New on the Tube: 'Beauty and the Beast'

Beauty and the Beast CWNew on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.

Show Premise: 

The result of a military experiment gone horribly wrong, Vincent Keller is a highly adaptable man with medical knowledge and a keen interest in keeping himself off the grid.  Catherine Chandler, a brilliant NYPD detective, encounters Keller while investigating one of her crimes and finds out that the two of them have a shared history from the night her mother died.  Determined to find out the truth about things, Catherine is often at odds with Keller’s desire to remain unknown to the government, as well as an overwhelming attractiveness between the two that sparks a lot of tension.  The show airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. 





Previously on Beauty and the Beast: Covering Episodes #1 - #4

Catherine Chandler watches as her mother is killed years ago, as well as being mysteriously saved by a “beast” who was tracking her mother for some reason.  Now, nearly a decade later, Catherine is a police detective and encounters the beast once again, this time finding him as a helpful influence in her cases.  She struggles to find out what is going on with him and why he helped her out all those years ago, but he keeps brushing her off so as not to put her in danger.  While investigating the first crime, Catherine comes face-to-face with a hair sample that matches several others and calls the F.B.I. for more information, leading her to a trap in which she’s almost killed by rogue government agents.  In the end, she’s able to solve her crime with the help of Keller, but she’s now under the watchful eye of the government, and so is Keller.

Throughout the rest of her cases, Keller normally offers some hints such as the ability to detect poison with a smell or hearing a heartbeat faster than what is normal, but at times he has become directly involved in the situations—especially when he witnesses a suspect doing something innocent, exonerating her, except for the fact that he can’t officially come forward without revealing himself.  He does his best to stay out of her way but ends up following Catherine several times to make sure she is safe; he is also willing to turn himself in, so she will not get hurt because of him.  Eventually, the two are able to make some sort of amends between them, promising to help one another in their separate quests, but it never seems to really work out in the way they each prefer.

Main Characters

Vincent Keller (The Beast): A former doctor who enlisted in the army following the death of his brothers, Keller became the subject of a military experiment.  He was supposed to die but went off the grid and has been a ghost until Catherine showed up.

Det. Catherine Chandler (Police Officer): Catherine is a would-be lawyer who became a cop after her mother was killed and has spent years trying to find out the truth about the murder.  She’s drawn to Keller, believing him to be a good person despite his enhancements.

Det. Tess Vargas (Catherine’s Partner): Does not seem to have a life outside of her job, but works well with Catherine and the rest of the squad.  A bit aggressive, but fiercely loyal, she constantly has Catherine’s back.

Dr. Evan Marks (Medical Examiner): Evan is a witty Brit who loves his job so much that he’s almost never seen away
from his office.  He has an attraction to Catherine, made more frustrating due to their working relationship, but is pretty much the playboy.

Prof. J.T. Forbes (Vincent’s Friend): J.T. is the only person that Keller seems to trust outside of Catherine, but their relationship is not known.  He’s a professor of biochemistry at one of the many colleges in New York, but he seems more obsessed with helping Keller stay a ghost.

What Works

The action sequences are fantastic, and I love how Catherine is able to take on the bad guys with her moves without relying on her sidearm in any way.  I’m sure cops get hand-to-hand combat training, but the way she’s able to move really is enjoyable.

I’m also quite fond of how Keller is able to move in such a fast-paced motion, quickly moving in for “the kill” without opening himself up to attack from others. 

What Doesn’t

I’m not a big fan of some of the non-action, fast-paced movements, such as the chase cam, because they really kind of destabilize my following of the show.  Sure, there are times when I want to feel as though I’m actually a part of the experience, but I don’t want to pass out due to having vertigo.

There is also something to be said with having yet another cop show set in NYC, focusing on yet another unlikely pair of characters in which only one is an actual police officer.  Cop shows tend to follow the same kind of formula over and over again, with just different variables with the same outcome, and thus it sometimes becomes too repetitive to enjoy.  This show certainly has some differences from others, but there is still a lot of the “same old, same old” to make me not want to keep up with it.

Sadly, the plot is a bit thin in a lot of areas, especially when it comes to Keller’s disappearance—if he’s really been trying to stay a ghost for all these years, then he shouldn’t be so easily seen by others, especially Catherine. And, if he’s been helping others throughout the last 10 years, then someone else would have seen and made a report about him.  Such occurrences would have been a red flag to the government, allowing him to be tracked with ease and taken out.  I don’t really buy the fact that they haven’t been able to take him out—or Catherine—in all this time; it just doesn’t parse with me, and I think it’s just a plot device that isn’t really working.

The Future

If Keller has already confronted the organization once—and promptly defeated them with the help of Catherine and J.T.—then what exactly does he have left to do in regards to keeping off the grid?  There are a lot of unanswered questions that I’m just not sure of—what exactly was Catherine’s mother doing with the organization, how does Keller know J.T., why hasn’t Keller been tracked down before?—but I’m not sure if the answers to any of those will really alleviate any issues I have with continuing to watch the show.  The CW doesn’t always produce shows that attract my attention, and this is really one of them.  So, while I may not continue to watch it, perhaps one of my loyal readers will let me know if any of these points are actually addressed. I have loyal readers, right? . . . right?




Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:04

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