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|Index||57 reviews in total|
The brilliance of this series was its romance and its excellent early
stories. We could entirely believe that this could happen in New York --
except that any New Yorker would tell you that there are people far
than Vincent walking the streets. We were never told how he came to be as
he is, but it almost didn't matter. I don't think it was any accident that
he had such a feline appearance.
This series was so badly misunderstood and mishandled by its parent network that I am not surprised it lasted only two seasons. Season 3 wasn't even the same program in my book. CBS seemed terribly upset with the fact that its audience was almost entirely female. Was that why the body count of season 3 was higher than in a Bruce Willis movie?
The worst mistake CBS ever made was to let Linda Hamilton leave after two seasons. Had the network been intelligent enough, they could have talked her into a third season, ending it with the fairytale ending -- she kisses Vincent for real (something CBS was VERY afraid of, but the fans would have loved) and have him turn into a human prince. That would have given it the magical ending it deserved.
Can't tell you exactly why this series caught the imaginations of so many; it probably differs for each person. But this was a winner of a show in a style I've not seen since. It was fantasy, true enough, but it addressed many contemporary issues with a skill seldom seen in TV. The love story was believable, the acting was outstanding, and the minor characters were generally engaging. This was a show for romantics, and for those who believe in the power of love--not just between lovers, but between family and friends, and those whose love spills over into actions. Good fought evil in the grimy real world as well as in fantastic battles against shadowy adversaries. And for those of us who like to pretend that the unknown really is just around the corner--this was our show. Requiescat in pace.
I don't think there is any movie or series that made Linda look so beautifully stunning than in Beauty and the Beast. She was rendered simply beautiful and her acting was very reaching and touching. Ron Perlman was very masculine and ruggedly sexy under all that makeup. I am sure the two of them enjoyed themselves immensely because it translated through their performances to the viewer. I am only sorry that the series ended after only 3 seasons.
I found this show by accident one Friday night and became hooked
immediately. Here was an intelligent, well-acted program for adults. It
was not sexually explicit, nor gratuitously violent. It had something
most TV shows do not have: Romance.
Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman were absolutely perfect together as the beautiful lawyer who lives above and Ron Perlman as the "hideous" beast whose curse is that he is ugly on the outside and who never gets a chance to reveal his inner beauty until he saves Catherine. Knowing how tormented he was because of his deformities was heart-breaking and yet he blossomed as he and Catherine found real love.
Normally, I would be pleased when an actress leaves a show to spend time with her son, as Miss Hamilton did. I'm all for women staying home to be with their children over spending time at a carer; at risk of being hopelessly old-fashioned, I believe women with children should stay home to care for them. However, in this case, it was one of her worst decisions because her marriage to the father of this child fizzled. She later had a child and then married James Cameron of "Titanic" fame, only to lose him to a star of that overblown ocean-going vehicle. She did have success with the Terminator movies but those were nothing but Schwarzenegger fests. Meanwhile B&B also suffered because they just couldn't find a woman to replace Catherine. Diana just didn't have it.
The fact that the show lasted 3 seasons (2 with Miss Hamilton) is a testament to its quality. Of course, we can't have quality on TV - there's not enough T&A, violence, or out and out stupidity (think Jessica Simpson here). But for the 3 years this show was on, it was a real Friday night Feast. And I do thank Mr. Perlman and Miss Hamilton for the years they gave us and I thank Mr. Perlman for the CD of music and poetry from the show. It's still heart-wrenchingly beautiful to listen to Vincent as he narrates works by Matthew Arnold, e.e. cummings and, of course, the King of all poetry, plays and prose, Mr. William Shakespeare.
It would be a miracle if CBS were to air a "reunion" movie but I think there will be a tropical heat wave in the South Pole before that happens. Too bad - it sure beats the stupidity of such shows as The Newlyweds, starring the aforementioned Jessica Simpson, or Reality TV, American Idol and the other slime that passes for decent television. Meanwhile, I'll be content with VHS copies of B&B or I'll wait patiently until the DVDs come out.
When it became obvious that this series, which obviously aspired to be
the next Star Trek (not just a TV show but a cult, complete with
movies, action figures, conventions, t-shirts, books, calendars, etc.)
had die-hard fans but not enough of them to sustain the phenomenon, I
recall that CBS started running a little promotional blurb for it. The
blurb was not very well done, but in any case concluded with the
remark: "Are you ready for a different kind of passion?"
For good or ill, most people weren't. There's a lesson here, or several. I wish I knew what that message was. But here are some thoughts.
(1) We are told that the audience was heavily female. This is not at all surprising, since it's women who read what is called "romance", which its opponents call "mush": the lovers talking in flowery, quasi-religious language about their relationships; no development or change in the characters; and an absolute lack of humor. You find this sort of thing profound or silly, and in our society it seems the majority find it silly. Statistics suggest that significantly more women than men find it profound. This says something weird about our society, although (I repeat) I don't know exactly WHAT it says. That cheesy popular guru who writes about Mars and Venus appears not to know the half of it.
(2) On the other hand, a significant portion of our population likes "fantasy" (as opposed to "romance" in the narrow sense), as is proved by the popularity of the Lord of the Rings films. This series is just about the only unashamed fantasy (for adults) which TV seems to have produced with a mass audience in mind and without intending satire, a takeoff, or "camp." Which is, I suppose, why the promoters of this series thought they had a chance.
(3) I'm not a fan of what is called "romance" (few men are, as I've pointed out); in fact, the overly solemn Winter's Tale is the only Shakespeare play I don't like. And I don't especially like "fantasy", with a few exceptions. But I found this series strangely watchable, and others of my temperament have said the same. Few of the episodes had a plot worthy of the name, but it was often pleasant to hear Ron Perlman reciting poetry. The dialog had a kind of elegance to it, not at all common in TV, which I admit to enjoying. Sort of like enjoying opera, maybe. And Perlman (who from all accounts did take Beauty and the Beast very seriously) did a wonderful a job of acting, through all that getup.
(4) One fine day, Linda Hamilton decided she wasn't going to spend the rest of her life playing this goody-goody role, trying to breathe life into what she must have begun to see as rather bland and stilted dialog and a relationship which never changed or developed. I suppose it was at this point that the producers made a desperate effort to save the show by altering the whole thing to a dark, moody piece with suggestions of "The Shadow" or the "Dark Knight" side of Batman. And BANG, the last season was a totally different concept, in these terms: (a) there is violence and villainy, the nocturnal creep Gabriel, and in one episode Gabriel's Terminator-style henchman, all of which a lot of the original fans found disturbing; (b) Vincent and Catherine have a baby, which again grated on fans' nerves after they'd been hit over the head for two seasons with how platonic their relationship had been (c) bad symbolism, as when Diana the policewoman announces "This is Catherine Chandler's gun!" before shooting Gabriel in cold blood, as if Catherine had been the type who would have wanted revenge in any case; and so on.
So what is "A different kind of passion"? Well, for one thing, the platonic nature of the Vincent-Catherine relationship, which recalls such images as the knight who prefers to worship his lady chastely, from afar, rather than "defile" her. When women want their horny male companions to leave them alone, they say things like "Let's not ruin our friendship" and "You're making me uncomfortable." Well, maybe men should brood on that a little, and ask why so many female reviewers of this series are saying things like "Vincent is the greatest", "I'd love to have a man like Vincent", etc., and follow that up by asking what Vincent's got that we haven't. I'm serious. (A Don Juan could be defined as a jerk who PRETENDS to be "like Vincent" in order to control women, wouldn't you say?)
The last season, with its overthrow of many of the series' basic assumptions, shows how confused things can get when you wed a concept like Beauty and the Beast (which inherently caters to a niche audience) to TV (which inherently seeks a common denominator in its fans). The irony is that this show still has such a following. Not hard to understand, but ironic, that the fans of this series still hold their conventions, StarTrek style, and still hope for a movie. I wish them well.
And I hope that if someone who does figure out the significance of this series' failed attempt to "catch on" will be kind enough to enter a review at IMDb.
Indeed, maybe there's a good reason why Vincent and Catherine never kissed (leaving aside the last season, which doesn't count). What a drag it would be if the kiss turned him into a handsome prince! He would simply cease to be The Beast and would no longer concern us. Who would want Don Quixote without his delusions, or the Flying Dutchman with no curse on him? ... So here, at the end of my comments, we come at last to the beginning of the subject.
"Beauty and the Beast will be continued"? No kidding.
Ah Beauty and the Beast - just stringing those two beautiful words
is all I need to recall tunnels to mind. Tunnels and that other world,
world apart from Catherine's, and a world apart from mine. An Elysium
all fans of Beauty and the Beast would simply choose to reside if it
actually existed. Truly we would all opt to be helpers and especially so
it meant that anything we could advise would see that Vincent and
have their happy life.
Beauty and the Beast was for me the beginning of all my own dreams, as joining one of the British fan clubs associated with the show I began writing fan fiction and now after having written over 100 stories about my favourite characters I have gained the confidence and the experience to submit other work for publication and have also produced some children's books that are published in the USA.
I know my life has been enriched by Beauty and the Beast, the storylines and the whole concept of life beneath the New York City streets where love prevails is so beautiful and enchanting that I simply want to be there among the characters that I now view as among the very best friends that I have ever had. And it doesn't rest there, as the very directors and actors and actresses themselves that played the parts within Beauty and the Beast have also become good friends to all that have met them at B&B conventions and reunions not to mention the whole new family that has sprung up among the fans where just like the show we endeavour to be family - as one.
In short this show is everything that is good about human kind and it is desperately needed more now than ever before so that it might shape the future of the younger generation today just as it shaped the lives of the fans it has now - fourteen years after it went off air. So bring back Beauty and the Beast - nothing will ever come close.
I thought this television series was well done and family oriented.
Yes, it was overly romantic and may have been "sappy" to some viewers;
but that was a large part of its appeal then and still is today. I was
very surprised that this series was not on DVD.
It is probably better for family viewing than half the material that is out on DVD from a television series. If there are plans to release "Beauty and The Beast" on DVD, it should be released immediately and is long over due. I'm sure that there are many people out there who have forgotten about this series like myself, due to it not being shown on cable or satellite television in many viewing areas. Yet, we have not forgotten the wonderful exchanges between two (2) character's who had a romantic chemistry and truly grew to love each other; a love that our current society needs to find a lot more of.
If you here anything regarding the DVD collection please post info or drop me a line. Thank you.
There's a reason why "Beauty and the Beast" still holds a place in its legions of fans' hearts after all these years: it's a tender, earnest, lovely little series that celebrates a love that goes beyond shallow expectations. This isn't "The O.C.", where it's only a matter of time before the bland, attractive leads jump in the sack. "Beauty and the Beast" chronicles the unique, powerful love between plucky assistant attorney Catherine (Linda Hamilton) and Vincent (spellbinding Ron Perlman), a courageous, compassionate man-beast. Because they live in two different worlds (she in the bustling world "Above", he in the secret utopia of "Below"), they cannot have a real life together, but, as Catherine assures us in the opening credits, they "will never, ever be apart". Today's jaded viewers might scoff at the fact that Catherine and Vincent never go further than hugs and hand-holding in their relationship, but you know what? Catherine and Vincent express more joy, passion, respect and love in their very first embrace in the pilot episode than all the bed-hopping in the six seasons of "Dawson's Creek". Hamilton is appealing as Catherine, making her strong and vulnerable at the same time. Perlman is unforgettable as Vincent. Unhindered by the prosthetic make-up on his face, he expresses layers of complex emotions with just his eyes. He brings warmth, integrity, and, yes, beauty to a role that even Perlman himself has said is "too good to be real". He deservedly won and Emmy and a Golden Globe. "Beauty and the Beast" is now on DVD for all to discover or re-discover the most innocent, sincere love story ever on TV.
These negative comments gotta be from guys...
Now, from a woman's perspective- you can't get any better than Vincent. If you ever hope to understand or impress a woman,
you better start with Ron Perlman's Vincent. Watch it again,and study it carefully, cause any woman that's seen this movie (and the shows)is going to be comparing you to a perfectly romantic character that does the right thing and says the right thing ALL the time, every time. And no matter what your opinion of the movie is, you gotta' admit that's one tough act to follow.(If you can't admit it, you've missed the whole point.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved this show. I would love for the story to somehow continue. It's a fantasy, so why can't Catherine someway return. It's television, anything is possible with tele- vision. I'm all for Catherines return and for those who aren't, change the channel. I know that many people feel the same as I. No-one has come up with anything better since.
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