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Beauty and the Beast - The Final Season - dramatic television series DVD / sci-fi fantasy television series review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 2 stars
Actors: Ron Perlman, Linda Hamilton, Richard Partlow, Roy Dotrice
Creator: Ron Koslow   Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 05 February 2008   Runtime: 543 minutes
(3 discs)
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Subtitles (English), All 11 episodes from the 1989-90 season

Before there was Hellboy, there was Vincent. Ron Perlman is the Beast, in the television drama Beauty and the Beast, which aired for a brief few years from 1987 through 1990. Season three was the final season, being canceled after only twelve episodes.

It is unquestionably the epitome of '80s-era high drama, with its long, lingering, sappy stares and schmoopy montages. With mullet haircuts, old flames and rambling monologues, it is the perfect jammies-and-kettle-corn show on a sick day. And although husbands may say it is a chick flick for TV - right before they get sucked in and have to know what happens next - Beauty and the Beast has some special brand of magic about it. The blank, open-mouthed stares of shock and the overdone slow-motion aside, the story is so entirely compelling. It makes one forgive all that. Whether it be the incredible make-up and costuming or the setting that makes it so believable, or maybe just the acting that brings the characters to life, it is such a happy way to spend an afternoon.

Or was, until season three. The Beast's empathic connection has faded as a result of the trauma he suffered in season two. Catherine receives some unexpected news, and it will mark the end of her on the show. The loss of his Catherine changes Vincent and, unfortunately, the entire show.

Linda Hamilton left very early in this third season, taking with her the essence of the show. Vincent is wonderful, and as an actor, Ron Perlman is fabulously believable in the role of a layered societal outcast. Still, Vincent needs the balance of soft, sweet Catherine to make the show work. The episodes spiral deeper into dark, ugly revenge plots. Although the show was intense from beginning to end, explosions and hints of deeper, scarier violence are the earmarks of season three.

Full of beastly rages and feminine sighs, longtime fans will likely still want to see the end. Still, there is no question that it was a disappointment. It would have been so much nicer for Beauty to have lived "happily ever after" with her Beast.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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