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TOPIC: Beauty and the Beast tv series

Beauty and the Beast tv series 06 Dec 2016 13:08 #11183

  • rebecca.w
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Beauty and the Beast is a TV crime drama on the CW that incorporates elements of fantasy and paramilitary science fiction. The Beauty is an NYPD detective named Catherine whose mother was secretly working for a government lab that used gene splicing to create hyper-violent soldiers during the War in Iraq. Most of the organization’s creations were spliced using animal DNA and quickly became uncontrollable. The organization killed off most of the soldiers and reported them as war-related deaths to cover up their experiments. The Beast is a former soldier named Vincent who managed to escape and remain in hiding in New York City for nearly ten years.
Ten years earlier, the detective’s mother was murdered in front of her by the secret organization called Muirfield. Catherine would have been killed but was saved by Vincent in his beast form. When they are eventually reunited and both begin to unravel the mysteries behind their connection, they begin collaborating on several new cases. Vincent’s enhanced senses and super strength allow him to detect crimes before they happen and to intervene when needed. However, his DNA is discovered by the precinct’s CSU technician and he becomes a suspect as a known vigilante linked to multiple deaths. While the show itself is successful because of its basis in real-life crime and military experiences, it relies heavily on the trope of the violent criminal with a heart of gold repeatedly saving the damsel in distress who is either too weak or reckless to save herself. While the show actively works against falling into this predictable pattern by keeping a constantly changing balance of risk-reward to keep viewers guessing, the show is decidedly not feminist. While Catherine’s sister and best friend are quick to see through Vincent’s cover story and immediately recognize the potential for an abusive relationship, Catherine seems to position herself as blind to any inherent risk while dating a violent fugitive. She gives her friends ultimatums rather than taking the logical steps to protect herself. She continues to place herself at risk unnecessarily, setting the stage for yet another dramatic rescue by the beast. Vincent is problematic in that he does not seem to actively work to control his anger to suppress his rage-induced transformations. Instead, his violent alter-ego is internalized as a romantic hero complex with the ability to save lives. Catherine is quick to dismiss the many “accidental” fatalities at Vincent’s hands when he was in the process of saving someone else. When a criminal dies as a result of Vincent, the detective is quick to defend her murderer boyfriend by saying the criminals deserved it. Some of the criminals were minor henchmen, get-away drivers, and low-level informants. As a detective, she should not allow her boyfriend to mete out justice at will. In fact, many of these deaths were gratuitous. Threats could have been eliminated by using proper protocol. This show is fundamentally not feminist because the female protagonist repeatedly defends the violence of a law-breaking boyfriend and violates her own professional oaths to conceal his crimes. She sacrifices her personal safety and her career for a man whose moral relativism consistently places him above the law.
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