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Preview: Five Things About Tonight’s Beauty And The Beast, “Man Or Beast?”

DISCLAIMER: Before I break into this preview article, please note that this is actually the first episode of Beauty and the Beast that I have seen in several weeks; and thus, my opinions might be different from someone who has been watching on a week-to-week basis. It also mean I might get some facts wrong, and if I do, please go easy on me, okay? Now with that out of the way...

Man or Beast?Last week, The CW hosted a screening of the midseason finale of Beauty and the Beast, which airs tonight (November 25) at 9PM on the network. It is no secret that ratings have not been what they were in the first season -- there's the loss of The Vampire Diaries lead-in, and Monday nights are tough in general competition-wise, especially with new players like Sleepy Hollow coming in. Despite being shows with very active fan bases, the audiences for BATB and it's lead-in Hart of Dixie have not been the improvements that the network has seen on some other nights. Perhaps if some more viewers know the show is on -- and can read some impressions to know if it's worth watching -- things can go up in the second half of the season.

Creatively, there is a bit to like about what Brad Kern has done with the show. He holds the distinction of being the Lois & Clark writer I liked the most in their fourth and final season; when he took over Charmed, he managed to keep the show alive through its eighth season. Having more characters like Tess in on what Vincent truly is makes for an improved and more coherent show, I think; putting a face on an enemy, as Ted Whittall's Reynolds does, makes the threat so much more real than Muirfield. Characters like Gabe and J.T. being more of a part of the story also is a good thing, as I enjoy both Sendhil Ramamurthy and Austin Basis a lot. There are some things I'm not too fond of, either: Again, although he gets that feral rage and "Beasts out," Jay Ryan as Vincent doesn't even have his scar anymore, and feels more like a Hulk-werewolf-beast than the kind of character that Ron Perlman played 20+ years ago. Also, although it added complications to the Vincent-Catherine relationship, and conflict keeps a series going, giving Vincent amnesia for the first part of the season seems to have given the show a reset and is probably frustrating for those who saw the journey beginning last year. I'm still glad to see Kristin Kreuk in a more adult role than Lana Lang, and I like her character more now that the procedural/cop aspect of the show is diminished. Being a Smallville fan, seeing Kristin Kreuk on TV again also makes me happy, though I'm still waiting for some of her Smallville co-stars to guest on BATB sometime.

Man or Beast?Anyway. I promised "five things" about tonight's episode, right? Getting to that:

1. "She-Beast." That's what the fans seem to be calling Tori. I've never seen Amber Skye Noyes in anything before this, and while I know the fans ... aren't too fond of Tori ... I actually like the actress a lot. The show seemed to have done the same thing last year, too, casting Bridget Regan, who I love, as another distraction to the show's romance.

With "Man or Beast?" I don't see Tori to be as much of a romantic foil as I see her as a challenge for the kind of man (or beast) that Vincent wants to be. It's like being in a relationship and suddenly seeing someone who opens a side of you that might be a little bit fun; a temptation. Vincent and Tori see themselves in an explosive situation, and we learn an affect they have on one another here, but no matter if it's romantic or not, Tori causes conflict. I'm okay with personal conflict as long as the soap opera stuff is left at the door, because from what I'm reading on the message forums, the notion of romance will turn a lot of the remaining viewers off.

Man or Beast? 2. Conflict. Both Vincent and Tori have beastly ways of wanting to deal with people like Reynolds. Cat, who has recently reunited with her father, even though she obviously doesn't like him, does not have the same ideas on how to bring him to justice. While Vincent and Tori might be okay with killing the guy, Cat thinks that killing will send Vincent on a route that he should not go down.

3. Bob Reynolds. As I mentioned before, I like that a face is given to the enemy here, and Bob Reynolds is portrayed in this episode as someone who doesn't think he's the bad guy. He wants to protect his daughter from this "beast." Yes, he doesn't have the nicest ways of trying to eliminate the problem, but there you go. Will his story be over tonight, or will it be a Reynolds wrap? Watch and see. One thing's for sure: He's added a lot to the show this season.

4. Yep, it's a mid-season finale. So, expect some character moments that will keep you talking for weeks/months until the show inevitably returns in 2014. Something happens that shocked me as an audience member, and again, like the Tori thing, it will cause some conflict. And again, conflict makes for good drama but if you're watching for the romance, you might find yourself unhappy tonight.

