A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Language includes words like "hell" and "damn." Also some crude references, as when one character tells another, "you have a blind spot for douches."
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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.
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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).
Is It Any Good?
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?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.