The CW version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is an engaging cop show that does convey the spirit of the fairy tale. Further, Kristen Kreuk is (I admit grudgingly) not bad in the role of Catherine Chandler, occasionally evoking memories of Linda Hamilton. The show, unlike ARROW, recognizes the advances made in the forensic sciences and makes Vincent’s situation more plausible for the 21st century. And much of the idealism has been excised from this version.
In this show, Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) does not live in an undercity refuge filled with the rejects of society. He lives in a much less romantic, partially renovated abandoned warehouse, with his nerdy roommate. In 2012 it is apparently all right to help oppressed people, but not in any organized way.
The main characters are substantially different in the new show. Instead of having been facially disfigured, Catherine has seen her mother murdered for reasons unknown and is (presumably) emotionally disfigured. Vincent only becomes the beast when angry. Most of the time he is quite conventionally attractive. He’s a cross between a werewolf and The Hulk. The military has made him this way (see X-Files episode #28 for a similar idea), and he is the last of his kind, a la Dr. Who.
That is the problem with this show. It takes bits of ideas from here and there and stitches them together into a Frankenshow.
For those who haven’t seem the original BEAUTY AND THE BEAST from 1987, do go watch it. It can be streamed on Netflix. Ron Koslow must have been possessed by the spirit of Emily Dickinson when he created that show. There has never been anything else like it on television, for the first 2 seasons, at least. When Linda Hamilton left the show due to her pregnancy, the show changed in a very bad way, and was cancelled after season 3.
NOTE: Obscurus Lupa was a bit more harsh than I in her comments on the CW’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but I generally agree with it, and she picked up on some things I did not notice. I do not agree with her previously posted review of the original series.