Rosanna B. (RosannaB) from NORFOLK, VA Reviewed on 1/3/2011...
**SPOILER ALERT** Season Two of Beauty and Beast includes "Orphans" in which Catherine's father suffers a stroke and passes away. This originally aired just a few years after I had lost my last parent (and previously an infant sibbling and all my grandparents), and like Catherine, losing the last was in many ways the hardest. The portrayal of the lone family member at the hospital (in those days home hospice care was almost unknown, and not covered by most insurance), the long waits, the attempts to say what you wanted to say before then -- when you don't know if the loved one can still hear or understand -- going through the motions in a fog at the funeral, settling their affairs and trying to go back to work and to just live your own life...watching it more than 20 years after it was made, and even longer after my last such loss, the emotions still felt very real.
The scene that stuck with me the most vividly, all these years, was when she thinks she sees her father -- alive and perfectly well -- in a passing vehicle. That happened to me, too. And her healing dream conversation with him, as she begins to emerge from her grief, is so vivid that she awakes absolutely certain that it was real. In the world of B&B it may have BEEN "real" but that happened to me, too. And I've talked to others who have suffered severe grief and had similar healing/consoling dreams or visions. This episode may be the most realistic depiction of grief ever put on television, despite its half-fantasy setting.
Even better than the first season!
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 03/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beauty & The Beast's second season had a rough start, owing to the writer's guild strike in the fall of 1988. But out of adversity often come great things, and greatness is in abundance during this beloved series' sophomore year.
I don't want to give away too many plot points, for those who haven't seen (or maybe have forgotten) the events of the series. But to be fair to those who'd rather be surprised....MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD. It's safe to say that the love between Catherine and Vincent grows stronger, even as they brave seemingly insurmountable obstacles to their relationship. Returning guest stars from season one include Linda Hamilton's then-husband Bruce Abbott as Devin; Edward Albert as the ambitious yet tragic Elliot Burch; Terrylene as the deaf-mute Laura; and the wonderful Tony Jay as Vincent's chief nemesis, Paracelsus. And the many returning Tunnel characters get a chance to shine in the impressive "Dead of Winter," and in "Labyrinths," in which we learn the reasons many of them now reside beneath the streets of New York City.
I will begrudgingly acknowledge there were a couple of sub-standard episodes. These include the somewhat Vincent-less "Trial," in which Catherine prosecutes a man accused of killing his son; and the excessively violent "The Hollow Men." But these are but two blemishes in an otherwise excellent season of television.
On the plus side, the aforementioned "Dead of Winter" is only one of three episodes that with a Christmas theme. "Remember Love" is the B & B version of "It's a Wonderful Life"; "God Bless the Child" offers a message of hope, even as an unforeseen obstacle threatens Vincent & Catherine's relastionship. And t.v. just doesn't get any better than the season closing trilogy, which elevate this gentle romantic fantasy to near-operatic proportions. And in the best tradition of cliffhanging season-enders, leave you dying to know what comes next.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Beauty & The Beast. I hope everyone who has enjoyed this unique show will continue to support its release on DVD. We still have one more season--albeit a shortened and somewhat controvesial one--to go! "
A True Work of Art
Edward Waters | Greensboro, NC | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although long rumoured to have had only women devotees, in fact BEAUTY AND THE BEAST remains to this day my own favourite American television serial as well. It debuted in 1987, during perhaps the most EXTERNALLY oppressive period in my wife's and my entire marriage. Feeling alienated from so much around us, we drew deeper into our already close relationship and spent countless hours together reading aloud, listening to good music, and drinking MANY pots of tea. So this programme about a couple estranged from the 'normal' world -- whose love, nigh-mystical understanding of one another, and taste for simple joys were so like our own -- was deeply encouraging. Then too, its many literary allusions actually advanced our own interest in classic literature. I credit the scripts with our appreciation of everything from Shakespeare's 29th sonnet to Rilke's LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET to THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
Of course, the show was not flawless. Its earliest episodes suffered from excessive Beast-to-the-rescue plotlines; and after Linda Hamilton's departure, the truncated third and final season was seriously marred by a misguided decision to escalate action and violence, presumably in hope of better ratings. The serial's middle run was by far its best, focusing on Vincent and Catherine's deeply-romantic yet functionally-platonic relationship, the intriguing history of the tunnel community, and the mysterious wonders and perils of the vast realms even further Below. Yet, whatever its strengths and weaknesses, that the programme came to be at all was a blessing beyond hope in a medium so often glutted with mere ugliness and inanity. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was that rarest of television phenomena: A true work of art."
