Beauty & the Beast Season 1 – Season Review
Considering I made the effort for Arrow, I thought it was only fair to give Beauty & the Beast a fair shot.
Let me tell you: sitting through all 22 goddamn episodes of this drivel was tough.
And I’ve seen every episode of Jersey Shore.
Yeah, it’s that tough.
TL;DR With ingredients very similar to the (far superior) Arrow, Beauty & the Beast manages to squander any potential it has by being a garbage soap opera with just enough intrigue to make suffering through it worthwhile. Kristin Kreuk does an admirable job, but almost everyone else is forgettable.
At least it’s better than this.
The plot on its own doesn’t sound too bad. Kristin is Cat, a tough New York cop whose mother was murdered under shady circumstances. A “beast” saved her from being murdered, too. Present day Cat encounters Vincent (Jay “I know him from Neighbours, so I’m taking full hipster cred for this one. Envy me” Ryan), who turns out to be a soldier who was experimented on and now has animalistic powers. But he looks perfectly fine and handsome most of the time (except for a sexy scar. Natch). Blah blah blah they struggle against a secret organistation, but more importantly, their budding romance.
Oh wait, I meant “Eww.”
So yeah, Beauty & the Beast did the exact opposite of what I praised Arrow for: it went for the soap opera angle instead of the “actual plot stuff” angle. Clearly it’s an ABC reject.
What makes it worse, though, is that Beauty & the Beast actually starts off on the right foot. The first few episodes are a pretty standard cop show with the beast stuff (including romance) added in for extra zest. But then it wildly veers right off the tracks into the most overblown soap shit ever. Cat barely touches a case from about episode 5 onwards (don’t quote me on that. I marathon watched this shit, and it blended together).
And if there’s one thing that turned me off Revenge (there’s more than one thing, fyi, but stay with me here) it was the stupid conspiracy shit.
Beauty & the Beast (because it’s a CW show) does a better job of handling it, though. I’ll give it that.
Why I hate this season:
But god, that romance stuff takes hold and never lets go. The first time I really sat up and realised how bad things had gotten was the episode where Cat goes to her father’s wedding. So much time is devoted to her stressing about her “relationship.” Super demerit points for not just telling the gaggle of vapid women that you don’t have a date. It’s like this show started out so girl power and then dropped all of it to play some unjustified love story. That’s some romcom shit.
Vincent and Cat are almost entirely defined by their love for each other. Vincent does little else apart from worry about/save her. Likewise, Cat throws everyone and everything in her life under the bus so she can bump uglies with this hybrid monster she barely knows.
Having Vincent look normal apart from a single scar was such a fucking cop out. I know this is the CW (where beautiful people are obligatory), but come on. Beastly was a way better adaptation.
He’s also much more of an Incredible Hulk than a beast. His affliction mainly comes out when he’s angry. They should have called it Beauty & the Hulk.
Evan, the precinct’s coroner and sometimes love interest of Cat, gets shit on pretty hard by everyone. He’s the most sympathetic and least 2-dimensional character. I was extra disappointed when he died to protect Cat. Dude, she didn’t earn that.
The captain going on and on about how his brother was murdered by the vigilante was fucking annoying because we knew the whole time that he was a douchebag.
The whole “vigilante” thing is too similar to Arrow. The CW: don’t expect originality.
Vincent’s old fiancé comes into the picture for a while. And Cat gets all psycho jealous and indignant about it, and the show positions us to agree with her. Cunt, of course he had a love life before he met you. Step off.
Alternatively, Alex (the chick) does become a big plot tumor (and she’s a dumb piece of shit, too), so it looks like nobody wins when it comes to her.
Oh, and Tess (Cat’s partner) is supposed to be this strong, independent woman, but she lets her married boss continue to sleep with her and promise to leave his wife every other episode. Girl, he’s doggin’ you. Fuck that dick off.
Reasons to watch:
I never really watched Smallville, but from what I had seen (and from Street Fighter. Oh god) I had no appreciation for Kristin Kreuk. Beauty & the Beast has changed my mind on her. She brings the right combination of beauty (ah ha!), strength, vulnerability and capability necessary for the role. It’s a shame the role is so shit.
Jay Ryan is handsome enough and has abs. Which in a show clearly geared towards women is all that’s required of him, I guess.
Tess (despite her love life) is pretty badass. I also liked that a show has 2 female cops as partners.
It’s not all smooth sailing, though, and Tess delivers a perfect line when she’s planning on ditching Cat after finding her tampering with evidence to conceal Vincent: “No one thought 2 chicks could be a team, anyway. Guess we’ll prove ’em right.” It works out, though.
Tess also doesn’t immediately go soft after finding out about Cat/Vincent. She totally busts them by going to her colleagues. Luckily for Cat/Vincent, they were actually conspirators who tried to kill Tess. Which ends up with our leads saving Tess and her joining the team. It’s a mixed outcome, but I’ll take it.
Edi Gathegi turns up as one of the secret organisation’s higher-ups. Ah, that Twilight nostalgia.
Oh, and the facial effects shit all over Grimm. If you haven’t, you really should watch Grimm’s first season. Just to see how atrocious their CGI facial transformations are. It’s something special.