Beauty and the Beast Season 1 Review “Proceed with Caution” – More of the Same, Now with Added Ballet

I think we should thank the folks behind Beauty and the Beast for calling this issue ‘Proceed with Caution’, because that’s exactly what viewers should do. Episode two brought more of the same stuff that we saw in the pilot, albeit with a touch more angst and a random, pointless sister thrown in. The dialogue was better though, so there’s that.

The problem with Beauty and the Beast is that it’s like an amalgamation of things that are currently popular: detective shows, conspiracy theories, Twilight-esque twisted romances, and the Hulk. Okay, so maybe the Hulk isn’t at the height of his popularity right now, but you can’t tell me that beastly Vincent didn’t look like the Hulk in that very brief glimpse.

The two of those things at the fore are mystery and romance. They can go together well, and have done in many other shows, but in Beauty and the Beast it feels forced. This is only episode two, but in an episodic drama like this, the second episode is the first chance a series has to show us what the game plan is. How does Vincent fit into Cat’s life? Well, he doesn’t really. He says he doesn’t know anything about the factors contributing to her mother’s death, and if this is true, and if he doesn’t change his mind soon about actively going after the Muirfield project folk, then he’s temporarily served his purpose.

And he’s absolutely pointless in Cat’s cases. This week he knew the understudy was lying about something. Well, big woohoo there, Vincent. Cat and her partner (whose name I still haven’t managed to remember, probably because I find her completely unmemorable) are supposed to be good cops; surely they would have questioned the understudy further later on and picked up on something then.

If this was a straight up detective show, it could have potential. I’m no fan of Kristin Kreuk, but she mostly holds her own here (with the exception of those voiceovers; she’s horrible at them), there are one or two other good characters thrown in (Max Brown’s Evan may be smarmy, but he’s interesting and kind of fun), and this week’s case may not have been the most compelling, but it’s no worse than a mediocre episode of CSI.

The only thing about this show that’s really working for me so far is Vincent and Cat’s interactions. Take away her obsession with her mom’s death and his tendency to follow her around like a stalker (and isn’t it ironic that she notices the janitor is stalker material, but not Vincent), and they have great chemistry. If this was a straight up romantic drama, well, it would probably be pants, but at least their chemistry would be the main reason for the show. Here it feels like an afterthought, tossed into the main body of the show to tick a few boxes.

There’s also this little issue: “You’ve seen me when I don’t want anyone to see me, and you still haven’t run.” Inside the show, this works. Cat has seen Vincent in his beast form and she hasn’t been scared off, which means there’s potential for an amiable relationship at the very least. But we, the viewer, haven’t seen Vincent’s true beastly form, and so we can’t fully understand the impact behind his words. Granted, I said he looks like the Hulk, but that was briefly and in soft focus. Last week, in dim lighting, he looked vaguely Grinch-like for a second. But we haven’t gotten a good look at the beast, and so we can’t see exactly what there is to be scared of. Mostly we just see him as a really good looking guy who just happens to have a facial scar. This is a problem; we need to see the Beast.

I have to stick with what I said about Beauty and the Beast last week: it’s not completely terrible, but it’s not great either. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not particularly compelling fare. It might get better as the mystery progresses, or if we get a main antagonist instead of random people trying to kill Cat, but we’ll just have to wait and see, dear readers.

What did you think of ‘Proceed with Caution’? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Jenner

    I liked it. I love shows like this. I do agree with you on that we need to see the true beast. I just wonder how long it’s going to take them to get together.  

  • DKGirl

    liked the first episode but hesitant to get hooked on it.  The CW will probably just cancel it like they did Secret Circle :(

  • Helen Glancy

    Loved it will keep watching :)

  • CigarDad

    Did not like it. Did not flow well and story was not compelling like Once Upon A Time or Grimm.  i normally like supernatural shows but I think I will stop DVRing it until I hear better reviews.

  • Whitephoenix9

    I felt like the second episode was a great improvement on the pilot.  It seemed to me that KK is settling more into the role of a cop – becoming more believable.  Dialogue was definitely better.  Jay Ryan’s voice is captivating in its own way – which I’m sure was a consideration upon casting him, keeping with Ron Perlman’s portrayal of Vincent.  I’m thinking back to the premiere of “The Vampire Diaries” – I wasn’t sure I would continue after the first four episodes, but then was suddenly drawn in.  The writing on TVD seemed to improve with time, as well. 

    I have high hopes for Beauty and the Beast, having been a huge fan of the original series.  I’ve appreciated all the nods to the original so far (the lion statue in the background of Vincent’s ‘lair’, Vincent and JT’s chess game, the “Arabesque” reference in the 2nd episode, etc.).  And, having Vincent Keller be a doctor is no accident – in the pilot of the original series, Father tells Vincent he has the soul of a doctor.  I’m excited to see what other aspects of the original series will be incorporated.  The idea of bringing the old-fashioned, hand written letter into the picture again is also enticing.  There is NONE of that on TV at present.  Yes, BATB is an amalgamation of a lot of popular themes, but seriously – what show isn’t? 
     

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