Beauty & the Beast ~ TV Series Review
BY KIMBERLY BENNETT
Before Oct. 11, 2012, I had never come across a television show worth obsessing over. If you ask me, I would admit to watching anime, Boy Meets World, Cold Case, Numbers, 24, Ghost Whisperer, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, etc., but not one of these shows can compare to the die-hard love I feel for the CW’s sophomore series, Beauty & the Beast.
CW’s Beauty & the Beast (BATB) is a modern remake of Ron Koslow’s 1987 three-season series. Before I started watching the series in 2012, I had never even heard of its forerunner starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. In fact, I thought the re-make would be more closely related to Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, but I was mistaken. BATB is far from the Disney fairy-tale version. Yes, there’s a romantic element to the series, and I think the romantic component binds the show together, but aside from the romance between protagonists Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan, Terra Nova) and Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk, Smallville), the CW series gives its audience action, trust, mystery, pain, mourning, complicated love-triangles, betrayal and more!
In season one, the beast, Vincent Keller, is not exactly the kind of beast you are thinking of! Unlike Perlman, the beast’s predecessor, Ryan does not have to show up to work every day looking like a humanoid Mufasa from The Lion King. Instead, Ryan’s character, Vincent, starts the first season out with a long, jagged scar on the right side of his face. However, that is not the beastliest thing about him!
In the pilot, we see Vincent saving a college girl’s life from two hired killers sent by a Muirfield—a governmental faction trying to tie up loose ends after conducting illegal experiments on military soldiers. Afraid of being caught, he vanishes, thinking he would never cross paths with this young woman again. Little did he know, she saw everything despite her concussion and was determined to figure out who saved her life that day.
While Vincent lives in hiding for the next nine years due to his special DNA situation, the woman he saved, Catherine Chandler, works for the NYPD’s 125th precinct. She and her partner, Detective Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello) deal with special crimes and come across Ashley Webster’s murder.
They find Vincent Keller’s finger print on evidence of a crime scene, but a 10-year-old death certificate in Keller’s name pops up on the NYPD’s database server.
Soon enough, this particular case leads the Beauty of the show back into Vincent Keller’s life—the last thing the beast ever sees coming. Catherine learns that this “dead soldier” lives in an abandoned chemical plant next to Brooklyn Bridge with his old college roommate, Professor JT Forbes (Austin Basis). However, the beauty still does not know what Keller truly is. She just thinks he’s a guy in some sort of trouble. He seems familiar to her, but since he is not “beasting-out” in front of her, she cannot figure out why.
The coroner, Evan Marks (Max Brown), finds corrupted DNA. He assumes the mass spectrometer is dirty—Catherine, however, secretly disagrees. She goes against her better judgment and contacts an FBI agent about this corrupted DNA sampling. Unfortunately, it begets trouble for the Asian detective, and, once again, her mysterious beast has to swoop in and save her life. Fearing the worst if
Catherine Chandler ever learned of his true identity, Keller jumps down into the subway tracks and runs away from her. However, she follows him this time, begging him to show his face. The sound of an oncoming train forces her to turn around; just when she thought its wheels were going to crush her, Vincent pushes her out of the way and holds her against the wall as he protects her from falling forward. Quickly, she discovers her beastly savior’s identity.
Because she was injured, Vincent takes her to his home and dresses her knee. However, Catherine will not leave without an explanation. Knowing he is dealing with an obstinate woman, he tells her how he became the beast.
The first season captures the growth of Vincent and Catherine’s star-destined love and portrays trials that both characters must go through to protect each other from Muirfield’s evil clutches. Beauty & the Beast has elements for both male and female audiences. There is just as much action within in this season (hence ripping apart human flesh) as there is romance.
Season 2 aired last October, putting Vincent and Catherine’s star-destined relationship in quite the bind. One of the major changes between Season 1 and Season 2 is Vincent’s upgrade! I won’t tell you how he became Beast 2.0, but Keller’s beast is definitely in for a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde roller-coaster ride. Trust me, you will not be able to forget about a face like this one very quickly:
No news of a third season has been stated yet, but beasties (as the fans call themselves) are determined to fight for one. Try this amazing series! You might like it! You may even love it!
About half a year ago, I introduced a fellow McKendree Student, Emily Lucia, to the series. I knew she was already a CW fan, so I asked her to watch six episodes of BATB before making any judgments of it. To my surprise, she took my advice, and now loves the show just as much as any other “Beastie” in the world. For a second insight towards Beauty & the Beast, I asked Emily to share her thoughts and experience before and after watching all of the seasons’ episodes thus far.
Lucia said, “When the first season originally aired, I was turned off by it because I expected Disney and romance. But, when I sat down, watched the pilot and then the rest of the season, I discovered I was completely wrong and that it wasn’t just romance. It was a story about a man in hiding who had been wronged by a government program and a girl who is at first just trying to do her job, serve and protect. There’s also a touch of super human abilities and mystery! Now, it’s on my list of favorite shows!”
Beauty & the Beast’s first season can be found on Netflix or bought on iTunes and Amazon. Season 2’s first episode “Who Am I”, as well as the four most recent episodes, may be found on the CW’s website.
Beauty and the Beast airs on Mondays at 9 PM on the CW (channel KPLR-11), but will be going on hiatus in the middle of March to welcome Hunger Games and Lost’s evil spawn, The 100. BATB is said to return in May with new episodes. Again, Mark Pedowitz, the CEO of CBS TV Studios, has yet to decide this amazing show’s future. Let’s hope for the best, shall we?
If you’re interested, here is a trailer for the first season: