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.
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 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.
The CW will be remaking BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and the role of Catherine Chandler (once played by Linda Hamilton) has been cast. Kristin Kreuk (of all people) will be Catherine and her Vincent will be somewhat modified from the one in the original series. From what I can tell, he will be the survivor of ‘a military experiment gone bad”. So there will be no mystery about Vincent’s origins in this one.
Of all the characters in SMALLVILLE, Lana Lang was the most irritating. This was not because she was the romantic interest. Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) was wonderful. Kreuk’s Lana Lang was just not someone I wanted to watch, or listen to, or learn about.
I know the CW has an audience most of which isn’t old enough to remember the original show. Still, it should be noted that when Linda Hamilton left BEAUTY AND THE BEAST after getting pregnant in 1988, the ratings took a nosedive and the show was cancelled a year later. So maybe somebody Hamilton-like should play the part. Ms. Hamilton herself is a bit old for the CW, but there is an another obvious choice for the part of Catherine Chandler.
Jessica Biel is only one year younger than Hamilton was in 1987 when BEAUTY AND THE BEAST began. She is one year older than Kreuk. More importantly she looks like Linda Hamilton did in 1987. Linda Hamilton had done Terminator in 1984, and Biel did the remake of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in 2003. So why are we going to be stuck with Kreuk?
In all fairness, I haven’t seen Kreuk in anything else. She is doing something interesting called SPACE MILKSHAKE, with Amanda Tapping. I know nothing about this film. The trailer is not revealing, but the tagline – “In 2012 We’re Ducked!” is catchy. And it has Amanda Tapping in it.