Today I had the opportunity to talk to Claire Coffee about her role as Adalind on NBC’s Grimm. As part of a promotional conference call, television critics were presented with screeners for the first 2 episodes of the season, and the opportunity to ask Mrs. Coffee a few questions about her role and the series itself.
Season 5 Impressions
As a regular watcher of the series, who was excited about the major turns in last season’s finale, I honestly found myself a little disappointed with the first 2 episodes of the season. What we got was by no means bad, but it slowed the rush of events from the finale down to a halt. This isn’t exactly surprising, considering each season of the series runs 22 episodes, in the standard network TV structure. That being said, much of my excitement heading out of last season weakened with the premiere episodes of the new season. There is, however, plenty of time for excitement to build up once again.
The first episode begins right where the last left off, with Trubel saving Nick by killing Juliet. Trubel is immediately abducted by a group of men who also knock out Nick. Nick wakes up to an empty house. No dead Juliet, no Trubel, no severed mom’s head. This is part of the problem I had with the episode, though is likely due to Actor schedules and contracts for this season. By abducting Trubel, and cleaning up the mess off screen, we trade the drama and action of the moment for the unnecessary hysteria of Nick’s friends being unsure of his sanity. If we, the audience, were also in the dark to the reality of the situation, it could have been compelling. With us knowing the truth, it stands mostly as an annoyance. An annoyance that, thankfully, is quickly resolved within the first half of the season premiere.
A new advisory has surfaced. Though FBI Agent Chavez is now in possession of Trubel, and is involved in some sort of wesen conspiracy, we quickly discover that whatever her group is preparing to face is the real threat. Nick and Chavez begin to come to such an understanding before Chavez is lost, Nick receives a call from Chavez’ people on her phone, and is told to keep the phone, which means Nick will likely come to an understanding with them as well. Meanwhile, the “uprising” threat continues through the second episode. By having the “uprising” linking wesen crime this season, the series should hopefully become a little more serialized.
Unfortunately, what fans of the series really wanted to see was the fallout that followed the death of the King. While this will likely still happen, with the uprising surely linked to the consequences of last season’s finale, the fact that Chavez’ group was moving before the King was killed, creates problems with the chronology of that narrative.
At the end of the day, Grimm doesn’t take itself too seriously, so there isn’t much reason to be alarmed by a few minor issues in the season’s first couple of episodes. As more of the stories come together, I am sure that the fun of the series will once again pick up. My concerns lie mostly with the series failure to properly follow through on the momentum created by last season’s finale.
Conference Call With Claire Coffee (Adalind Shade)
Claire Coffee, who plays Adalind Shade on NBC’s Grimm was kind enough to give TV critics some of her time to field questions about her character and the series, through a conference call organized by NBC.
Having recently given birth to her first child, Mrs. Coffee feels more informed playing a mother than she was for her character previous baby storyline. She feels that she would have played her original birth scene very differently having experienced giving birth herself. She stated that motherhood simplifies your life in a sense, because at the end of the day, a mother just wants to keep her baby happy and safe.
When she announced her pregnancy to the Producers of the show, she didn’t expect her pregnancy to be written into the story, since they had already done a baby storyline with her character. The Producers felt otherwise though, planning a story in which Adalind would give birth to, series protagonist, Nick’s child. The storyline changes her dynamic with Nick in interesting ways. Adalind and Nick are forming a bond over their shared child. Nick and Adalind have always had an aggressive and contentious chemistry, and there is a thin line between love and hate that can be played with. Adalind is afraid of becoming a hexenbiest again, now that her hexenbiest nature has been magically suppressed. She feels that her life is far better not being a hexenbiest. Adalind is now trying to figure out how to be a good person, and a good mother. While nobody has forgotten how badly Adalind screwed over Nick’s partner Hank, and the previous animosity between her and the group, the group is giving Adalind the benefit of the doubt considering what she has been through, and her new role as a mother. Adalind can also be a great resource for Nick and his group as she has extensive knowledge of the darker side of wesen culture that she can share.
I asked Mrs. Coffee about Adalind’s daughter, Diana, and whether or not Adalind will reunite with her, and what kind of relationship they could have. Having filmed through 11 episodes of the season, Coffee has said that Adalind and Diana have not yet reunited, and with Diana’s rapid aging, she is unsure what their eventual meeting could look like. As for their relationship, Diana has spent more time with the various figures that have had her since she was taken from Adalind, than she has with Adalind herself, so that will complicate any relationship they have and make it initially difficult. I also asked if she enjoyed playing the kinder gentler Adalind, or if she was eager to return to villainy. Coffee responded that the big benefit of playing the kinder gentler Adalind is that she gets to spend more time with the extended cast of the series, acting with them, which is something she has been loving.
When Coffee first got the role of Adalind Shade in Grimm, it was for only a single episode with the possibility of more appearances. This season, she is part of the regular cast, something Coffee finds to be unbelievable and exciting. Throughout the seasons, Adalind’s character has evolved, and Coffee joked that through Adalind she was able to play 3 different characters. Now she is playing Adalind as a vulnerable woman, and loving mother in what she promises to be a very twisty season of the series.
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