'Beauty and the Beast' react: Five questions from the premiere

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Image Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

CW’s drama Beauty and the Beast is not, alas, based on the charming Disney movie, but rather the ’80s TV show starring Sarah Connor and Hellboy (er, Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman). Kristin Kreuk plays a badass homicide detective named Catherine Chandler, while Jay Ryan is the believed-to-be-dead doctor Vincent Keller. The two team up to save NYC from murders and things. There are lots of things to talk about from the pilot, but I’ve decided to keep it to five questions that occurred to me while watching. My answers are below, let me hear yours in the comments. (SPOILER ALERT for those on the west coast and anyone else who hasn’t watched yet!)

Do you buy Kreuk as a detective?
Instead of a bookish heroine with a taste for blue and yellow (Belle, you’re my girl!), we get Catherine, a homicide detective with a real softness to her. (It could be all those years on Smallville.) Any credibility she did have as a hard-boiled detective was blown the minute she ran screaming after the Beast through the subway tunnels. If that doesn’t shout damsel in distress, I don’t know what does. He saved her three separate times in one episode! What does this mean for the season? Kreuk tried, but I just can’t see her solving crime.

Is the Beast actually Edward Cullen?
The Beast is one of my favorite Disney characters. Why? Because he starts out as a total jerk. He denies a woman entry to his castle because she’s ugly and then is forced to pay for his faux-pas with his own looks. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is, thus, a story of redemption. He has to find the goodness within (to borrow the words of Luke Skywalker) to make himself whole again. The CW’s Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, is about a good guy who tries to do a really good thing and is screwed over. Vincent  volunteers to go to the Middle East after his brother dies, but is cursed with Beast-hood when a super soldier experiment goes awry. The enhanced adrenaline (or whatever) in his system makes him a killing machine and so he atones for it by saving people. Hmm, this sounds like a certain sparkly-skinned vampire… And that’s not a good thing. Where’s the drama? We’ve got enough tortured souls brooding over their existence. It would be far more interesting to see a completely unlikeable character find his humanity, to see him fight against something that’s not merely his Mr. Hyde, but an evil that’s actually a part of him, something he’s responsible for. I’m done with the Edward Cullens.

Does this precinct have the most attractive detectives in New York?
Being a modern woman, I was happy to see a pair of female detectives. When does that ever happen? And yet… a pair of female detectives? Both hot, petite, beautifully-coiffed women? Maybe it’s all the years of Law & Order, but I just don’t buy it. I’d like to see someone who actually looks like they can catch a bad guy.

Will Catherine write in her diary every episode?
I can only imagine that Elena’s journal from Vampire Diaries (which we basically never saw again after the pilot, thank heavens) has magically migrated to this show. Why, is the question. If it didn’t work on a show called The Vampire Diaries, it won’t work here.

Do you feel any spark between Catherine and Vincent?
Here’s the real problem: I could forgive almost anything as long as I felt a connection between the main characters, but here? Zip, zilch, zero, nada. Making moon eyes at one another isn’t the same as being in love.

Will you be watching next week? I think I’ll stick with the Disney movie.

Read more:
Fall TV Report Card: We Grade the Ads
‘Beauty and the Beast’ Comic-Con panel: Kristin Kreuk transitions from Lana Lang to a hard-boiled homicide detective
CW’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Watch Kristin Kreuk kick ass — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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