Beauty and the Beast Season 1 Report Card: B+

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Let's face it: strictly by being a remake, Beauty and the Beast was up against the wall with viewers when it debuted.

The expectations were low and many people were angry that a classic program from the 80s was being remade in a way that caused you to wonder how you could even consider the titular character a traditional beast in the first place.

There were certainly struggles along the way, but after a sloppy start, the drama quickly found its footing and a rhythm with the characters that moved the story along at a solid pace, lobbing interesting reveals our way that peeled away story like of an onion. Those of us who stuck with it were hooked.

How would we grade the opening 21 episodes? Scroll down for our latest Report Card and then hand out your own rating below...

Beauty and the Beast Promo Pic

Best Character: I'm giving this to J.T. His loyalty and friendship never wavers. He is always there for his friend, no matter the consequences and has some of the best lines on television. Played brilliantly by Austin Basis, we can only hope his role gets bigger in season 2. Once he met and started sharing scenes with Tess, the ideas of where they could go together are unstoppable. 

J.T.: Okay. We're all gonna die. I'm gonna get a Tums. | permalink

The Game Changer Episode: As I sit here reading reviews trying to pick the best and the worst and traditional grading moments, I realize it's a darn hard job to do with Beauty and the Beast. The ups and downs were mainly due to the procedural aspect of the show that seemed to occupy a good portion of the season. Until "Bridesmaids Up." That's when the love between Cat and Vincent was no longer a question. It was when Evan encountered the Beast helping Catherine after her car accident and we learned that he had also isolated information proving Vincent was quickly progressing more toward the animal side of his DNA than the human and viewers imagined an Evan and J.T. pairing to study the data. Beautiful music was paired with a shocking accident leaving Cat hurt, but saved by the hands of two men who love her. Then we went into a long hiatus. Groan.

Worst Story Arc: Bringing in Vincent's lost love just one episode after the game changer was wrong on so many levels. As Cat was recuperating in a hospital room, it just so happened that the one time love of his life, Alex (we'll call her Red) worked there and was attending to Cat. The odds of that were ridiculous, the timing was horrible and the situation made Vincent do something he hadn't previously done - he lied to Cat. That was the biggest mistake of the story, because the season spent so much time building up the trust between Cat and Vincent only to tear it down because of an old girlfriend. Viewers knew Cat would have understood things much easier having not had to find out the truth about them by slinking through Red's closet in an attempt to save her life later on. While it was easy to see what their hope was in showing some of Vincent's past, they failed miserably.

Best Story Arc: The will he or won't he of Evan Marks was exasperating. Will he move in on Cat? Will he work with Muirfield? Will he be a good guy or a bad guy? Tragically, he was played very well by the ultimate big bad, and after spending time working with J.T., unknowingly on the side of good, he chose to partner with evil because he bought into their BS about wanting to make the world a better place through scientific study. Plus, his heart was broken when he realized Cat was with the very man who's DNA he had been studying. He wanted to ensure her safety, but he played the wrong hand of cards to do it. In the end, Even understood everything, including his very poor decision to work with the wrong team, and gave up his life to save Catherine and Vincent. It was a stunning blow to the show and we lost a lot of potential good that could have come from him working on the team.

Worst Character: Joe Bishop. I know! How did he beat out Heather Chandler? I'll tell you why. For keeping Tess locked in a motionless relationship with whispers of sweet nothings. The man is married and doesn't get to have our bright and witty Tess unless he's willing to give up the wife and bring it out in the open. His desire to play vigilante for his brother's death against a vigilante he was hunting also scored him points in this category, because nobody likes a hypocrite.

Best Episode: This was a very difficult choice, because once the second half of the season fell into place, great episodes were literally cascading week by week. But I only gave one a 5 star rating, so I'm picking "Anniversary." In it we finally got the back story on Gabe Lowen and his connection to Cat out in the open. He became more than just a thorn in everyone's side and after he was introduced to the family in a way that even a very jealous Vincent hadn't been, it was confirmed that he was a fellow beast by the telltale yellow eyes. What more could you ask for in an episode that also marked the anniversary of Cat's mother's death and her first encounter with Vincent? 

Hopes for Season 2: Outside my greatest hope that the show earns its respect on its new night and time on the fall schedule, I'm looking forward to finding out more about Muirfield, why Cat never knew who her real father was and how that secret will be revealed. It seems we're in for a mythology based season as I can't imagine Cat will be able to just walk back to her day job with the capture of Vincent.

As Austin Basis and Nina Lisandrello said, I'd really like to see them working together more frequently, and maybe even snark and bitchslap their way into a romance. More beasts, perhaps a friend from Vincent's past to explore would be fun, and a lot more hot, romantic scenes between Cat and Vincent who can steam up my screen anytime.

Overall Grade: B+

What about you? What grade would you give to Beauty and the Beast Season 1?

 

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Agree with Taylor. Inconsistent storylines (Ep 2: Cat says her mother was an Infectious disease specialist; Ep 20, she says her mother was a biochemist; Cat/Vincent romantic dialogue was frequently toe-curling corny, repetitive and unoriginal (Ep 20: Cat says her mother "...was my person" - Grey's anatomy anyone?) to the point of sounding like amateurish fan-fiction drivel rather than something experienced TV writers would put out. C- is too generous; I give the season a D (saved only by the sassy Tess and fiercely loyal JT).

