ARROW – **1/2 (out of ****)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – * (out of ****)
Arrow and Beauty and the Beast are two of the more anticipated new shows from the CW this season, as much as something on the CW can be anticipated. There’s a reason for the nation’s growing fervor: both shows are based on something else. This is excellent for the CW, because most of the population always say “I’ll watch the thing I know a little bit about before I try something new.” Unfortunately for the CW, it’s more likely that they’ll say “I’d rather just watch nothing”, but if you’re in charge of picking shows, IPs and familiar tales are great places to start. Combined, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast show some of the things that can go right with “Shows Based on Shit,” and everything that can go wrong.
Most of the S.B.S. that fail is for one simple reason: the people behind the show think that securing the license was by far the most important part of making the show. Now that they have that, they don’t have to do anything else. They can just kick back, suck, and watch the money and the rating roll in. One of these shows is exactly that, and to my shock and horror, it wasn’t Arrow.
I don’t know why I expected Arrow to be so bad. Maybe it was the fact that it was on the CW, or because new TV is inherently bad, or because Green Arrow is a pretty lame character, an unnecessary updating of Robin Hood. There were three things that Arrow needed to do to be OK:
- Create a mystery. Have an arc that goes beyond the “freak of the week” nature this show will probably have.
- Fight. A bunch. Make it look cool.
- Get through the dialogue scenes as fast as possible. It’s not going to be your strong suit. Do your best and we might not notice.
It might not be a check plus plus, but you can definitely at least put a check by each of these things. It was fun, and it blazed along at a clip that didn’t make it seem shorter than it was, but it did allow them to give out a lot of information in a short amount of time. None of it was great, but none of it was CW bad, either.
The same cannot be said, written, barfed, or farted for Beauty and the Beast, a strong contender in an already crowded field for worst new show of the season. Kristin Kreuk plays Catherine, a detective whose mom died nine years ago under mysterious circumstances. The night that she died, Catherine is saved by a mysterious “beast” like person, named “Beast”, who has “beast” like powers and says things like “Be all that you can Beast”, and “Be still. Beast ill.” None of that is true, but I assure you, it would have made the show infinitely better.
A mystery (the connection between Catherine’s mom and the beast’s origin) is developed here, and there is some fighting. But it is all done so terribly you hope and pray that the creators did that thing I mentioned earlier, where they thought the name brand of Beauty and the Beast would carry them to number one. If not, if they tried really hard and think they did a great job…I don’t know what to tell them. An absolute train wreck from start to finish. – RH