Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
Thursday | 9:00 pm | The CW

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like Beauty and the Beast. While it’s one of my favorite Disney films, I was skeptical about this particular version. Kristin Kreuk’s wooden acting was one of my strongest memories from my love/hate Smallville days, and I’ve really had my fill of cop dramas besides. I’m not saying that I particularly loved the pilot, but it at least surprised me by being enjoyable in some parts.

For starters, Kreuk is actually not horrible as Cat Chandler, a NYPD detective, who chose the career path after seeing her mother murdered right in front of her six years ago. Kreuk is relaxed and emotive here and at no point did I want to scream at her via my television set that “she is a terrible piece of pink-covered plastic, and Chloe is obviously the superior choice in every way, duh.” Whew. That’s an old wound right there.

Anyway, Cat is investigating a murder when they come across a fingerprint from presumed dead military doctor, Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan). On top of that, they find cross-species DNA at the scene of the crime, which Cat thinks may be linked to her mother’s murder and the beast that saved her. I don’t think it’s much a spoiler to reveal that Vincent is alive, and the Beast. He’s the only survivor of a failed military experiment that left him with heightened senses, but also becomes rageful and beasty when his adrenaline kicks in.

Besides attempting, and apparently failing (given the girl’s murder victim status), to rescue people around the city, he’s clearly been watching Cat from afar. I wasn’t super-thrilled with the Edward Cullen vibe going on there, what with the awkward hair, the I’m danger, stay away, P.S. love me forever mixed messages, and the y’know, creepy stalking. Although, he did save her from grisly murder twice, three times if you count her subway tunnel stupidity, so props for that at least. Vincent is played by Jay Ryan, who is blandishly mediocre in the role. He got less screen time than Cat so it was hard to form a definitive opinion, but he’s kinda lacking in the charisma department needed to sell the part.

How much I will really end up wanting to watch Beauty and the Beast really depends on where it ends up going and what other CW product it wants to emulate. There’s a potential for a lot of gushy feelings, a la The Vampire Diaries, which it has been paired with. But they could be paired just for falling into the “supernatural romance” genre. The secret military project that changed Vincent has shades of Nikita-type mythology, which could be enjoyable.

But it could also go straight-up cop drama, a staple of many other networks that The CW hasn’t tried yet. That would be the worst of the bunch, as the case of the week was the laughably disappointing. The clues included a victim poisoned by her own hair dye, and a pretend pre-nup, that caused the one of the husband’s many lovers to kill his wife for him. The killer’s apprehension was perhaps the most hilarious scene, as all Cat had to do was ask politely to get her to confess.

Long Term Prediction:
It’s no use even pretending I won’t be watching this every week. The CW is basically crack to me and I will watch everything they put out. There may be more mocking than serious enjoyment at a certain point, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised instead.

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