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It is cool to see from all the posts- that people see the great aspects of the show, and failures like the "Alex- a.k.a- idiot" storyline. At the root core of this show is a epic LOVE STORY. We want to see them stop interrupting the sexy,hot, steamy or romantic moments when they do happen. Let them happen more. So the writers have to find a way to blend danger, intrigue while mainting the relationships and Vin/Cats growth as a couple. So for season 2 , want to see Cat get furious. Along with J.T and Tess. And go after Muirfield with a vengeance But maybe keep Vin/Cat apart for a few spisodes so they can rekindle the passion for one another. I want to see the tender moments but heat it up a lot more. And Vincent needs a paying job. Man needs a little self respect. More answers as well. Lastly, whoever is doing the music for the show deserves a gold medal. Greast choices in music!!!! My choice of best show is split between 'By Any Means Possible" and "Into the Heart of Darkness". So shout out to all the fans. Keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!

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I agree Maureen, I also hope they don't do the 'break-up/make-up, break-up/make-up routine ' in Season 2-it will then just be another soapie. This is such a beautiful romantic story,and the chemistry between them is incredible,- the romance should dominate throughout.

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I liked the Report Card. I agree with all that was said. The Alex story was crazy at the time it was presented. It really seemed out of place. They were on this path of finding each other and then wham in comes Alex. Vincent is lucky Catherine didn't say "Seeya! Even with all your problems, you are just like every other guy I have known!" Yes, by the end of the season we saw how strong their love is but like everyone else, we didn't see enough romance and something was always interrupting their scenes. They were way too short and some of the other stories, like Gabe, seemed to take over. They have developed a lot of story lines and I hope that they don't take over the heart of the show, which is the epic love. It could get out of hand as some other shows have. I hope the writer's keep going back to the what we all want and that is the hot, romance scenes between the two amazing characters. I want to give this show an A at the end of next season so writer's keep us fans happy!!! Don't let things like an "Alex" or "Gabe" story become more of a focus than our fairy tale couple!

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The rest of my posts keep getting cut off - maybe there is a limit.... Anyway, I would give the Alex arc at triple 'F' - but the rest of the show a 'B'. I would have given it an 'A' if the Alex arc was handled better and with some taste.

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Also, not only was Vincent out of character, but so were Cat, JT and Evan. Whoever wrote those episodes did not actually know who the characters were. The reasons Vincent gave for choosing Alex were about 4 or 5 different reasons - which one was it?? Or were some lies?? Because they were such different reasons! After the outrage from fans after watching "Seeing Red" I had hoped that the writers would have modified the next 3 Alex episodes, but they chose not to and we lost countless viewers and many who continued to watch, it just left a bad taste in our mouths. I'm still now over it - still very angry about it as I don't feel the same way about the show. The writers basically tarnished everything for me - Vincent's character, Vincent and Cat's relationship/love and the entire show. I don't trust the writers and I feel they would 'mess up' again at some point. And why was Vincent leaning in to kiss Alex??? Wasn't he supposed to be in love with CAt during that period?! I found that highly distasteful, not to mention Alex dropping her towel! I kept waiting and hoping for an apology from Vincent to Cat for treating her badly but it never happened. Don't get me started on Cat being 2nd choice!!! Because she was! Where is the epicness in that?! The writers wanted us to learn more about Vincent by bringing up his past, but did we actually learn anything about him? What I learnt, is that he had poor taste in women (Alex)! For the Alex arc, my grade is a triple 'F'.

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The Alex arc was one of the WORST storylines I have EVER come across. What I find mind-boggling is....this storyline would have gone through a series of approvals before being aired and EVERYONE seemed to have approved it. To be quite blunt, it was garbage. I had actually given up on the show after I watched 'Seeing Red'. But what drew me to the show and still does are Kristin and Jay's portrayal of Vincent and Catherine. If there were other actors play the roles, I honestly don't think I would be interested since Jay and Kristin's chemistry is one I have never seen before on tv .....ever! The writing is not very good as I find the dialogue to be juvenile and there are countless inconsistencies....the writing seems to be done by novices who don't seem to know their characters. So, for Season 2 we definitely need writers who are experienced in writing true romance and mature dialogue.

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Alex arc almost destroyed the show. Vincent was so out of character,Cat had to beg V to stay with her,V almost did it with Alex in the cabin, Cat was the second choice( yep @BatBwriters actually went with that)That was a HUGE MESS!
fans are still angry over that.

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Come on people! This show is leagues above everything else on cw (except arrow). It's better than everything on network (except scandal). The only thing I wish for season 2 is more. More romance. More intrigue. More JT. I want to know more about Cat like does she have any friends. I want to know more about Vincent like are his brothers really alive? I agree that Gabe can be ditched. I want to see Cat struggle without her guy, like the rest of us o every day. All of that said, I fricking love this show

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Sorry, post was interrupted: .. phonecall'. I really hope they don't do the and that Vincent's doctor -side is protrayed more often. He doesn't react as a doctor would -to Catherines injuries- she seems more concerned about his, etc. Anyway, I am really looking forward to S2, better editing though, and will always watch BATB-fantastic actors, and show (Music on the show is excellent).