There are simply not enough stars in all the universe.
Jocasta Stephenson | 04/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It stands to reason that, since you are reading this in the Season Two section, you are already well aware of the epic majesty and absolute Love that are Vincent and Catherine. Words are beyond insufficient in describing this series for those who remain mournfully ignorant, but if it will intrigue new viewers, it is definitely worth the effort.
In short, "Beauty and the Beast" is Poetry in sight, sound and emotion. This is the one series that will forever be known as the impossibly beautiful, heart-wrenching, and all-consuming dream that changed everyone who understood its message. I truly pity those who refused to do so, even if it was in part due to them that such a brilliant masterpiece was cancelled so quickly.
Now to the topic at hand: Season Two, the most beloved of many a fan. Personally, I disagree. Every single episode captured my imagination and left me aching for more, even in the most violent and tragic moments. I simply love them all, so much so that I own a boot-leg "all season" set (rest assured that I have bought the official versions and will continue to do so). However, I will admit to having something very close to a "favorite," and it happens to reside in this season, so... take from that what you will.
"Brothers," in my opinion, encapsulates the very spirit of a very difficult to define series, and it has dear Charles. When he and Vincent talk about the misleading effects of appearances, giving Charles the courage to remove his bag-like mask... I literally wept from sheer joy. While it is true that the man will never be an Adonis by "normal" standards because of the disfigurement from his disease, he could power an entire hemisphere indefinitely with that smile. Seeing him come to terms with his differences, with the support of his newfound friends, and gain the courage to face the World Above for the sake of his eternally restless "brother" Devon left me deeply moved. Such is the incandescence of all Vincent, Catherine, and their world have been trying to share with us for the last two decades. I can only pray that more will listen in time.
Like the rest of the hopelessly addicted followers, I eagerly await this release, when I might add the in-store version to my Amazon pre-order as I have with Season One. Will the extremely controversial Season Three have the same luck? I sincerely hope so."
Of romance, adventure and love eternal
z hayes | TX | 05/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best TV series ever! It has all the ingredients that make a classic - well-plotted storylines, a cast of interesting characters, and above all, an otherworldly romance between the gentle, noble Vincent, and the luminously beautiful Catherine. In each scene where they come together, you cannot help but be mesmerised by the tremendous depth of emotion and feeling that is seen on their faces, their body language, and their dialogue. These two share an on-screen chemistry that is quite rare even till today. Linda Hamilton plays her role with a measure of beauty, courage and conviction that is utterly convincing. Ron Perlman's Vincent is the gentle beast, who is kind and loving to his friends and the needy and brutally vicious to the scum of society. His love for Catherine is so poetic, yet even when these two yearning souls are exchanging romantic dialogue or reading from books under the moonlight, they appear convincing and their love for each other rings true. I know I'm gushing here but it is this compelling love story that makes the show what it is, and although each episode has its share of thrills, it is Vincent's & Catherine's unerring love for each other that compels us to view the show. I can't wait for the DVD release."
2nd Season much better
Michael Palmer | Dallas, TX United States | 03/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second season is less violent than the first and deals much more with personal issues. One the best is "God Bless the child" and "A Fair and Perfect Night". Well worth buying. Keep the Dream Alive.
What can be added to what has already been said? Season 2 looks great on DVD. I am going through them one by one. One of my favorites is still "God Bless the Child". I love how Lana accepts Vincent and never flinches away. Very, very beautiful. The woman who plays Lana I thought was a very gifted actress too.
If you are a fan, you must purchase Season 2. The ending of episode, "Sticks and Stones" of Catherine and Vincent talking is one of the very best moments of their love.
I look forward to seeing Ron Pearlman and Linda Hamilton's interviews in the last couple of episodes."