5. What's next? I will say this, like the season premiere, did keep me curious about what happens next. I do hope The CW re-airs these first eight episodes of BATB before episode #2.9 airs, so people can be all caught up before the show returns. It's a journey, and there may be those viewer frustrations that I mentioned, but it's still a journey worth being curious about and rooting for.

Beauty and the Beast airs tonight (November 25) at 9PM on The CW. Here are some promo images from tonight's show:

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

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Beauty and the Beast -- “Man or Beast?” -- Image Number: BB208a_0043.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jay Ryan as Vincent, Sendhil Ramamurthy as Gabe and Kristin Kreuk as Catherine -- Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW -- 2013 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

6 comments

  1. thank u for this article - I also hope more people discover the show though lack of promotion does not help

  2. I dont care about the rating of The Beauty and Beast as I have been watching the seasons and cant wait to watch tonght. Love the show.

  3. Thanks for the article!! I sure wish they would get rid of the She-beast. I can smell a plot device a mile away when it comes to female redheads on this show. The writers would do well to remember what it was that fans loved about this show to begin with. We want the romance back. Disappointment doesn't begin to cover what some of us are feeling at this point. It's a shame.

  4. Thanks for the article.
    I share your view on Tori, not see she as a possible love interest for Vincent, but creates conflict and that's good for the show, do not think it's fun to see a show in which the he main characters are happy all the time, and I know that Catherine-Vincent relationship has been complicated, but hey, we all hope to end up together, but not yet, or not at all, one step forward and two back fine. The important thing is that viewers know that love is within them despite all.
    I also think that has been a hit the actor who has portrayed Bob Reynolds .. I loved his chemistry with Kristin and Jay, especially in the last episode.
    The worst, the audience, it's a shame that the show has those numbers, because it is a good product. At least, it keeps me glued to my screen, not literally.

  5. Thanks for another good article. I agree that Ted Whittall has brought a lot to BatB. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of him. Although I'm not crazy about the Tori character, I'm not threatened by her. She has a purpose for being here & when it's run its course, she'll be gone.
    IMO, watching BatB is an hour well spent as it entertains & gives my mind a workout with all the twists & turns we're given. And, it keeps me coming back for more!

  6. It's hard being a Kristin stan. A Smallville fan. They're just dragging that gross Vincent story on and on. Finally, he chooses beast. Kristin, please do a comedy with amazing love scenes! With Jensen, right! People would die. I loved all of Lana's ships on Smallville.

    I loved her with Max Brown. I thought she had unbelievable chemistry with Max, so much more than with Jay. Cat and Evan didn't have to stand close or actively make out to give off the love vibe. They just had it. It was cool and lovely. Isn't that why they killed Evan? Because they were afraid of that ship overshadowing VinCat? Anyway, this terrible season forcing me to find comfort in season 1, and that season had its share of problems.

    Why don't they give Cat a love interest? I mean, she doesn't have to act on it, but someone who actively tries to woo Cat. Cause Gabe is just a cardboard cutout with the rest of the cast, in the background, with the resuscitator or something. Are they going to turn her into a nun while Vincent runs around?

    From the TVguide Brad Kern interview, things are not gonna get any better for the only ship in this series.

    **Spoiler** Coming in January in The Beast and the Beast, aka, Vincent & Victoria

    Vincent will basically couple up with Tori as they are the last two human beasts in the world. How romantic! Vincent will keep Cat in the back of his mind while he tries to fend of Tori's advances, right. I'm sure he'll try real hard to fight that off now that he's chosen beast. Wonderful. He's been giving Tori the soft weak eyes while Cat mostly vicious stares this season. If I hear the word HUMANITY one more time, I'm gonna blow. :)

    Again, why not give Cat some love interest? Like non beast love interest. She should snog her shrink. Is he still there? They had awesome chemistry too. Stop wasting Kristin's talent. Have her find a better man already. Seriously some awful herp derp writing this season.

    I do hope they cancel this miserable series so we can see Kristin in something better. Why do a reboot of a reboot?

    I'm going to try to quit this show. It's going to be hard to quit Kristin. :/ Sleepy Hollow, here I come. Oh, Bitten with Laura Vandervoort looks interesting!

About Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.
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