Beauty and the Beast – Pilot

by Alan Rapp on October 14, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beauty and the Beast – Pilot
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The CW’s Beauty and the Beast is based loosely, very loosely, on the late 1980’s CBS show of the same name that starred Linda Hamilton as New York Assistant District Attorney Catherine Chandler and Ron Perlman as Vincent, the noble beast whom she fell in love with. Created by Ron Koslow, the 80’s show was a fairy tale love story between a spoiled rich girl turned crusader after a vicious attack and the man who became her protector. The show was filled with some terrific costume and set design including the world of “Down Below” where Vincent lived with outcasts from above. Did I mention how little the new version mirrors the original?

The new show casts Kristin Kreuk (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Smallville) as waitress turned Homicide Detective Catherine Chadler who witnessed her mother’s murder only to be saved by a mysterious beast (Jay Ryan). While investigating her latest homicide, nine years later, Catherine pulls the prints of a dead man named Vincent Keller (Ryan) off the body of a dead fashion editor. Retracing the dead doctor’s past leads Catherine and her partner Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello) to an abandoned chemical plant to talk with the man’s former roommate (Austin Basis) where she discovers Vincent not only is still alive, but is the same man who saved her life nine years ago.

Catherine talks with the victim’s husband (Max Brown), assistant (Tamara Hope) and a co-worker (Alex Paxton-Beesley), but as much as she wants to solve her latest murder she is far more interested in the dead man and his connection to her mother’s murder even when her snooping almost gets her killed in the New York subway by some shadowy government agents. It also gets her some answers about her mystery man and the secret government genetic experiment that created their own Jekyll and Hyde monsters.

I like Kreuk, but this “Pilot” is completely ridiculous. It’s nearly impossible to buy either Kreuk or Lisandrello as police detectives when both come off as bad Charlie’s Angels stand-ins (and not even the original, I’m talking the awful remake from last year), and having the show’s beast be a male model with a small scar on his cheek is so incredibly lame that it’s hard to believe someone thought this was a good idea. The Jekyll and Hyde idea for the beast is an interesting twist to the story but it’s so disastrously experimented with here we’ll probably never know if it could have actually worked. The CW must have been desperate for new shows to greenlight anything this bad. But, hey, at least it’s better than last’s years Charlie’s Angels remake (of course so is death by lethal injection, so that’s not exactly a high bar to clear).

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