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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Romance > Beauty And The Beast – The First Season

Beauty And The Beast – The First Season

 

Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B-

 

 

FINALLY!  The Complete First Season of Beauty and the Beast has arrived on DVD from Paramount Video.  This 1987 fantasy/action/romance/drama series has been one of the most anticipated TV on DVD releases for many fans.  The story takes place in current day (1980’s) New York City, where attorney Catherine Chandler (Linda Hamilton) lives a life that has become shallow and meaningless; but her life is about to change.  On a dark and dreary night Catherine leaves her New York High Rise Office, only to be kidnapped, beaten, and left for dead in Central Park (oddly enough they did not seem to want anything from her?).  Suddenly, Catherine is rescued by a mysterious stranger and taken below New York City to a hidden, elaborate, tunnel system below the City.

 

Under the City, Catherine is nursed back to health by this mysterious savior.  The mysterious man turns out to hold many secrets, having an extremely abnormal, lion-like appearance but a heart of a lion to match.  This beast of a man is named Vincent (Ron Pearlman of Hellboy and Alien Resurrection) and quickly develops an emotional bond to the beautiful woman he rescued.  Vincent’s adoptive father worries that Catherine may reveal the secrets of the tunnel that the underworld people have worked so hard to hide; but with a strong promise and deep emotion Catherine is allowed to go back to the surface.  Once back on the surface Catherine turns her life around, and becomes a member of the New York D.A. Office as a trial lawyer and investigator.

 

Throughout the First Season, a deeper connection develops between Catherine and Vincent that is emotional, as well as having an odd sexual tension.  Vincent is often saving Catherine from danger and spending the nights with her on her apartment’s terrace.  This action coupled with romantic tension is what gave the series such an epic appeal for audiences, and has not lost its luster.  Season 1 of Beauty and the Beast is wonderful, and will hold the audiences interest until the end.  This reviewer can not wait for Season 2, which is even better than Season 1.

 

The episodes of the 1987-1988 Season 1 include:

 

  1. Once Upon a Time in New York
  2. Terrible Savior
  3. Siege
  4. No Way Down
  5. Masques
  6. Beast Within
  7. Nor Iron Bars a Cage
  8. Song of Orpheus
  9. Dark Spirit
  10.  A Children's Story
  11.  An Impossible Silence
  12.  Shades of Grey
  13.  China Moon
  14.  The Alchemist
  15.  Temptation
  16.  Promises of Someday
  17.  Down to a Sunless Sea
  18.  Fever
  19.  Everything Is Everything
  20.  To Reign in Hell
  21.  Ozymandias
  22.  A Happy Life

 

 

Beauty and the Beast- The First Season is a 6 disc 22 Episode set with amazing episodes, but whose features dissatisfy throughout in the areas of picture, sound, and extras.  The 1.33 X 1 picture is presented in an unsettlingly bad Dolby Digital Full Screen that views like an analog VHS.  The picture quality is highly distorted, with the colors also being badly off set having an orange twinge throughout.  In the end, the picture is sadly disappointing for such a great series.  The sound is presented in an inadequate Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.  The sound is highly compressed; giving it a stuffy quality as if a pillow is resting on the speakers, making it difficult to achieve the full experience.  Beauty and the Beast is a wonderfully written series with great visuals that even remain strong after 20 years.  Disappointingly, this Season One release holds no extras for fans to enjoy.  With Ron Pearlman (Beast/Vincent) and Linda Hamilton (Beauty/Catherine) still doing work in the business, it would not have been hard to gain commentaries and interviews to raise this set to the next level.

 

For fans that have been waiting years for this Season One release, don’t hesitate to buy.  For newcomers to the series, this is a great time to jump on into the fantastic world of Beauty and the Beast.  Where the technicals of this DVD set may dishearten many (including this reviewer), the greatness that each episode brings makes up for the less than adequate nature of the picture and sound.

 

 

-   Michael P Dougherty II


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