ginnifer Goodwin's Snow White, though some of your votes were open to interpretation and I used discretion where applicable. There were also three votes for the very mature "Neither, they both suck," and five write-in votes for Supernatural. I hope Supernatural gets at least five write-in votes in every subsequent Throwdown.

Here's a graphical breakdown of Grimm versus Once Upon a Time, based on your votes, because graphs are cool:



Which show brings fairy tales to TV better?
Grimm, 31 votes | Once Upon a Time, 95 votes


Grimm totally got Pac-Man'd by Once Upon a Time, but there were plenty of great arguments from both sides. Let's look at some of the highlights.


Kodash89 said: "Once Upon a Time is excellent, I wouldn't say that it has left the way we know fairy tales completely intact (or this Disney way) either. Snow ... more White is hella more feisty then we ever knew, the whole robbing from Prince Charming thing added a depth that wasn't there in the Disney story, now we know why he just turns up out of the blue and slaps one right on her ruby lips."


Osdawa16 said: "Grimm, by far, is better. It is a much more unique take on the fairy tales. The storyline never occurred to me. The Grimms that wrote the fairy tales actually fought to control/stop the villains they wrote about? What a cool idea. Not to mention the production. I'm partial to dark shows in general, but the way Grimm is filmed is entirely captivating."


Arch_Angel88 said: "I must endorse Once Upon a Time. I prefer the method they have chosen to portray the realm of fairy tales, as opposed to Grimm's darker interpretation. Grimm attempts to merge fantasy and reality, with its mythos purporting that the stories of the Brothers Grimm were factual accounts of history. Personally, I don't care for this plot device. Grimm's clear-cut procedural format of having to defeat a monster every week is rather dry. We have come to associate fairy tales with the wonderment of magic and enchanting ethereality. Once Upon a Time offers us an intricately complex world of breathtaking landscapes, fantastical creatures, and rich characters. We have already been introduced to several prominent fairy tale figures, and by showing them in two alternate universes, the development of these characters is far more comprehensive. Grimm is more about the supernatural living amongst us, and keeping the evil ones at bay. It simply does not feel as though I'm watching a fairy tale. The same could NEVER be said about Once Upon a Time."


TrueTVWatcher said: "I myself must say I like Grimm more. All myths and legends are based on seeds of truth, or so the saying goes, and Grimm applies this theory by interpreting the source material of the stories and applying it in a creative yet realistic, if-it-were-true way. I love the dark tones of the characters so far, and the back story about the Grimm family and their studies is a great idea. This show reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in many ways and that makes it even more interesting to me!"


Summerqueen said: "OuaT does it better. Even though the two worlds are separate and ne'er the twain shall meet, seemingly, you have point-for-point contrast enabled between the storybook and Storybrook versions of the fairy tales. It's a show that challenges us to look for the objective truth in the Classic Fairy Tale and see it shimmering and glimmering between the cracks in the mundane world. It puts meta-narrative in play in a way that Grimm simply fails to do. In that sense, Grimm, though darker and supposedly grittier, has less force and less realism. It doesn't actually ask us to think about the fairy tales in the offing or their cultural uses, why we need them, why we tell them, how they explain cultural phenomena, etc."


ktfahel said: "My vote is for OUAT because it's a show that our whole family can enjoy. My young daughters love both the fairy tale land AND the modern Maine town (we're also New Englanders, and they love that connection). My 9-year-old daughter says, 'The show is intense, but the fairy tales fit in.' My husband and I love the mystery and the action. Grimm is not exactly what I would call family-friendly."


DwayneMason0 said: "Grimm all the way!! I prefer Grimm because it's how the fairy tales were originally before they became Disneyfied! The procedural aspect works really well with Grimm whereas OUAT is a serialized show, so if you miss one episode you might get lost. My main problem with OUAT is that they are doing too much too fast. We've already seen Snow White, Evil Queen, Maleficent, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Gepetto, and so many other classic characters we are familiar with. They already plan on introducing Belle, Gaston, and more in Season 1! Point being... once you introduce every fairy tale character we've come to know, you run out of ways to wow us because it's not like Belle is a regular character. Grimm has the smarter approach of doing a little at a time."


Thank you to everyone who wrote in! We'll be back tomorrow with a brand-new Throwdown, so get your thinking caps and pondering skirts out of the washing machine and prepare yourselves for another civilized debate.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (38)
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alright watched once upon a time and watched grimm. i thank once upon a time is an ok show. but i much prefer grimm i thank grimm is the best show out other than supernatural of course but if the cancle grimm for once upon a time i thank nbc should just shut there business down.....
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Disclaimer: Supernatural wins. Period.

