David Giuntoli and Silas Weir Mitchell in Grimm
While most US TV series are coming to their season’s end, there are some new shows that seem really promising. But these are not your average feel-good sitcom or drama—these are hardcore shockers and visually stunning period pieces that would surely keep you on the edge of your seats.
Unfortunately, these shows are not for the general viewer, as some of the themes can prove to be too graphic, too violent, or too sexually suggestive. But these PG-rated and R-rated elements play a role in keeping these shows interesting; if you can’t stomach spilled guts or are too young to watch intense sexual interactions, you might want to change the channel and watch something else.
Developed as a prequel for the events in the novel Silence of the Lambs, this NBC thriller raises the bar for crime and procedural TV shows. It follows FBI special investigator Will Graham as he uncovers grisly murders that often involve psychopaths, cannibals, and the like. It also features a middle-aged Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the main antagonist of the novel. Here, we see how Will and Hannibal interact and cooperate to unveil the story behind strings of murders and ultimately catch the serial killers. What Will doesn’t know is that Hannibal sometimes works behind his back, intervening with the investigations by contacting killers through an untraceable business phone, and maybe doing some of the killings himself—in order to motivate Will to solve the murders.
What sets this show apart is that it’s not afraid to focus on the guts and the gore, on the more disturbing aspects of a crime or procedural drama. Imagine CSI with more deranged psychopaths, more screen time on rotting flesh and, without a doubt, more gruesome murders.
Da Vinci’s Demons
Just from the title, you might already have an idea of what this show, from the premium cable channel Starz, is all about. Yes, it is about the Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci; but no, it does not involve any of his known works of art. It is more about his adventures as strapping young man — it's full of sword fights, explosions, and naked women. This fictionalized account of da Vinci’s youth examines how he transitioned from being the most talented artist in Florence to a skillful war engineer. It also tackles his relationships with his colleagues/accomplices, his employers (the ruling Medici family), and all the adoring women in his time. As it turns out, da Vinci is not only a brilliant artist but also an innovative inventor, a playboy, and a huge jerk. He knows that he is more intelligent than most, if not all, of the people during that time, and he often uses it to his amusement and advantage.
What’s unique about this show is that it reimagines the life of a famous historical figure and creates a unique story that you’d never believe to be that of Leonardo da Vinci. There’s no need to be mindful about historical accuracy because this is a different story altogether. This show is a fictionalized period piece that offers a unique account of da Vinci’s life.
Another entry from NBC, Grimm is not technically a new series, as it is already in its second season. But the show’s story is a refreshing take on procedural drama, as it weaves the element of fantasy in each of the cases handled in every episode. The show follows Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland police and his encounters with non-human criminals. Nick is known as a “Grimm,” a person capable of seeing the true form of these creatures. He also has the skills and the strength to take these monsters head-on, making him the only person capable of solving their crimes.