This television season, the CW — that same network responsible for bringing you such quality shows as Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries — has aired something completely different (not really): Beauty and the Beast. An ode to the
movie novel of the same name, this new show takes some liberties with the source material. Specifically, the Beast is a smokin’ hotty.
This isn’t the first time Beauty and the Beast has been adapted to the small screen; in 1987 CBS had its own version of the famous book, wherein the Beast was a lion-man named Vincent who inhabited an underground world and saved — before falling in love with — the beauty, Catherine, who was the assistant District Attorney in New York. It had everything: part romance, part Law and Order, part action, this show had everything, and yet was still pretty sleep-inducing. It turns out sometimes making a show that seems to have everything is great (look at: Pushing Daisies); other times it just reminds you, “Oh right, Beauty and the Beast would be really, really boring after five episodes.”
This new take on the classic is actually an adaption of the 1987 show more than the original work, with Vincent again being the Beast and Catherine again being a beauty. Only there have been a few tweaks from the first series: both title characters are in their mid-20’s instead of mid-30’s; Catherine is now a homicide detective instead of a D.A. so there’s more action; and Vincent, instead of being a lion-man, is an Adonis who only appears slightly monstrous when he gets mad, during which he also gets super human strength (and while that sounds like the Hulk it’s more akin to the sparkly, poorly animated super human attributes of sparkly Twilight vampires).
Watching the pilot of this show made one thing clear: it’s really bad. For one, it’s revealed in the first episode that Vincent has been following Catherine for years, making this yet another show where young girls are taught that the true sign a man is worthy of dating you is if he secretly watches and follows you. Secondly, while there is indeed a police procedural with action in here, both are so poorly done that you actually want to hear about the awful romance/stalking story because that’s bad enough to be laughable. And, as you could guess, these actors were not hired for any actual acting talent — unless you consider moody pouting an art.
The best, most notable part about the new series is that the Beast is super hot. I can imagine there must’ve been a time where an executive producer or actor justifies this decision with, “‘Beast’ is, like, a metaphor for his inner beastliness, and that’s why he’s still smoking hot.” Which is ironic because the original work made the Beast ugly as a metaphor for his inner beastliness. That means this show is so deep that it takes the original metaphor and completely backtracks, literally AND metaphorically. It’s retroactively nonmetaphorical. Which is the ultimate form of metaphysics, right?
That or it’s just really dumb.
If this show does well it’ll prove something we’ve always known: sex sells. Sex sells so well that people will completely ignore the fact that the original story is about looking beyond someone’s appearance and instead they will consume something simply because it has a terrible actor with abs instead of someone who isn’t pretty. The simplest way to say it is to show this cake picture and the accompanying caption I saw four years ago on Cake Wrecks: