Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Look: Beauty and the Beast

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Back at Comic-Con, the Beauty and the Beast panel showed the pilot in its entirety as well as gave the attendees a chance to talk to the stars and producers. I was actually impressed... as I wasn't expecting to enjoy the series at all. Well, they managed to lure me in just a little bit, though I was sick and tired of the cheesy Manhattan shots by the time the pilot was over! Viewing that first episode so early can be a bad thing, as sometimes (significant) changes are made before it airs on broadcast television. But, we're going to go ahead and give a recap and remark upon that first episode, as it was screened at Comic-Con 2012 in July. We'll be doing the same for three other shows, so stay tuned if you're one who likes to find out the good stuff a little early! Let's take a look at some discussion from the panel (executive producers Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper joined stars Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk), then get into the pilot itself.

- Kristin was wooed into joining through the use of cupcakes. Jennifer Levin joked that Kristin is "so easy!"
- The pilot is quite dark compared to the rest of the series. This kinda left me speechless... I didn't consider it that dark... at all. [after you see it or read the below, let me know what you thought!]
- There might be others like Beast out there.
- Kristin is not drawing inspiration from the original series, but she's only seen a little of that series anyway.
Photo: Jonathan Bredemeyer
My final thought as the talent exited the stage was along the lines of "why are all of the questions for Kristin when everyone was swooning over Ryan?" but I guess Kristin is just more well-known (Smallville and all!).

Beauty and the Beast
"Pilot" (S01E01) Back in 2003, Catherine (Cat) was leaving a bar when her car wouldn't start (she left the vanity mirror open). [of all the reasons to have a dead battery...] Her mother comes to her rescue, but an unknown car pulls up, and they run into the nearby forest. The guys (who had been tracking her mother for a while) follow them, pull out a gun, and fatally wound Cat's mother. [death in the first few minutes of a series... not uncommon anymore, but gives a very different mood...] The beast then comes out of nowhere to fight off the men, and nobody believes Catherine when she tells the story, as she had a concussion as well as suspected PTSD. [not a huge fan of this being the opening scene... I don't think that a flashback would have been better, but I wonder how the general public will enjoy this as the introduction...]

Nine years later, Cat has become a detective who has never stopped trying to solve her mother's case. Her father is engaged and she's unlucky in love. [not sure how I felt about seeing her tattle on a guy who dumps her.] That's the bulk of our background before we dive into the case. [which we're told later won't be "of the week" style... I'll believe that when I see it!] The body of Ashley Webster, a magazine editor, was found in the bathroom of a 5-star hotel where she wasn't a guest. Fingerprints point to military man Dr. Vincent Keller, who has been dead for ten years. [okay, cue to spooky. you know that this is designed to make you intrigued as to how this is possible!] He has no living family members (brother died in 9/11), so Cat and her partner, Tess, go to his former colleagues and then to his old roommate, JT, a chemistry researcher/biochemistry instructor. Well, as you probably guessed, Vincent/Beast is actually alive and lives there secretly, though Cat and Tess don't know this yet. See, he was reported as dead because the military tried to kill him... and everyone else who participated in an experiment-gone-wrong. [well, since everyone loves X-Men, you might as well bring in something similar, sure...]

Cat and Tess interview the husband of the victim, who was at a fundraiser during the crime. He points them toward Ashley's assistant, Emily, but Cat has picked up on the fact that the same car at JT's place is also near the hotel, so she returns to the warehouse with a warrant. [the beast goes out and about in a car?? what if gets pulled over?] When nobody answers, she goes inside and finds Vincent. Turns out, he saw the victim was hurt and wanted to resuscitate her - she had been poisoned with lethal doses of nicotine (which, apparently, takes 2-4 hours to absorb through the skin). When she notices the article about her mother's death, she is caught off-guard, but doesn't have time to deal with that because NYPD shows up, and she claims the place is empty. [the decision to have so much revelation take place in the first episode of the series surprises me... I guess they figure that the audience doesn't like it when they know more than the characters?]

At Ashley's autopsy, a hair with cross-species DNA is found and reported to Cat, who takes an extreme interest in the object but not the guy performing the autopsy (who asks her out). [okay, setting up the triangle, got it.] She meets up with Agent McCleary to find out more, but he doesn't want her to know anything, and he and some sidekicks attempt to kill her at a subway station. Luckily, Vincent shows up and kills two of the three attackers, then saves Cat from being run over by an oncoming train. She loses her phone in the shuffle, but it's returned to her the next day. [I'm guessing that this will become a bigger deal later, because it sure seemed useless here!] In the meantime, however, Vincent brings her back to his place to talk. [JT was NOT thrilled to find out!] He explains how his DNA was changed to make him stronger, faster, and possess heightened reflexes and senses. But, whenever his adrenaline kicks in, he becomes a monster, which is why everyone in this project was supposed to be "eradicated." [holy crow. ANOTHER shot of Manhattan??!?] In the morning, Vincent tells Cat that she can't come back - it's too dangerous for both of them for her to pursue this. [you and I both know that this is a useless plea.] When Cat gets to work, there are some military higher-ups there to pick up the bodies which were recovered from the subway.
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW
But, let's get back to the case... Cat and Tess talk to the beauty editor at the magazine and check out the "beauty closet" from which the employees could borrow items. Later, they look through Ashley's old office and find a box of pregnancy tests with two missing. There's also a missing "color wand," which may have been what was poisoned. They're still looking for the culprit, though. A test of bed bugs shows that Ashley's husband has been with multiple women, and after talking to all of them, the detectives believe that there was a severe pre-nup in place between Ashley and Alex. [when someone manages to cheat on another person with SEVERAL other people, I'm always kinda surprised... just how much free time do you HAVE??] BUT, it turns out that he made that up... and things start to unravel. Emily checked-out the color wand as if she were Ashley (she's used to forging her boss's name), and poisoned the bottle. See, she was pregnant with Alex's baby and wanted to be with him, but it's now all a useless effort, as she miscarried. [people are crazy, you guys. I wonder if this will be a typical style of crime for this show...] She's arrested.

A couple of other random bits: In looking through old cases, six other samples have had corrupted DNA, and a new spectrometer should be able to reveal more. [well, you have to leave something to get an audience to tune in again!] Also, Cat journals "to her mother" about Vincent. [and we end with the cheesiest of shots - Beast on the roof, looking at Cat.]

Look for
Beauty and the Beast premiering October 11th on the CW.
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1 comment:

Kyla K said...

Interesting to read. I feel that the concept of Beast is too much like TeenWolf. Perhaps the series will take a different turn.