By Shalice Reilly
“Vincent: They told me I could be part of something great, make a difference. It was called Operation Murfield. They told us they were vitamins, antibiotics, steroids that would protect us.
Cat: What were they?
Vincent: Like I said, I should have asked questions. I think they were DNA. Heightened our strength, our reflexes, our senses.”
Sounds like the perfect setup for an old-school story tale love, right? Alright, maybe the approach of the CW Network’s Beauty and The Beast is a little different, however the main plot remains the same. Once upon a time there was a guy with deep-rooted issues that only falling in love with the right girl could fix. Jay Ryan plays Vincent Keller, the hide away war veteran who got caught up in a military science project gone wrong. Because of these experiments done by the secret division called Murfeild, any time Vincent’s adrenaline kicks in; he turns into a raging uncontrollable ‘Beast’.
So, beast down, where’s the beauty, right? Here comes in the story of Detective Cat Chandler, played by Kristin Kreuk. Cat’s story starts off with her working a late shift bartender position at a local bar, when her car battery dies and she needs a lift home. However, when her mom comes to pick her up, a car pulls up and men shoot and kill her mom right in front of her. Luckily, an anonymous beast from the nearby woods saves her. Cat thinks she’ll never see him again, until years later as a police detective in NY city, she runs into a case of a suspect’s DNA who should be dead. His name is Vincent Keller. Soon enough, they meet and begin their journey together, Vincent hiding from Murfield and trying to find an anecdote and Cat trying to track down her Mother’s murderers. Of course their story is slightly complicated by the Murfield killers, Vincent’s disagreeable roommate T.J. Forbes played by Austin Basis, Cat’s suspicious Police Partner, Nina Lisandrella as Tess Vargas, and Cat’s flirtatious work friend Max Brown as Evan Marks. With the help and challenges from all these people, the pair continues their adventures in the big apple.
Even with such a classic storyline, the modern day twists in the story’s set-up and script keep it’s audience enthralled and obsessed with finding out what will happen next. The setup has all the joys of an every day cop show with a little more of a mysterious and romantic twist.
What really bring the show to life are the actors involved. Kristin Kreuk really brings the role of Cat to life by being equal parts mysterious and flirty enough to be the perfect refined princess type role, while still kicking butt whenever need be. She takes down stereotypes of being the ‘sit on her butt and wait to be saved’ princess, and is still stunningly gorgeous enough to fit the role. By using wit in delivering her lines she makes even the parts that could potentially be so corny become dramatic and intense.
However, all the credit can’t go to the leading woman, when the leading man is doing his job pretty well too. Jay Ryan plays a serious and brewing man, fighting so hard against his own self. The audience will fall in love with this character because he manages to give you the feeling of wanting to push everyone he cares for away for their own good, only making you want to know him even better. One complaint many will notice right away is that Jay Ryan is far from beastly, however his ability to really rage it out when becoming the beast and putting his full effort and anger into his acting makes his beast beautiful yet deadly.
Considering what the actors are working with, however, portraying a single decent line becomes an accomplishment. To say it simply, writers Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper, have failed to bring any new quips to the show other than the classic “You look pretty good for a dead guy”…really? Don’t worry though, the acting makes up for the cheesy lines. If you’re a fan of Vampire Diaries (the audience this show is after) then you’ll remember that their script started out fairly shaky as well, and eventually progressed. We can all cross our fingers that Beauty and The Beast will make the same turn-around.
One aspect that will help this show survive is their fabulous cinematography. From the start, the show strayed from the soap opera looking cheap camera and used the cameras associated with most CW network shows. The lighting can always set the mood perfectly and the placement of subjects remains always in the rule of thirds, making each shot artsy. The shots have high quality focus and sharpness, and the colors make each shot artwork. One complaint this show can avoid is anything about their work with cameras.
Hopefully, the show will continue its exciting plot and the actors will keep up their high quality work. If only the writers could make a more creative script, then this show is sure to be a hit. Until then, its viewers will have to persevere through the corny lines to see what will happen next in this dramatic and romantic twist to a ‘tale as old as time’.
Image by: Courtesy of CW Network