Hmm. I think that (for me) they're too different to compare. Once Upon a Time and Grimm are both good shows in my opinion, but as shown from the reviews quoted above, it's a matter of personal taste versus which one is actually a better show. (Sorry if I'm not making sense). See, I prefer Grimm because I'm a sucker for both police dramas and fantasy-ish shows, and this combines them in a way that I think makes it more original than Once Upon a Time. I also just happen to prefer watching the darker stuff... so that's just my personal preference. But as far as quality goes, they're both fantastic and I really, really hope neither one gets cancelled untimely. I'm actually glad they're so different; hopefully that'll make it easier for them both to last :)
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Both Grimm and OUAT rocks! Now I'm confused :D
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To me this is apples and oranges. I like OUAT because it has a deep story, but I feel like it is going to be like Lost in the way that it is going to be one problem after another. Which gets frustrating at times. Where as Grimm is just fighting one monster at a time with a minor overall plot. If I had to choose which one to watch I would have to pick OUAT just because I would want to miss something important.
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Another write-in for Supernatural from me. :D



Between just OUaT and Grimm, the latter feels more my style. I understand what people see in OUaT, and I like the idea of familiar stories coming to life in both our own world and another reality. I just don't find it that enjoyable. I've watched every episode, and yet I can't seem to get into it. Grimm is definitely darker, and I like the premise more than OUaT - a family of monster hunters who pass knowledge from generation to generation is exactly Supernatural enough for me to like it. As far quality, though, I've found the writing to be a bit laughable, and most of the actors seem to have very little chemistry. Still, I feel less bored watching it than watching OUaT. Maybe it is just me and I want something (even a Supernatural re-tread like Grimm) to be on when Supernatural eventually goes away. I just hope the main character gets more likable, right now the only character I like is the wolf.
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Well after watching Once Upon a Time, I will stick to my original answer that I like Grimm better.
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I hope people realize that a lot of the characters in Once Upon A Time as well as Disney Movies are based from Grimm's Fairy Tales, perhaps the question should have been, who does Grimm Fairy Tales better?
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Grimm is not doing Grimm fairy tales. Grimm takes "monsters" that appear in Grimm tales and throws them in a stand alone procedural episode.
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After the last episode of Grimm I am now wondering what, if anything, that had to do with fairy tales? I really want to like the show but it just feels too much like it's trying to be Supernatural.
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Maybe you should try reading Grimm's Complete Fairy tales or Fairy tales found from all over the world. Just because the story does not feature familiar Disney characters doesn't mean it is not a Fairy tale.
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Read most of the Grimm tales that appear in the original 3 volumes, thank you. I'm a big fan of tales, mythology, etc....
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Sure... But if you're going to do a show based on fairytales as your draw to get people to watch shouldn't you be using the fairytale characters that most people know?
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No comparing, both series I love to watch :)
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All the comments in support of Grimm generally talk about how the idea is original, interesting, or cool. They are all correct. But the problem arises in the execution. The lead actor is not charismatic enough, and except Silas Weir Mitchell, none of the cast get a chance to shine. Once Silas' character gets incorporated fully, I think the show will get better, but as of now the show is not that good. Watchable, but not that good. Another problem is that Supernatural deals with something in the same area, and does it better.

The writing too needs improvement. Silas' character gets a lot of chances for some great comedic banter, but the lines are not right. There's something missing.

And the fact that it's a procedural will make it less interesting over time. If it manages to have a good season long story arc, that will raise my opinion of it, but it's too soon to tell. Shows like House and Supernatural make each episode worth watching, but others like Bones and NCIS, if you miss an episode here and there, you won't be missing out on much (I love them, but it's true).

Once Upon A Time's most recent wasn't as good as its first three, but it was still at par with, if not better than, Grimm's latest (which wasn't bad).

Grimm might get real good when it clicks, but that might take a while to happen, and winter is coming.

As for now, my vote is firmly in favor of Once Upon A Time.
More+
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Grimm's problem is that the kind of people it appeals to are the genre fans who love Supernatural, Angel, Buffy, Fringe, and the X-Files. But if you've already seen all those shows, then Grimm isn't doing anything new or better. So I see a lot of comments from a lot of genre fans like me who want to like it but don't.



OUaT on the other hand appeals to a much wider audience, even people who don't love the fantasy genre. As people have said here, it's something the whole family can watch together. And it actually is offering something new and well-done. So that's why it's winning in the ratings and kept almost all of its premiere audience, whereas Grimm has been plummeting since its strong start.
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OUaT's appeal does transcend genres and generations.
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I am going to try to catch up on Grimm this weekend to compare to the reviews everyone has posted. And being new on here, does Tim every do a Battle Royal instead of a Throwdown where the comparision might be in the way of all TV Vampire shows from Dark Shadows to Vampire Diaries. Would be interesting.
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In my humble opinion, Grimm's latest episode was MUCH better than OUAT's butchering of Cinderella..... Both shows are kinda goofy in their own way--but I love the genre's.



