Beauty and the Beast
Episode 6: Worth
By: Carlos Uribe
Beauty and the Best is a remake of a show from the eighties with the same name and it's about a female human who falls in love with a male beast.
It makes perfect sense that the final episode of Beauty and the Beast that I'm going to review is called “Worth”. Why does this make sense? In a way, this review is gauging the worth of this show. All I can state is that this show is found lacking in value. Why? This is because the show simply has too many flaws to be a consistently entertaining piece of television. This episode is actually a pretty good example of that. This review will cover the episode but it's also going to cover why exactly the show has failed. Let's start with...
- The World of Beauty and the Beast
The original series had an entire underground of mutants. This allowed the show to have a complete society underneath New York City. It was able to therefore build a show around this world. This version of Beauty and the Beast has set it up so that the only mutant is Vincent Keller. He was part of a military experiment but every other supersoldier was wiped out by the government. This leaves Vincent as the only mutant on the show. JT is his best and only friend. Why is this a failing of the show? Think of any genre show that has a procedural aspect: Grimm, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Fringe, Supernatural, and The X-Files. What do all of these shows have in common? They all set up a world where the weekly cases are all connected somehow to the show's unigue premise. Buffy and Angel hunt vampires, Fringe and the X-files solves weird science cases, and Supernatural hunts beings. The show with the most similarity to Beauty and the Beast is Grimm. That show has a cop who solves cases. The difference between the two shows is made immediate in their procedural element. In Grimm, each case involves creatures of some kind. In Beauty and the Beast, each weekly case is on that could be on any other show.
That is a catastrophic problem with Beauty and the Beast. The weekly cases are something that could easily be done by the Mentalist, CSI, NCIS, and Castle. Those shows are rooted in reality. You'd expect those kind of shows to have normal weekly cases. Beauty and the Beast is a love story between a mutant and a cop. This is supposed to be more of a science fiction show but all of the weekly cases are normal. That makes them boring and it doesn't allow Beauty and the Beast to really pull off it's own perspective on the cases. Grimm is able to do this because it can use it's creatures to change the meaning of what we see. Beauty and the Beast can't do that. Whenever Catherine is solving a crime, she's like any ordinary New York City cop. She solves normal cases. This makes it difficult for the show to find ways for Vincent to solve the case. His contribution to this episode is to look at the same paintings Catherine and her partner had looked at earlier and deduce the painter was in love with the subject. It just makes Catherine and the partner look completely incompetent and it actually does less to justify his presence. This means that Vincent isn't able to contribute to half of the show and he's the titular beast. To summarize: the weekly cases are dull because they're too normal while a titular character is forced into one half of the show.
- It Explained the Beast
There is explaining what a character is and then there's giving such a rooted justification for what he is that the show looses any fantastical element that it's supposed to have. There is simply no mystery in this show. The show invented some conspiracy government group to try and subsitute that mystery but the group is so in the government that it simply can't. Vincent is now suffering blackouts but they'll probably be explained in full as well. What I'm trying to state here is that the original Beauty and the Beast was a fantasy for a reason. It didn't just create a whole underground society but it left the beast's state a mystery. This is a modern show so it makes sense that the series would try to have some explanation for the Beast but it simply did it too much. This complaint is really that Beauty and the Beast seems like it's written by people who don't like science fiction or fantasy or who simply don't get it.
The big government conspiracy that is supposed to threaten Vincent so much that he lives in hiding. What's wrong with it other than being a boring vanilla conspiracy? It really isn't that much of a threat. Vincent is able to beat them easily and they can't find him. Cat was easily able to track down his lair after a few hours of searching for him but this government agency can't. For an all-powerful government agency, it sure has very little actual power. This is all supposed to say that this boilerpate conspiracy has completely failed at being threatening. The fact that it's completely disappeared from the show helps to make it less of a threat ot the characters. There is no sense that the conspiracy might find them at any time and that's a major problem when it's this conspiracy that drove Vincent underground.
Worth is an example of these three complaints. The first leads to a totally dull case that involves paintings and a high-end escort service. The second has the episode trying to make us wonder why Vincent is blacking out. It is indeed a mystery but it's something that any other character could be facing because the beast was explained a little too well. There is nothing we don't know about it and therefore the black outs don't work as well as they should. Finally, there is no Murfield. There is a lot of personal drama that the show seems to think people care about.
Beauty and the Beast is a show that has genre roots but it has completely and utterly tried it's best to get away from them. This has resulted in a cop show with only a hint of science fiction elements. This creates a show that ultimately can't make itself distinctive itself to be unigue nor well-written enough to be entertaining. If Beauty and the Beast had been able to accept that it was a science fiction or fantasy show then the weekly cases might have been more interesting. Whatever the case, Beauty and the Beast hasn't gotten any better. It has merely floundered.