This is an interesting show that examines relationships and how we view one another.
  • OVERALL
    3.5
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
This is an interesting show that examines relationships and how we view one another.
THE BAD
I don't think Paramount cleaned up these shows at all before they put them on DVD. There are no Special Features either.
THE FEATURE
After Catherine (Linda Hamilton) is viciously attacked she is taken and cared for by Vincent (Ron Perlman). The twist here is that Vincent is a man beast who lives underneath New York. After Catherine gets over her initial shock of what this person is, she finds herself almost drawn to him. And so begins the story of Beauty and the Beast: The Complete First Season, a series that wears it's heart on it's proverbial sleeve. In fact, the opening episode even begins (in old English lettering) with the words "Once Upon A Time...."

What follows over the next 22 episodes are Catherine and Vincent teaming up to help people in need, fight corruption, and generally bring good will to the city of New York. Some of the more interesting episodes were "No Way Down" in which Vincent is captured by some street thugs while trying to help Catherine (episodes of him mixing with the "regular" world were always a bit more interesting), or "An Impossible Silence" which sees a deaf girl have to come above ground in order to put a cop killer behind bars, or lastly, "Down to A Sunless Sea" which sees Catherine in over her head with a former boyfriend from law school.

If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast, or you're interested in getting into a new show that looks at the world a little differently, I think you certainly need this 6 disc set in your collection.
THE EXTRAS
No Extras came with this DVD.
THE VIDEO
Full Screen Format. These shows don't look that great in this set. They aren't overly compressed but it doesn't seem like Paramount cleaned them up at all. It seems like they were simply sitting in the vault and then they just transferred to DVD. There are hairs and other sorts of dirt all over the place, and I was almost beside myself. I am used to seeing movies that seem like they were shot on toilet paper, but from a company like Paramount I guess I expect a little bit more.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital - English Mono. When I first heard Vincent talk I got scared. My first thought was that Beauty and the Beast was going to be one of the first shows to usher in the age of characters whispering all their lines. Then I realized that this guy really is from another place. He is a noble man, hailing from another era, so I think it's entirely plausible that his delivery would be very big and direct. Another thing that struck me was the solid use of music here. The soundtrack seemed somewhat orchestral which really served the style of this story well.
THE PACKAGE
Catherine and Vincent are shown on this front cover which makes this show look like something out of the Disney archives. The back features another promotional shot of Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, a description of this show, a small montage of shots and some minor technical specs. The most impressive thing about this packaging is that Paramount has very economically gotten all 6 discs in this tiny amaray case. Lining the walls are listings of each show, their airdates and descriptions.
THE FINAL WORD
I remember when Beauty and the Beast was on TV. I had never seen Ron Perlman before, and many years after I actually thought that he really looked like the Vincent character from this show (I have since learned that he doesn't). Getting to acquaint myself with it now, I found that I was quite surprised by this show. On the surface, the premise is pretty weak but if you really think about it, I think the creators of this show should be commended. Melding two different worlds how they did here was pretty ingenious. On top of that, New York is such a rich city that is filled with so many different kinds of people, it just seems like it would be ripe for a fairy tale of this nature.

That said, I am not surprised that this show only went 3 seasons. Truthfully, I think that Beauty and the Beast probably works better as a film (I've never seen any of the different versions of them), whereas in the medium of TV it just has too much time and not enough to do. As a short series, like the Beauty and the Beast TV show proves, it actually has some magic in the longer form it just can't sustain it like other shows do over a longer amount of seasons.

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