REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 4

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)
Michael Roark (Sleepy Hollow)

Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Andrew Stewart-Jones (Gotham)
Amanda Setton (The Crazy Ones)
Ted Whittall (Smallville)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Karen Cliche (M<utant X)
Marc Singer (V)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Anastasia Barzee (Seven Seconds)
Fulvio Cecere (Dark Angel)
Carlo Rota (Saw V)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)Back in the eighties a TV series took viewers by surprise, the story of a young woman, an assistant DA, who by chance met a part man, part beast member of an underground network of people named Vincent. This paring was known as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and introduced the world to Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman who had both been in other films but found themselves more well-known after this series. The way things are today it was only a matter of time before that series was recreated.Kristin Kreuk, Nina Lisandrello, Jay Ryan, and Amanda Setton in Beauty and the Beast (2012)This time around Kristin Kreuk stars as Catherine Chandler, a determined police detective who encounters an ex-GI and doctor named Vincent who has a secret to hide. When a child Catherine’s mother was killed in front of her by a group of men who were never identified. She was saved that night by a mysterious stranger, a manically violent man-beast who she never really quite saw.Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)Of course that mysterious stranger was Vincent and he’s made it his job to watch over and protect Catherine from the shadows. The reason he does so is that he knows who was behind the death of her mother. Vincent was part of a secret government project that turned its volunteers into what he has become and her mother was involved in that project. Now he’s on the run from this secret government organization, in hiding with the help of one friend. That friend base increases when he finally meets Catherine face to face.Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)Now in on what was going on, Catherine continues her day job while still looking into the death of her mother. She and Vincent become closer as he helps her when he can, even after telling her to stay away. This inevitably results in that organization finding Vincent and the ensuing problems that follow. And that’s just in the first season! The series ran for 4 years to popular acclaim, winning more than its share of awards. Not an easy feat since it appeared on the CW Network. That worked in its favor and also added a needed boost to CW as well. The changing story found the couple meeting and eventually the romance soon followed which only added to the popularity of the show. It was the same formula used in the initial series but this time felt a bit more normal as Vincent no longer had the constant appearance of the beast.Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)The series works on a number of levels, as a police procedural first off. Shows like this need their own twist to separate them from the pack and the aid of a super powered ally was handy. It also works as a conspiracy styled thriller with a hidden organization with its own agenda at play. And it worked as a romance. If not the show wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did nor would it have drawn in the female viewers that helped push it over the top.

 

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REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Zach Appelman (Sleepy Hollow)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Emily Swallow (Supernatural)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Khaira Ledeyo (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Brennan Brown (Focus)
Jason Gedrick (Major Crimes)
Ted whittall (Suicide Squad)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)Season three opens with Cat and Vincent now living a seemingly idyllic life together in New York, after the traumatic events of Season 2, when Vincent was being hunted both by the NYPD for murder and then by Cat’s deranged ex-boyfriend, Gabe. Cat has been re-instated in her role of detective and Vincent has had his medical licence returned to him so he can begin, at last, to earn a living after living off the grid for more than 10 years.Beauty and the Beast (2012)He is happy with where they stand and, due to the lack of clouds on the horizon, has wedding bells on his mind. Cat meanwhile has been secretly meeting with agents from Homeland Security, who want to recruit both her and Vincent to help them deal with a new kind of threat. Someone has been experimenting on innocent New Yorkers, enabling them to do incredible things but also putting them and the general population at risk. Cat feels it’s her and Vincent’s responsibility to get to the bottom of the mystery and stop the experimentation. But that will put both their lives in danger, again, and threaten the normal future they have craved for so long.Beauty and the Beast (2012)This season focuses on the struggles of our beloved couple to take their relationship to the next level, in the midst of these new threats. The performances of Kristin Kreuk as Catherine Chandler and Jay Ryan as Dr. Vincent Keller are excellent as usual and they are well supported by the rest of the ensemble cast: Nina Lisandrello as Tess Vargas, Cat’s former partner and now her boss and Austin Basis as Vincent’s best friend J.T. Forbes. Cat’s sister Heather, played by Nicole Gale Anderson, makes a welcome return and provides some much appreciated lighter moments in what can be a dark and brooding story. There are also some great guest stars this season with Natasha Henstridge and Alan Strang playing Bob and Carol, an enhanced super-couple who cause all manner of problems for our Vincat, and Jason Gedrick, playing the role of the terrifyingly calm, super-bad Liam.Thankfully, there are no love triangles in this season and the chemistry between the two main actors remains strong. Even when they are arguing, they are still exceptionally cute together and the mutual respect they have for each other shines through. Enjoy the ride as Cat and Vincent negotiate, engagement, co-habitation and co-dependency on their journey to become Dr. & Mrs. Keller. Do they finally tie the knot? You’ll have to buy the DVD and find out for yourselves.All in all, essential viewing for any BATB fan and a series that once watched leaves you wanting more. Shame we only have one more season of this show to look forward to.

REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes)
Amber Skye Noyes (The Deuce)

Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brian Tee (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows)
Ted Whittall (Smallville)
David de Lautour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Riley Smith (Eight Legged Freaks)
Elisabeth Rohm (Joy)
Ian Bohen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Michael Filipowich (Earth: Final ConflicT)
Tom Everett Scott (Scream: The Series)
Colm Feore (Gotham)
Brennan Brown (Focus)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Clé Bennett (Jigsaw)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Anthony Ruivivar (Tropic Thunder)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)

 

Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)Vincent was captured by Muirfield, an underground government organization that has been hunting him, in the previous season finale. Cat, the woman who he has fallen in love with and who accepts what he has been changed into by Muirfield, will do anything to find him. This season, their love faces more challenges than ever before.Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)During the season, Vincent and Cat briefly break up with each other, due to Vincent having changed so much because of Muirfield wiping his memory. Cat starts a relationship with Gabe, a previous beast, now turned ally, while Vincent starts to date Tori, a wealthy socialite who has discovered that she is also a Beast. Eventually, after regaining his memories and Tori’s death during the season, Vincent realizes that he is still in love with Cat and tries to win her back, but she rejects his advances. However, slowly she starts to realize that she still loves him and they both get back together nearthe end of the season.Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)

However, Gabe does not take the break up very well and starts to become obsessed with hunting down Vincent, by framing him for murder. He tries to hide his jealousy by claiming Vincent is dangerous, and he is only trying to protect Cat, while at the same time trying to win her back. However, he becomes more dangerous, as he suspends both Cat and Tess from the police force, becomes more ruthless and even goes so far as to kidnapping Cat’s sister Heather, who then later learns Vincent’s secret. However things become much worse after Gabe becomes a Beast again and starts killing those closest to Cat and Vincent. A final showdown will come between them finally ending the feud once and for all which could possibly end Vincent’s life.Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)Wow! So much happens in this season. The special effects are amazing and the plot is really exciting. I was expecting another cliff-hanger ending but this season actually ends really nicely: open-ended but still ties up all the major story lines.

REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Max Brown (Agent Carter)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes)

Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Yannick Bisson (Mutant X)
Britt Irvin (Big Eyes)
Khaira Ledeyo (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Peter Outerbridge (Lucky Number Sleven)
Rob Stewart (Painkiller Jane)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)
Luke Macfarlane (Killjoys)
Elizabeth Blackmore (The Vampire Diaries)
Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal)
Mädchen Amick (Twin Peaks)
Alex Carter (Out of Time)
Jenn Proske (Vampires Suck)
Kelly Overton (Van Helsing)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Rachel Skarsten (Reign)
Hal Ozsan (Jessica Jones)
Bianca Lawson (Buffy: TVS)
Rena Sofer (Traffic)
Bridget Regan (Agent Carter)
Luke Roberts (Black Sails)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
William deVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Ed Gathegi (X-Men: First Class)
Steve Lund (Bitten)
Shantel VanSanten (The Flash)
Ted Whittall (Smallville)

Beauty and the Beast is a remake of the 1987 series of the same name. That show starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman and while it only lasted three seasons  it developed a very loyal fan base. This remake was not greeted with a lot of critical praise.The show begins in 2003 with Kristin Kreuk as Catherine Chandler. She works at a bar while preparing for her LSAT. She’s asked to close the bar, but when she tries to leave, her car won’t start, so she calls her mom. However, after her mom gets there, they are approached by two men. Her mother tells her to get in the car, but before she can, the men shoot her mother, so Cat runs into the woods. She doesn’t get too far before she trips and smacks her head. It looks like she will be killed, but then something attacks the two men and kills them. She can’t tell what it is, because of her concussion, but she thinks it is some kind of beast.Nine years later, Cat is a detective with the NYPD and while her mother’s murder hasn’t been solved yet, she’s mostly put it past her. However, that changes when there’s a new case she and her partner, Tess Vargas, are working on. There’s two main clues, a fingerprint and some DNA evidence. The DNA evidence is curious, as it points to mixed species. This is exactly what happened nine years ago with her mother’s murder. The finger print belongs to Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan years ago. While trying to find information on Vincent, she tracks down his old roommate, J.T. Forbes, and suspects he’s hiding something. She’s right, he’s hiding Vincent. Vincent underwent a super-soldier program in the military, but there were side effects. When angry, he transformers into a beast. He faked his death and is in hiding, because everyone else who underwent the procedure is dead. The company, Muirfield, killed everyone to cover their tracks, and they are willing to kill again to keep their secret. However, they didn’t count on Cat and Vincent teaming up to uncover what they covered up.Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)As I was watching the first season of Beauty and the Beast, It was slow at first, as the show was trying to find it’s feet, wth introduction of Sendhil Ramamurthy near the end of the season it did pick up.The cliffhanger does leave you clammering for more and thankfully this show did continue for another 3 seasons.

