Originally Posted by R11
Quite true and I think it's to a large degree a difference in the target audience the shows cater to. To me OUAT is in many ways the TV equivalent of a chick flick. It invests a lot of time in relationships/feelings much like many other ABC shows that appeal to women. Combine that with the fairytale draw to the younger audience and it's got a pretty large pool to draw from. Grimm seems like it's appeal would be to a much smaller target right out of the gate. I like them both for their different focus and direction.
But Once demonstrates exactly the opposite of Greenwalt's notion that people just want simple stories that require no thinking each week. Grimm was intended to appeal to a mass procedural-loving audience. If anything Once should have had a tougher time finding a crowd just as Eastwick, Invasion and Journeyman did before it. Once is heavily serialized and despite it's lighter tone has no qualms about putting it's cards on the table. It doesn't try and bury it's genre under a cop show disguise.
And the audience is fine with that even to the point where it can hold it's own against a major NFL game. So I wouldn't say it had an easy timeslot either.
Unlike many I also always liked the bizarre/strangeness of the stand alone X-Files episodes more than the ongoing conspiracy centric ep's as well.
I preferred the standalone episodes as well but TXF had the luxury of not being limited by one theme and tone. It could shift from ghost story to aliens to serial killers on a weekly basis and it didn't matter. That (and the main character interaction) kept the show fresh for a long time.
A lot of shows have passed under the bridge since then and a lot of channels have appeared to keep pumping out procedurals. The formula is pretty stale by now. Just having some creepy dude to chase each week isn't particularly innovative and only having one character who is really memorable doesn't help either.
There's a way to balance this stuff and you only have to flip over and watch Supernatural. Mostly excellent MotW stories because they have the guts to go in different directions (evidenced by last episode set in 1940), have good banter between characters and are not afraid to callback to events or people from three seasons ago just to keep you paying attention. And like TXF the arc this season also sucks, but at least they are making the effort. They learned quickly in the first season that stories should be written around the main characters and not the disposable monsters.