The CW, the smallest of the big five broadcast networks, is known for the strikingly good looking people it puts on its airwaves. On Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour, network executives unveiled their remake of Beauty and the Beast, the 1987-'90 series that starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman as a lawyer and "lion-man" making New York a better place.* And it was no surprise that critics immediately noticed that the Beast was a hunk with a fake scar by one of his eyes rather than an actual monster. Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin insisted that their Vincent (Jay Ryan) is a beast on the inside instead of the outside, and ended up playing right into one of TV's current favorite tropes: romanticizing troubling relationships between violent men and the women who adore them.
"If you fall in love with a Dexter, what do you do?" Cooper said, referencing the show on the CW's partner network, Showtime. "You want to get out, but you're already half in, and he's got this moral code, but is it his fault? I mean, is it a disease?" Ryan said the stakes could get disturbingly high. "The beast is more of like a serial killer, and Vincent is trying to suppress him throughout," he said, with Cooper confirming that Vincent is "a little bit of a ticking bomb," and that he would eventually murder people other than criminals in the first season of the series. "We started talking about, you know, which one of us doesn't love a beast, a guy with a lot of baggage, all of that," Levin said. "We really wanted to feel like this was relevant to us and our lives, and we thought that we'd be able to make it more grounded and compelling in that way."