The show that launched Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton's careers, Beauty and the Beast is a fantasy romance about a beautiful lawyer, Catherine, fighting for justice in New York and her relationship with a kindly leonine man named Vincent who lives below the streets.
Episodes 5 to 8 begin correcting some of the oversights from the first 4 episodes. Though much of what Vincent does still revolves around Catherine, he develops a bit on his own; in a cute scene of fanboy admiration, he sneaks above ground during a Halloween party to meet an author he admires in "Masques." That episode actually lets he and Catherine talk and hang out too, instead of just making googly eyes at each other, though we don't get to hear their discussion. The supporting cast gets time as well; Vincent's father's past comes back to haunt him in "Song of Orpheus" and the writers gave us a pretty good mystery seen through Catherine's eyes.
Cheese, sap, and bad dialogue remained, winding some interesting episodes--one episode involves a writer Vincent admires being stalked by Irish terrorists, another has Vincent captured by scientists--down into disappointing endings too focused on romance and Catherine, who remains dull and focused only on Being Good. But as this series never pretended to be anything but a certain kind of romance, that must be expected, and I doubt it will ever go away.
Overall, I'm not a fan of the overdone romance-novel parts, but Vincent remains a great character, and the story and supporting cast get better with each episode. If you like romance novels you'll love this; if you don't, but you like fantasy or mystery, there might be enough here to keep you involved anyway, like me.
Click here for my review of disc one (episodes 1 to 4) of Beauty and the Beast
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