REVIEW: BEASTLY

CAST

Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four)
Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless)
Mary-Kate Olsen (Full House)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
LisaGay Hamilton (12 Monkeys)
Peter Krause (The Truman Show)
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Erik Knudsen (Scream 4)
Regina King (The Big Bang Theory)

Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in Beastly (2011)Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) is the arrogant and vain son of news anchor Rob Kingson (Peter Krause). Kyle bullies Kendra Hilferty (Mary-Kate Olsen), not knowing she is a witch; she transforms him into a hairless, scarred, heavily-tattooed shell of his former self. If Kyle does not find someone who loves him by the next spring he will stay altered permanently. Kyle is taken to live in a private house with their maid Zola Davies (LisaGay Hamilton) and the blind tutor Will (Neil Patrick Harris). Both are comforts to Kyle when his father, unable to deal with his transformation, has abandoned him.Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in Beastly (2011)As spring nears, Kyle finds himself infatuated with Lindy Taylor (Vanessa Hudgens), a former classmate he had avoided. He rescues her drug-addicted father from two dealers, shooting one; the other vows to kill Lindy. Kyle persuades Lindy’s father to allow her to move in with him. At first, Kyle uses a false identity, refuses to see Lindy, and hides from her, which angers her to the point that she stops speaking to him. Kyle eventually reveals his face and the two begin to warm up to each other. Kyle writes a letter professing his love for Lindy but does not give it to her for fear of rejection. He visits Kendra to plead for more time; she refuses, but agrees to restore Will’s vision and grant green cards to Zola’s three children in Jamaica if he gets Lindy to fall in love with him.Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in Beastly (2011)The surviving drug dealer lands in jail. Kyle and Lindy visit Lindy’s hospitalized father. He gives her the letter but regrets it when she tells him she considers him a good friend. Lindy calls him after reading the letter, but a heartbroken Kyle does not answer the phone. Persuaded by Will and Zola, Kyle goes to meet Lindy one last time before she leaves on a school trip to Machu Picchu. Kyle tells her to go, but as she leaves, Lindy tells him that she loves him, breaking the curse. Kyle’s former self is restored but Lindy does not recognize him and tries to call Hunter but Kyle’s phone rings instead. When Lindy realizes what happened, the two share a passionate kiss on the side of the street. After the curse is lifted Will wakes up with the ability to see, and Zola receives the green cards. Kendra approaches Rob Kingson’s office as a new intern, implying that she will test Rob like she did Kyle.Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in Beastly (2011)Beastly is a modern fairytale of “Beauty and the Beast.” I have not read the book, but there is no need. This movie definitely did it justice. If you enjoy the fairy tale then this is a must see to see the story told in the modern time.

 

REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1987) – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Roy Dotirce (Game of Thrones)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jo Anderson (Roswell)

2

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Mitchell Laurance (Cop Rock)
Kenneth Kimmins (Lois & Clark)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)
Bill Calvert (Spider-Man)
David Greenlee (Fame)
Stanley Kamel (Domino)
Patrick St. Esprit (Green Zone)
Lance Henriksen (The Terminator)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: TVS)
Suzie Plakson (Disclosure)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Fionnula Flanagan (Lost)
Jeff Corey (Little Big man)
John Pleshette (Rocky II)

