TV Review: The CW’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Misses Allure of Concept
CHICAGO – The foundation of a show like The CW’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a timeless one. There’s a reason so many screenwriters in film and television keep returning to the concept of brute force partnering with stunning beauty. So why did this show’s creators do so little with it? There’s no edge here. Everything has been rounded out to the point that it lacks all personality. It’s the kind of show one can barely remember watching by the time the opening credits are done on what follows it.
Television Rating: 1.5/5.0
Kristin Kreuk of “Smallville” and “Chuck” fame stars as the title character. No, not the beast. She’s Catherine “Cat” Chandler, a tough homicide detective who is trying to face down the demons from the dark day that her mother was murdered before her eyes. If you already can sense one of the most significant problems with “Beauty,” you’re ahead of the producers. Kreuk is a lovely actress and works in the right role but she’s woefully miscast as a no-nonsense homicide detective with haunting demons. She doesn’t have the psychological range for the drama and she looks too perfect to be believable as a gritty detective.
Beauty and the Beast
Photo credit: The CW
Of course, the night that her mother was murdered, Cat was saved by a shadowy figure. Why was her mom killed? Who saved her? These are the issues that have haunted Cat but made her a determined crime-fighting partner for Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello). Working under Joe Bishop (Brian White), Tess & Cat have solved countless cases but Cat can’t close the mysteries of her past. She’s also, of course, unlucky in love. She has a flirtatious medical examiner named Evan (Max Brown) in her life but she likes the dark, brooding types — the beasts if you will.
One such beast is Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), who Cat stumbles upon after his fingerprints turn up a decade after he supposedly died in 2002 in Afghanistan. It turns out that Vincent has been in hiding. Why? He’s the beast. He’s a pretty-boy Incredible Hulk, a man who has superpowers when he’s angry. And, of course, he’s the man who saved Cat’s life so many years earlier. And, of course, he doesn’t admit that he’s been tracking Cat for years.
It may sound like plenty of material for a hit show but “Beauty and the Beast” is simply dull. It all looks far too clean cut and overly polished on every level. None of this world is lived in. There’s no real danger. There’s no real sexual tension. There’s no real anything. Certainly no real reason to watch.