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TV review: “Beauty and the Beast” is easily the worst new show this fall

First Published Oct 11 2012 01:02 pm • Last Updated Oct 11 2012 01:40 pm

I’m not sure I have the words to describe just how bad The CW’s "Beauty and the Beast" is. I’ve only been doing this for 22½ years, after all.

To call this reboot of the 1987-90 a charmless, ridiculous, badly written, horribly acted piece of junk would be an understatement. What The CW is foisting on television viewers has just one redeeming quality - it’s so bad, it’s inadvertently hilarious.

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Kristin Kreuk, who hasn’t learned to act since she left "Smallville," stars as Catherine "Cat" Chandler. When she was a teenager, she witnessed her mother being murdered and was about to be killed herself when some sort of man-beast attacked and killed her assailants.

We pick up years later. Cat is a police detective, and a case leaders her to Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), who’s supposed to be dead but isn’t. He’s also the beast, the result of a military experiment gone wrong.

Gee, there’s an original idea.

All this is more than a little confusing because Vincent is a super-handsome hunk, not beastly at all. Except for a scar on his cheek, he’s perfect.

That is, of course, pretty much the way The CW goes about everything. This is a network populated by pretty, pretty people, and even the beast must comply.

Vincent’s other imperfection is that the guy who plays him also can’t act. And having two wooden leads means the characters have no chemistry whatsoever.

The problems run much deeper than that, however. The idea behind "Beauty and the Beast" is that you have a beautiful woman who falls for a beast in spite of his appearance. This incarnation wants us to believe that a beautiful woman can fall in love with a remarkably handsome man.

What a leap!

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Even Ryan admits this show really isn’t about "Beauty and the Beast." "He’s actually more like Jekyll and Hyde," he said.

So why call it "Beauty and the Beast"? Because CBS (which co-owns and manages The CW) had the rights to the old show, the character names and the title. Which is where the similarities end.

The original show had its problems, but it had plenty of charm and chemistry, which created an audience of devoted viewers. It was also light years beyond this crap.

The first episode of this "Beauty and the Beast" remake isn’t entirely devoid of entertainment value. But laughing at this show - not with it - wears off before long.

Bad is bad, and this is terrible.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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