Though it’s true that there are a lot of original TV programmes being made there’s also a trend of remaking shows for a new audience who may not have seen them the first time around. While a few, like Hawaii 5-0 and 90210, can be successful on the whole most end up on the scrap heap like the remakes of Charlie’s Angels and Knight Rider. The latest to join the remake list is Beauty and the Beast which is loosely based on a 1987 series where Linda Hamilton’s DA sort advice from Ron Pearlman’s mythic man-beast. In the 2012 version the female character is Kristen Kreuk’s feisty police detective while her male co-star isn’t a beast but rather an attractive guy who has mixed DNA and is played by former Neighbours star Jay Ryan.
The story of this version of Beauty and The Beast starts with Kreuk’s law student Catherine Chandler witnessing the death of her mother after she is gunned down by two men. The men then chase her through the woods where she herself is almost killed before they are attacked by a beast however Catherine was later convinced that the memory of the beast was all in her head. Fast forward nine years and Cat, who hasn’t aged a day, is now working as a police detective who doesn’t have time for a private life as we learn in one of the opening scenes when her boyfriend dumps her for not being there. Cat and her partner Tess are soon called upon to investigate the death of fashion editor Ashley Webster who, as victims in these cop shows often do, had plenty of enemies. These included the woman who envied Ashley for her recent promotion as well as her philandering husband who had to appear loyal due to a prenuptial agreement. However the bigger mystery for the police is why the finger prints of a supposedly deceased military doctor are all over the body.
The doctor in question is Vincent Keller who was supposedly killed while in combat but as the police do a little snooping they find that they may not be the case. When Tess and Cat call on Vincent’s former roommate JT they discover no trace of him however we later find out that Vincent has been hiding out with his friend all of these years. While we the audience hear JT and Vincent talk about an antidote it appears as if Cat has cracked the mystery after the police station’s hunky medical examiner tells her he found cross-species DNA in the finger prints. Using all of her awesome detective skills Cat finally tracks down Vincent who tells her that he and his platoon were given drugs to improve their mental agility however these drugs mixed with their DNA and all of his army buddies were killed off. Vincent also owns up to being the man who saved Cat, an act he repeats later on in the episode, as he now acts as some sort of vigilante trying to protect the innocent from being hurt. In the middle of all of these revelations Cat and her partner are also able to solve Ashley’s murder however the mystery of why her mother was killed still remains unsolved and I’m guessing we’ll have to wait at least another 21 episodes to find that out.
The first problem I have with Beauty and The Beast is the title which I feel is a little unrepresentative of the characters involved because while Kreuk is definitely a beauty, even if she does come across as Mila Kunis-lite, Jay Ryan doesn’t done a bear outfit or growl. I’m guessing that the producers will have us believe that Vincent is a beast because of his inner turmoil and the fact that his DNA could go haywire at any given moment. To me this central premise is very like Twilight in that we have a central romance between a normal girl and a guy who has moments where he transforms into another species. Another common factor between Beauty and The Beast and the Twilight films is everybody here is ridiculously attractive from Kreuk and Ryan to Max Brown’s suave medical examiner.
If you’re looking for an intelligent and realistic drama then I’m afraid Beauty and The Beast isn’t for you and at the end of the day boils down to nothing more than a simple police procedural. I have to say that the murder of the poor fashion editor took a back seat to Cat’s storyline so I didn’t really care about who the perpetrator was. I also didn’t buy Kreuk as this hard-bitten sarcastic New York detective and I also didn’t buy that her character was haunted by the death of her mother. Jay Ryan meanwhile does an impression of Christian Bale’s Batman voice and successfully lurks in the shadows occasionally appearing outside to come to clumsy Cat’s rescue. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy some elements of Beauty and The Beast with the opening scene really getting you into the action before following it with plenty of inconsequential moments. Personally the best moment in this first episode was when Cat is attacked in a subway station by a supposed ally and I thought the action and camera-work in this particular scene was spectacular it’s just a shame that momentum wasn’t retained throughout the rest of the episode.
Overall I found Beauty and The Beast to be a bit of escapist fun which didn’t take itself too seriously however it is one that suffers from a dodgy script and a couple of unbelievable central characters. If you like your plots light and your casts incredibly attractive then I think Beauty and The Beast will be right up your alley though for me I find it all a bit flimsy
Did you watch Beauty and The Beast? Did you find it more enjoyable than I did? Leave Your Comments Below.