Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why You Should Watch: Beauty and the Beast

Okay, so it's got mistakes. All first seasons do. In fact, I don't think I've ever watched a freshman run that doesn't have flaws (other than Firefly, and good luck to you if you ever set out to beat that). But it's solid. It's good, and it has a chance to become great. 

Flaws: The show seems to think that it's in its second or third season. There are too many complicated character and plot arcs going on. A freshman run should have one, maybe two, season-long arcs. For example, the first seasons of Buffy and Supernatural do really well by having a bunch of stand-alone episodes and ensuring that their arcs- respectively, killing the Master, and finding John Winchester and Azazel- don't take over the show. Multiple complex arcs in a first season can overshadow the subtle character development that needs to take place, which is, to an extent, what's happening in Beauty and the Beast so far. 

Another flaw is how quickly the writers have gotten their belle and her beast to fall in love and be together. It took Buffy 22 episodes (a season and a half) to have sex with Angel. The Doctor and Rose only kissed four seasons into the Doctor Who reboot. It took Booth and Brennan six seasons to come together on Bones. Writers, you have to keep the romance suspenseful and in danger. Your audience doesn't want to be bored. 

With all that, I am still saying that you should watch this show. Yes, their characters were brought together too soon, but regardless, Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan have a wonderfully alluring chemistry together. J.T., played by Austin Basis, is hilariously witty (and loyal), and Evan Marks, played by Max Brown, the token British actor every American show needs, only adds to the cast as the mysterious medical examiner.

Plot-wise, the Meerfield arc is intriguing and keeps me hooked- I'm still wondering about the first scene of the show, and what exactly happened to Cat's mother.  I'm dying to know the extent of Vincent's mutation and what the military did to him. In addition to all this, each episode also has a crime of the week- ranging from mildly interesting to OMG WHODUNIT- to keep the momentum going. 

Character-wise, Vincent is tortured enough for me to empathize and want better for him, but he doesn't brood to the point where you want to shake him (cough as-much-as-I-love-you Angel* cough). Cat is steely and strong, a character any writer would be proud of. She's not the type to fall simpering to the ground when the going gets tough (cough especially-this-season Elena** cough). There are a couple of characters I don't like, but the only show I've ever watched that has a flawless character list is, again, Firefly

Beauty and the Beast has a lot of potential for character depth that an audience can just sink into, and well-paced plot that they can enjoyably keep up with. So go watch. And if none of that swayed any of you to watch the show...well, this show is on the CW. These actors are HOT. 

(Yep, there it is. The sound of my audience scrambling to download all the episodes of Beauty and the Beast that have aired so far.)

*Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel
**The Vampire Diaries

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