26aefdfe75e396171a91adf55d86b177The 3rd season of Beauty and the Beast definitely takes the series in a very different direction. As the new opening reveals, once Vincent gets past Catherine’s murder he will dedicate his life to avenging injustice – in other words, he has been recast here as a sort of beastly Batman, searching the skies for the Beast Signal which will let him know that his services are needed. Much of the first five or six episodes are focused more on the gritty world Above than on Vincent’s world in the tunnels – the photography is very different, with a sharper, darker overcast (much of the warmth associated with the tunnel worlds is lost). Additionally, character inconsistencies (especially with Roy Dotrice’s “Father”) undermine the overall fabric of the story for those of us who followed it closely the first two seasons. This is a much more violent show now, and it’s much more “black and white.” The new villain, Gabriel, who dominates many of the episodes, is simply evil personified – there is no development of his character, no understanding of his motivations. He is simply evil, and Vincent becomes the force of good which will win in the end. Gabriel is Paracelsus without the poetry, without the history that made his demonic persona work. There was always a hint with Paracelsus that what he really wanted was to be part of the tunnel community again, but he just couldn’t figure out a way to do it. The only thing we know about Gabriel is that he’s a monster.screen-shot-2011-12-30-at-7-38-41-pm.pngCatherine’s death itself is not what changed this series – actually, Diana’s character could very easily have become a new “Beauty” for Vincent, had the relationship been given a chance to develop. The problem is the new tone, the darker perspective, the shift away from the tunnel community that had dominated the second season, and the fans’ resistance to anything that even suggested that Vincent could move beyond his bond with Catherine and love another woman. The message of the first two seasons is clearly the power of love to conquer hate and fear; this would imply that Catherine’s love for Vincent should enable him to love again – after all, that’s what he always told her about the nature of love. Here, in Season Three, Vincent’s grief is palpable, and Ron Perlman does an amazing job demonstrating what it is to feel loss. But there are subtle moments between him and Diana that are hopeful and beautiful – and I, as a fan of the series, find solace in such hope.1202175761_1While watching the first episode (Though Lovers be Lost) is not easy, know that there are things beyond it of great value. Elliot Burch’s character, especially, is given both a chance to redeem himself and chance to give Catherine a beautiful gift. Diana becomes a fascinating and original character whose own connection to Vincent is believable and real – she is not Catherine, but rather an independent and introspective woman who may have much more in common with Vincent spiritually than Catherine ever did. It would be so easy to see Diana becoming a part of Vincent’s world. So, suffer through the difficult death and grieving scenes, be prepared for the shift in focus, but enjoy the new stories being told here about Vincent and the two worlds in which he lives. Yes, it’s flawed – but there is still enough beauty to justify a return visit.

REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1987) – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Roy Dotirce (Game of Thrones)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)

26aefdfe75e396171a91adf55d86b177

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

David Greenlee (Fame)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: TVS)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Joseph Campanella (Hangar 18)
Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Katy Boyer (The Island)
Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)
Bill Calvert (Spider-Man)
Cyd Strittmatter (Gone Girl)
Bruce Abbott (The Net)
Remy Ryan (Robocop 3)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
John McMartin (No Reservations)
Elyssa Davalos (MacGyver (
Kelli Williams (Lie To Me)
Rosemary Dunsmore (Orphan Black)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Gary Hudson (Road House)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)

26aefdfe75e396171a91adf55d86b177Though set in the late-1980s, Beauty and the Beast plays like something from another era. There’s no irony, cynicism, or hip quips to break the spell of the fantasy (though a little humor would’ve been nice). Catherine (Linda Hamilton) loves the beastly, if beneficent Vincent (Ron Perlman) with all her heart–and vice versa. Together, they’re TV’s most soft-hearted crime fighters. To the show’s credit, however, they aren’t infallible, and there are a few problems they’re unable to solve, whether the issue is drug addiction (“Chamber Music”), infectious disease (“Ashes, Ashes” with Highlander‘s Adrian Paul), or murder (“The Hollow Men”).

2In retrospect, it’s clear that Beauty and the Beast was a reaction to the “greed is good” era. Vincent and his cave-dwelling compatriots represent a more compassionate alternative to “topsider” corruption. Yet all is not harmonious below either. Seriously injured the previous year, Paracelsus (Tony Jay) becomes a Phantom of the Opera-type figure, who aims to destroy Vincent’s candle-lit utopia. In addition, a less civilized group of outcasts arrives in “The Outsiders.” Fortunately, Vincent has Father (Roy Dotrice), Mary (Ellen Geer), Mouse (David Greenlee), and Pascal (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Armin Shimerman) on his side.maxresdefaultUnfortunately, they won’t be able to prevent the tragedy that occurs in “The Rest Is Silence.” Suffice to say, the season finale sets the scene for a new direction (more is revealed in the third-season opener). Consequently, Beauty and the Beast was canceled the following year, but still managed to rack up 18 Emmy nominations (winning six), spawning a soundtrack, and even inspiring some Saturday Night Live spoofing–a sure sign it had struck a chord. While the first season was devoid of extras, Perlman and Hamilton introduce six key episodes on this set..2Being a big B&B fan, I can find no wrong with this Season 2. Loved every episode. This entire series has so much soul, that you will dwell on each episode long after they are over. Can’t go wrong with this one.