Last week I played this game of “Spectrum Roulette,” where I went through all the cable channels on the upper band of my Spectrum cable service. You know, the ones that just show vintage TV series and the like – GET TV, ME TV, COMET TV, etc.
Oh, the Decades channel is running one of their TV series marathons. Let’s see what they’re –
Wait, I know that face. That’s Linda Hamilton, the Sarah Connor of the Terminator movies.
And I know that voice. That’s Ron Perlman of the Sons of Anarchy TV show.
Holy crap, are they doing a marathon of…
Hold my calls.
Oh my GOD I used to watch this show without fail. Heck, I would tape this show and save the episodes and watch them again.
See, this was a way-cool reinterpretation of the classic fairy tale. You didn’t have a princess trapped in a castle with a hostile cursed beast. This was a love story wrapped in science fiction.
In other words, this is what George R.R. Martin used to do before he got involved with Starks and Lannisters and Targeryans.
And for the first two seasons, this show was incredible. It had action, it had drama, and it had romance. And there were just as many times that the Beast saved Catherine, as Catherine could save the Beast.
Plus, there was a whole world-building mythology with this show. The Beast lived in a subterranean community of exiles, who lived their lives away from modern man. Granted, the world above had helpers that would bring food and books and news down below, but still…
The show ran for three seasons, and the first season and a half was fantastic.
But then, like most George R.R. Martin projects, the show went completely off the rails.
Linda Hamilton wanted to leave the show after the second season, and CBS wanted the show in a new timeslot, so in the span of a single third-season premiere, the titular characters consummated their platonic relationship, Catherine got pregnant, got captured by an evil person intent on destroying the world below, and eventually killed. The third season introduced a new “beauty,” as the plotline for the third season focused on rescuing Catherine’s baby and bringing it to the world below.
Ugh. Serious full-fledged UGH. They meddled with the show and ruined it. Sleepy Hollow fans, you feel my pain, don’t you?
I should note that this series was redone a few years ago, and aired as a CW program that ran for 70 episodes. I saw one of the shows. This iteration ran 85 episodes too long.
I’m sorry. But Friday nights at 8pm in the late 1980’s meant watching this genre fantasy series. And it was awesome. Well, at least for the first season and a half.
Beauty and the Beast episodes can be found on the CBS All Access channel, so if you want to binge-watch the series, it’s there for your enjoyment.
My late parents used to watch this version of “Beauty”, and I think dropped out after Linda Hamilton left (IIRC around the time she filmed Terminator 2). Perlman’s stayed busy, alright. Not just Sons of Anarchy, but he has done cartoon work, too (i.e. the 2003 Teen Titans series), for starters.
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