Ok I just looked it up, the actress playing Cinderella was on Falling Skies.. I knew she looked super familiar! She's kind of a poor man's Brittany Snow. In fact, I really wish they had got Brittany Snow for the role...
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I am one of the few who like both equally. I watch both with my mom & daughter & we can't wait for the new episodes of both. We like the escapism & prettiness of OuaT, we can just sit back and enjoy. With Grimm we like to figure out what fairy tale they are doing & how the crime is going to be solved. It has also given my daughter an interest in going back & reading the original Grimm tales, now if a show can get a kid to read it is top on my list. We can have discussions about both shows & enjoy the time watching them together. I highly recommend both shows!
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Agree with ktfahel! After I saw the first two episodes I told my 11 and 15 year old sister to watch the show and they really enjoy it as much as I do.
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I agree with 'Writerpatrick'...I need to see more episodes before making a final decision.



A lot of shows that I watch religiously now, I found boring and dry in the beginning (Haven & Warehouse 13) to name a couple. When given the time to develop a good mythology to run along with the 'monster of the week' stories...sometimes an otherwise average show will shine like it didn't in the beginning.



So, I am holding out for now and giving Grimm a chance to 'shine'.
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I think both shows will need about 13 episodes to air before they can be compared properly. Both have such different structures that it's like comparing a soap opera to a police procedural. Once Upon A Time is likely to appeal more to a female audience while Grimm could appeal more to a male audience.
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As a male, I'm pretty close to giving up on Grimm but love OUAT
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After watching 3 episodes of Grimm, I gave up. It has a tired feeling to it. The lead is uncharismatic. Except the production values, there's nothing remotely interesting in the show. I think I'll switch between Supernatural & Fringe, instead of watching this show.



On the other hand, there is OUAT, and truth be told I didn't really like the first episode. But after 4 episodes, I think this show is awesome. It has a sense of purpose of what it is trying to achieve in terms of story telling and the characters are very engaging, which cannot be said about Grimm.
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Why do we have to freaking compare the shows? They are so totally different in style and characterization. I think it's stupid to say which one should we watch because yeah people may prefer one to the other and so now just because OUAT has better ratings could cause Grimm to get canceled. Newsflash many people like myself like BOTH shows so I will watch both shows and not think to my self well which episode or arc was better. What is wrong with watching both shows? To top it all off I have read people's comments who say that Grimm and OUAT are ripoffs of Twilight. Those people should not be allowed to write or even speak ever again!
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The problem with Grimm is that there isn't enough procedure to be a procedural. There isn't enough hunting to be a monster-hunting/killing show (Buffy, Angel, Supernatural). The protagonist isn't protagonistical enough. It's not gritty enough to be considered gritty. The producers/creators just don't seem to have an idea of what they want to do with it, and they're tossing everything in so far.
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Stop wasting your time on comparing! Watch'em both :)
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Where's the fun in that?
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Excellent argument for Once Upon A Time Arch_Angel88. Very eloquent! I wonder if you could do the same if it were Whitney vs Man Up?
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Haha! Yes. I could eloquently argue how astoundingly contemptible both shows are.
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OUAT won, as it should have, because it's a much better made show. I still think Grimm's approach is cooler, but it's clearly not as executed as well.
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They're just so different, apples and oranges. I love them both!
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Same here.
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I'm an long time sci-fi buff and i've seen one episode of 'Grimm' and it also looks like my kind of stuff,some shows are too hollywood and look artificial,i'm tired of the same old blood,guts and gore,i'm ready to be scared again without the gore and stupid story lines,theres just too many horror film with the same premice, like people stranded in a small off the main road farm town with a maniac killer,movies like 'Wrong Turn' got my scary juices flowing again so 'Grimm' bring it on i'll be watching,Emmett North Jr.
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i like both shows but grimm is more of my stlye:)
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Once Upon a Time really is a significantly better show. I watch both shows and when i saw the previews, I honestly thought Grimm was going to be amazing and OUAT was going to be just decent, exactly the opposite happened. Grimm is watchable and OUAT is a don't miss!!
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I see them as totally different types of shows. Grimm is more gritty and procedural with more stand alone episodes like Law and Order while Once Upon A Time is far more of a fantasy series with more overarching storylines and mysteries like Lost. Grimm also shows the fairy tales in a darker and real world aspect while Once Upon a Time tends to keep the tales a bit lighter and separate from the real world, taking place in an alternate world. There is more than enough room for both shows and I have become a fan of both of them.
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I'm not surprised that Once Upon a Time won the Throwdown. It's a much better show. I actually watch both shows every week but Grimm has a lot of work to do to reach OUAT's level. I may give up on Grimm soon.
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