CW Rebooting 1980s Fantasy/Romance ‘Beauty and the Beast’ — Why?

by on December 6th, 2014
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COMMENTARY | According to Deadline Hollywood, the CW network is ordering a number of pilots for possible episodic TV series for next fall. One of them is a rebooting or revival of the 1980s era romantic fantasy, “Beauty and the Beast.”

This proves that Hollywood not only does not have any new ideas, but sometimes the old ones they mine for new material are just awful.

The premise of the original series, which lasted from 1987 to 1990, was original to say the least. It concerned the love story of one Catherine Chandler, played by Linda Hamilton, and a beast-man named Vincent who lived in the New York underground, played by Ron Pearlman. Catherine was a prosecutor for the New York District Attorney’s office, thus allowing for some crime oriented story lines. Vincent, who resembled a lion on two legs, was the protector of a society of misfits and cast offs who lived in the abandoned sewers of New York. The society was ruled over by a benevolent dictator called “Father” played by Roy Dotrice.

The execution of the premise left much to be desired, especially if one was of the male gender. The dialogue, the lush music, and the endless smoldering looks were enough to give Barbara Cartland a severe case of diabetes. Vincent, though he had the strength of a monster and sometimes the fury thereof, had the soul of a poet. The latter was proven endlessly as he quoted Shakespeare and the 19th Century romantics.

The contrivance of the series was that since Vincent was obviously of a species other than human and since Catherine had responsibilities above ground, catching criminals, they could never be together. This was supposed to create the romantic tension, at least for anyone without the capacity to think things through. One could have arranged endless romantic trysts in the your place or mine fashion while one tried to figure out the long term.

On the other hand, Vincent, in full passion, may just be too dangerous for a frail human to mate with. This was not well covered in the show.

It is little wonder that one regards the prospect of the return of Vincent and Catherine for this century with trepidation. Maybe the reboot will be better than the original. History gives one reason to doubt. But one can hope.

Sources: The CW Gives Pilot Orders To ‘Arrow’, ‘The Carrie Diaries’ & ‘Beauty And The Beast’, Nellie Andreeva, Deadline Hollywood, Jan 18, 2011

Beauty and the Beast, TV.Rage

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