Beauty and the Beast is not the worst show of the fall. But that's only because there was a lot of competition for the spot. With all of the other Beauty and the Beast adaptations out there, you really shouldn't waste your time with this beast-free version.
The New Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
is a remake of a 1980s drama starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. The basis of the new series is more-or-less the same as the old -- Catherine
"Cat" Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) survives a vicious attack, thanks to a mysterious man/creature saves her. Years later, Cat is a cop who comes across her mysterious savior again. This time, she learns who he is: Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan). Vincent is a gorgeous, slightly scarred man with a dangerous and monstrous past.
Obviously the two are destined to fall in love.What It Gets Right
I'll try to start off positive here. Don't worry. It won't last.
As far as I can tell, Beauty and the Beast
has three things going for it:1) Beauty:
Cat is beautiful. Vincent is beautiful. It's a dark beauty, but that makes it all the more attractive.2) Mood: Beauty and the Beast
wants to be dark, and the premiere episode certainly is. Almost everything happens at night, tinted blue. The most innocent of moments are tinged with menace.3) The Sidekick:
J.T. Forbes (Austin Basis), Vincent's childhood friend and confidante, is actually quite entertaining. He doesn't have a huge role, but you can't blame the guy for trying to make the most of it.What It Gets Wrong
Everything else. Literally, everything else about Beauty and the Beast
feels like a misstep.
Here are but five of the biggest problems:1) Cat the Cop:
We don't know how Catherine becomes a cop in the first place -- she was a law student during the flashback attack -- and she isn't so believable now that she is. Her stereotypically street-smart partner, Tess (Nina Lisandrello), does not help with any of this.2) Boring Crimes:
I vaguely recall that Cat and Tess are investigating a murder or something in the premiere episode. It's utterly forgettable.3) Chemistry (or Lack Thereof):
Despite being beautiful, soulful people, Cat and Vincent have zero sparks when they meet. It's kind of like you put two healthy, lush houseplants next to each other and expected them to get it on. The beauty is there, but don't expect anything else.4) Seriousness:
When uber-dramatic CW shows work, it's because there is a light-hearted wit running through the darkness. The Vampire Diaries
has the eternally sarcastic Damon. Supernatural
loves to go completely bonkers on a regular basis. Gossip Girl
has the insanity that is Chuck Bass. Beauty and the Beast
, on the other hand, just has seriousness. Is it so hard to have a little fun?5) Too Much Beauty:
This is the worst flaw in Beauty and the Beast
-- there is no beast. Sure, Vincent struggles with inner demons that occasionally turn him into an inhuman creature with super-strength, but he looks great the rest of the time. How exactly are we supposed to believe Cat's struggles to love a monster when the monster looks like a fashion model?Better Alternatives
It's not like there aren't any "Beauty and the Beast" stories out there. Instead of being bored by this version, why not try:1) The original series:
It starred the woman who beat the Terminator and Hellboy for Pete's sake! And the original beast was, in fact, a beast. I remember being terrified of Vincent as a child. It meant something when Catherine fell for him.2) Once Upon a Time:
It may not be perfect, but the awkward and touching relationship between Belle and Rumplestiltskin is one of the more moving parts of this fairy-tale drama.3) The Disney Version:
Singing teapots. End of story.4) The Original Fairytale:
Look it up. It's quite good.5) Any one of the six non-Disney versions of the story released in theaters since the 1940s...
Just don't bother with the new Beauty and the Beast
on The CW. There is far more beauty -- and far scarier beasts -- elsewhere. Beauty and the Beast
premieres Thursday, October 11 at 9pm on The CW.(Images courtesy of The CW)