I’d heard that the pilot episode of Beauty and the Beast was awful, but I actually enjoyed it. It could have been better, yes. No, it didn’t sizzle, but there were enough good elements for the show to build on I think it will improve with time. The premiere got good ratings (for the CW, at least), so hopefully it will get that time.
The thing that surprised me most about the show was its Castle-like vibe. And it’s not only Kristin Kreuk’s character aping Beckett (with the mother’s death, becoming a cop, and understated-yet-confident detective skills), but something about the sets/filming style reminded me of the show as well (don’t know enough about the technical side of things to pinpoint exact what, though). And even though Kreuk is “CW-pretty,” she still makes a decently believable police detective (unlike Perception’s Rachael Leigh Cook, who still looks more like a high schooler than an FBI agent).
Jay Ryan as Vincent Keller, on the other hand, seems far too young for his character. The actor is 31 but looks mid-twenties, but even if the character was only months into his residency when 9/11 occurred (it’s stated that he was a doctor at that time), he’d have to be at least 37 or some sort of genius who was able to graduate from either high school, college, or medical school (or all three) early. And what secret government agency would do experiments on a trained doctor instead of a grunt or an exceptional soldier? At the very least, weren’t they worried a doctor would figure things out? Unless something comes to light later as reasons for these issues (the program targeted soldiers with high IQs, the modified DNA slows down the aging process, etc.), it seems a bit of a cop out to make Vincent a handsome young doctor.
Also, as many reviews have complained, one cheek scar and an occasional Hulk-out (which only changes Vincent’s face as much as half a Grimm woge) do not a beast make. While the previous Beauty and the Beast show’s full lion face was ridiculous, there really is very little that is beast-like about Vincent.
While the two actors have chemistry together, much of Cat figuring out what’s going on seemed awkward. I was impressed by her fighting skills (taking on three people at the subway station? You go, girl!), but annoyed that most of Vincent’s fights took place off screen. No, I don’t want to see dismembering, but if his abilities are the main beast-like quality about him, we should have a better idea of what they are.
As far as the rest of the cast goes, Cat’s partner, her boss, the medical examiner (with a delightful British accent), and Vincent’s roommate all seem decent enough, but we didn’t spend enough time with them to get a good feel of how they’ll contribute to the show in future episodes.
I’m ranking this pilot 4th out of the new drama premieres I’ve seen, and I plan to keep watching.