Beauty and the Beast

Common Sense Media says

Fantasy police procedural lacks a certain fairy tale charm.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite being a competent detective, Cat Chandler seems to need saving quite often by Vincent, which undercuts the show's "women are powerful" message. Vincent has been watching over Cat for years, which sends a discomfiting message that stalking is OK if it's true love.The plot hinges on a secret military plot, sending many negative messages about the armed forces.

Positive role models

Cat and her police colleagues are intrepid and hard-working, and the show boasts a racially diverse cast and women in leadership positions. But Cat is willing to use her position for revenge and overlook crimes, as when she calls security over to bust a male friend for having pot a few minutes after professing that she didn't care whether he did it in her presence.

Violence

Lots of gunplay, and the main character's mother is shot in the face a few minutes into the pilot. Guns are frequently brandished and fired, and deaths occur on screen, but there's almost no blood and little gore. The camera sometimes lingers on the sight of dead bodies, particularly if they're those of attractive young women. Cat is experienced at hand-to-hand combat and engages in many carefully choreographed battles with bad guys. Expect graphic descriptions of death and injuries, couched in technical terms.

Sex

Kissing on screen and some references to sex, as when Cat's detective partner suggests she "hook up" with a suspect in order to get inside information.

Language

Language includes words like "hell" and "damn." Also some crude references, as when one character tells another, "you have a blind spot for douches."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink on screen, and scenes take place in bars. References to drugs, often connected with criminal investigations, though at one point Cat tells a friend that she doesn't mind if he smokes pot in front of her.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Beauty and the Beast is a romantic police procedural that puts a modernized spin on the classic fairy tale. As in many police procedurals, dead bodies and crimes are seen on screen, plus murder, gunplay, and hand-to-hand combat, frequently involving main character Catherine "Cat" Chandler (Kristin Kreuk), who has street-fighting skills and uses them often. But almost no gore or blood is shown. Cat is frequently in jeopardy, watched and followed by both a bunch of menacing military baddies and Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), the "Beast" of the show's title. Keller has been watching over Cat for years, which sends the iffy message that stalking is OK if it's true love. Vincent frequently also has to save Cat from danger, which undercuts Cat's supposed competence as a police officer. Characters also drink and refer jokingly to drugs and casually to sex, as when Cat's detective partner suggests she "hook up" with a suspect to get inside information. There's some mild cursing ("damn," "hell") and other coarse language ("you have a blind spot for douches," one character tells another).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In a modernized telling of the classic fairy tale, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST stars Kristin Kreuk as Catherine "Cat" Chandler, a detective who was shattered when her mother was murdered by gun-wielding psychos a decade ago. Cat herself would have been next, but she was saved by a mysterious beast-like human, though no one believes her story. Now she's a tough, big-city homicide officer, and while investigating a case with her partner, Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello), Cat uncovers evidence that handsome doctor Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002, is still alive and connected to a series of crimes. Cat investigates and discovers that Keller is not only still alive, in hiding for the last 10 years, but is afflicted with a strange disorder: Every time he gets angry, he turns into an unstoppable beast. Oh, and he's being chased by the same bad guys who killed Cat's mother. So Cat and Vincent join together in secret to solve crimes and put together the puzzle pieces of a conspiracy that embroils them both. Falling in love would complicate things immensely, but Cat and Vincent can't help themselves.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Shadows, secrecy, and spy subplots really liven up a romance, as Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman showed us in the late '80s when Beauty and the Beast was first recast as a TV romance/thriller. Unfortunately, the CW's take on Beauty and the Beast lacks the gothic frills of the '80s version, which gained a lot of atmosphere from the subterranean sanctuary in which the Beast lived. The updated Beauty takes place in an anonymous big city, with plot points and settings that will remind you more of Law & Order than Grimm's fairy tales.

Nonetheless, the cast has good chemistry, even if some of the leads are overly pretty. (C'mon, a pair of female detectives on a metropolitan police force who are both model-hot and look to be maybe 30 each? That's television for you. ...) At least Kreuk and Ryan, as Cat and Vincent, work up some decent heat together. Teens may love the show's overwrought, dramatic romance, though parents may want to watch with them to discuss any issues that arise. For instance, tough cop Cat needs saving pretty frequently. What message does that send? Did the makers of Beauty update the setting and forget to work on the tired old "helpless woman needs a strong man" trope?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Cat, supposedly a strong and effective police officer, so often saved by Vincent. Why is it usually women in jeopardy in the media and men acting as the heroes? What message does that send?

  • Have you seen other versions of Beauty and the Beast? How does the Beast look in other renditions? Why do you think the makers of this version chose to portray Vincent as an extremely handsome man with a few token scars? Does that detract from the lesson that looks don't matter in true love?

  • Do you think Beauty and the Beast is a romance? A thriller? A drama? What elements of the lighting, costumes, dialogue, setting or score bring you to your conclusion?

TV details

Cast:Brian White, Jay Ryan, Kristin Kreuk, Nina Lisandrello
Network:CW
Genre:Drama
Topics:Magic and fantasy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Beauty and the Beast was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 16 year old Written byMom28monkeys January 27, 2015
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Disappointed

I was looking for a clean, family-friendly show to watch with my teenagers, and after reading reviews here on Common Sense Media, I decided to try Beauty and the Beast. It started out great! We really enjoyed it - fun story without the bad language and sex found in most other shows. Unfortunately, as Season 1 progressed, the show became more and more focused on sex. Sex is depicted very casually... as if it's on the same level as kissing someone. I don't like the message that this is sending to my kids. One of the characters is having an affair with her married boss. and then the two main characters, after spending most of the first season behaving chastely, give in to a kiss... next thing you know, they are in bed together (long, lingering scene). The more the show focuses on the romantic/sexual relationships, the less time it spends on the crime/suspense storylines. I'm sad and disappointed; I really like the show, but I'm afraid we're going to have to stop watching. Common Sense Media needs to update their review, because as it is right now they indicate that there is no actual sex in the show.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byEmily 1 September 6, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

just fine

This show is just fine for any teenager. I think lots of kids who are 11 and up would be okay with it too. It does get kinda violent an sexual.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymaycollins May 2, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Good Show

This is a good show, a remake of a show from the 80s. It's definitely worth watching.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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