A particular nuisance of mine is when various forms of entertainment has to be diluted and simplified for the audience as if we will not be able to comprehend the material. The lack of substance within the story, or within the presentation of the story, leaves me wanting more out of the experience of watching the program on the screen. I am sure there are some viewers out there in the television viewing world who do not mind the water down explanations and contrived dialogue blended into their entertainment, but usually it is a deal breaker for me. If it was a heavy night of drinking and I am sitting in front of the television screen in a drunken stupor then I might need the program to be simplified for me. However, the vast majority of my viewing time is when I am completely sober. The CW’s new fall show Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for its television debut in September (2012) and definitely swings in the direction of intentionally diluted characters and stupefied storyline.
The best way I could explain the mental image that I conjured up while watching a preview of the show’s pilot episode can be explained in the following manner. Imagine a fifteen-year-old who is trapped in the body of a twenty-six-year-old adult and the person tries to convince everyone that she is a professional career woman, but she still has the emotional maturity of a fifteen-year-old. The CW’s previously successful show (insert sigh of relinquishment) that closely resembles this description is the dramatic medical program Hart of Dixie, starring Rachel Bilson. The show has been on the air for a complete television season and I still refuse to believe the primary character is a professional doctor more than she is just another teenager. For the new CW program Beauty and the Beast the primary character is not a doctor, like in the Hart of Dixie program, but a working New York City detective portrayed by Kristin Kreuk.
The news of Kreuk’s return to television after her departure from previously successful CW program Smallville was a piece of interesting information that caught my attention. She is an attractive woman (the Kool Aid guy says “Ooh, ya!”). However, she is not a Hollywood megastar and might not carry the heavyweight skills that would garner the highly desired acting roles which would propel her into iconic history. Her character in Beauty and the Beast is pretty dull and flat for my tastes. She wants to be a tough cop working the streets of New York City, but I am just not believing a bit of the rough exterior routine. Her knight in shining armor is an American soldier who was enlisted by the government for a science experiment that altered his human genetics in order to heightened his senses to such an extreme level that it rivals the wild instincts of a jungle animal. When engulfed in raw energy and rage he evolves into a beast like creature, but he makes every attempt possible to use his power for good. This is where I begin the eye roll of unbelievability, because Kreuk’s character falls in love with him because he is beastly in a heroic way and not in a disgusting creepish manner.
At the conclusion of watching the pilot episode my decision not to watch another episode of the program was pretty well cemented in stone. The contrived romantic relationship between the two main characters seems artificial, two dimensional, and lacking any form of believability for me. I know there is an audience out there in the television watching world who will eat this storyline right up, but I can tell you that I am not a member of that particular group. It is not my style of entertainment.
Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for broadcast on Thursday nights at 9 PM only on The CW starting in October 11, 2012.
Show Synopis and Premise
Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective. When she was a teenager, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human. Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess. While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before. For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder. Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.
Production Information and Cast List
The series stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Catherine, Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”) as Vincent, Max Brown (“The Tudors,” “MI-5”) as Evan, Nina Lisandrello (“Nurse Jackie”) as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson (“Make It or Break It”) as Heather, Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) as J.T., and Brian White (“The Shield,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as Joe. Beauty and the Beast is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Jennifer Levin (“Without A Trace,” “Felicity”), Sherri Cooper (“Brothers and Sisters”), Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles,” “Thurgood”), Paul J. Witt (“A Better Life”) & Tony Thomas (“A Better Life”), Ron Koslow (“Moonlight”) and Gary Fleder (“Life Unexpected”).