Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My main concern with the Toobworld Dynamic is how many TV shows I can manage to keep in the same dimension. 'Sliders' may give me the luxury of having plenty of TV dimensions in which I can stock those series which don't quite fit into Earth Prime-Time, but I'd much rather have most of them sharing the same world. Even though it would probably never happen, there's always the possibility these shows might cross over.

Basically I think of Toobworld as my sandbox playground in which I play with the action figures that belong to others.

So that's all I care about when it comes to a new TV series. It's not germane to my interests whether the show is any good or not. (But I do recognize its quality. I can tell when it goes from television to smellovision!)

And that brings me to the new version of the classic 'Beauty And The Beast' story on the CW.

From what I've seen so far, the reviews for 'Beauty And The Beast' have been brutal. It debuted to decent ratings, but so did 'The Secret Circle' and that faded away quickly. And those ratings could probably be due more to the fact that its only competition was the Veep debate on all the other networks. Viewers might take such reviews to heart and drop away from this show by next week. Or it could be review-resistant and appeal to the crowd that watches 'The Vampire Diaries'.

But that doesn't matter to me. All I care about is whether or not the series can remain in Earth Prime-Time. And there were major concerns in this case, since the same story was told in Toobworld a quarter century ago.

The basic premise remains the same - a beautiful young woman in the justice system of New York is rescued by a "beast"-man. The names even remained the same - she is Catherine Chandler and he is Vincent. (Although he now sports a last name - Keller. Keller - Killer?)


But after that, the details diverge. This Catherine Chandler is an NYPD detective while the late Catherine Chandler was an assistant district attorney. The original Vincent was a true beast - leonine in his facial features and covered with soft fur. But Vincent Keller is a victim of genetic experimentation by the Army while he served in the military over in Afghanistan in 2002.  He became a super-soldier prone to violent rages that make him more Hulk-like, although he does have "cross-species" DNA now.

By not slavishly recreating the premise of the original, I think it could be argued that both shows share the same TV dimension.

Both women being named Catherine Chandler is unfortunate, but not insurmountable. It's a combination that works well together. And I can see any new parents with the married name of "Chandler" giving "Catherine" serious consideration for their newborn baby girls. (Baby boys, not so much.)

And even though both of them worked in the New York justice system, they weren't in the same profession - not that it would have mattered. In Los Angeles, Toobworld has at least two men in the police department named Lt. Columbo!

With the two "beasts" named Vincent, I chalk it up to a big coincidence. There have been incredibly huge coincidences in Toobworld over the years, let's face it.

Should the show succumb early, we might even make a claim after the fact that Detective Catherine Chandler is related to the deceased ADA Catherine Chandler, and that in fact she was named after her. (If she's the same age as the actress who plays her - the Toobworld standard - then Catherine was born in 1982. So the timeline works out for such a supposition.)

Hopefully the bare bones of the original show's premise is all that we'll see cribbed for the new series. Otherwise we'll run into trouble if they start bringing in recastaways for characters like Mouse and Paracelsus.

Otherwise, 'Beauty And The Beast' Mach Two fits in well with Earth Prime-Time. Unless of course they choose to feature a different President of the United States, or - closer to home - a different Mayor of New York City.

(Like 'CSI: NY', 'Rescue Me', and 'Touch' before it, the deaths of loved ones in the attack on the World Trade Center factor into the background for Vincent - he lost two brothers in the collapse, which prompted him to enlist. So existence of that tragic event means 'Beauty And The Beast' can stay in the main Toobworld. Otherwise I'd have tossed it into the "Over There" dimension of 'Fringe'.......)


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