Let's say the 80s Beauty and the Beast was never made. Let's say Catherine's and Vincent's story was imagined without the horrendous shoulder pads and platonic relationship.
You say, "Haven't you heard of the CW reboot with the same creator as the 80s version?"
My answer: "Of course, I have, but besides Catherine's awesome car, I abandoned the series after the first episode in favor of the 80s version I used to watch as a child."
I'm currently in the midst of a marathon. I just finished the first season and am now gearing up for the second. I have fond memories of Vincent as a child and I wanted to see if his and Catherine's story would have a different impact on me as an adult.
After watching the first season, my mind started thinking of answers to the question I posed above. If the 80s TV version was made today:
1. Catherine and Vincent would kiss by episode ten, give or take an episode or two.
When I was a child, I could have sworn Vincent ad Catherine shared a kiss somewhere in the series. The "shadow kiss" in the final episode of season one doesn't count because it's clearly imagined. I began wondering: Was the 80s audience not ready for a kiss between a human and someone clearly not? I don't think so, yet Catherine and Vincent never lock lips even when the situation begged for it. No hot blooded woman would be content with the occasional hug and intense hand holding. Even the most chaste romances have at least one kiss.
2. Catherine's character would be developed more.
I think this is the reason why Linda Hamilton left the series. If your character doesn't grow, what else is there? Catherine's character would have more potential in terms of development during this day and age. Backbone, for one. And she would have fought for her relationship with Vincent. Would have fought hard for it.
3. Vincent's character would be more balanced.
In the 80s version, Vincent is cultured, and I have nothing against this. I actually love him for it. But his animal side only comes out when he comes to Catherine's rescue. I never shy away from a dazzling hunk willing to rescue me, but I would want him to have passion as well. You know, the "grrr" factor, or as Carrie calls it the "throw down." 2012 Vincent would be cultured and still share heart attack inducing kisses with Catherine.
4. Vincent's genetic mutation would be explored more.
I believe this is what the CW version is doing, but I don't like the approach. If Catherine is the assistant DA, then there will come a time in the story where she goes up against a company involved in illegal testing of some sort. In season one of the 80s version, it was hinted that Father used to be a doctor conducting research involving the effects of radiation. This would be a perfect story line to explore in terms of Vincent's origin.
5. The underground community would stay.
This I wouldn't change a bit. In fact, I would enhance it more. I would explore the community and really show it as a thriving city underneath New York. The 80s version just didn't have much of that and with the technology of today and the creativity of the writers, I think the 2012 underground community would be an awesome place.
6. The story arcs would be longer.
80s Beauty and the Beast was stingy with its story arcs. If new characters were introduced, usually they only existed in the episode they were in. For example: Father's biological son. He came and went like he never existed at all. In my imagined 2012 version, the biological son arc would have at least three episodes, maybe even five to explore what it means in terms of Vincent's relationship with Father and how this affects Catherine. A simple love triangle can even ensue.
7. The tension would be more pronounced.
In the 80s version, Vincent's and Catherine's relationship didn't make any sense. There were episodes where you can clearly see Vincent jealous of Catherine dating other guys, but it was never fully developed in terms of adding tension to their relationship. If Catherine's character is to grow to a point where she cannot imagine loving anyone else but Vincent, then the 2012 imagined version would have more tension, really flesh out the way they feel about each other.
8. I would bring in a female version of Vincent.
Vincent thinks he's the only one. What if he finds out there's a female version of him? That would present a new challenge between him and Catherine. They would need to reevaluate their relationship. Vincent, in search for answers, will explore what this "lioness" has to offer, while Catherine contemplates letting him go because he has a chance for a life with someone like him. The story is ripe with possibilities.
9. I wouldn't be afraid of exploring a younger version of the story.
What if Catherine and Vincent were in their teens? Would it work? If handled properly, I really think so. I'm not discounting the adult version. But I believe there's a YA story line worth exploring too. I think in the end, the success of the show would be up to the writers. Think The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl (the early days).
10. Besides the darker aspects of the story, humor can be injected.
There are moments in the 80s version where Vincent and Catherine find themselves in humorous situations. Again, if handled well, there is so much room for a laugh or two without deliberately crossing into comedy territory. This is still a drama after all.
In the end, I can go on and on about how much better the 80s version would be if it were explored today. I'm not talking about the procedural story line. I think it's crap. I'm saying, keep the romance. In fact, amp it up. Make it hot without crossing the lines of impropriety. Imagine combining Ron Perlman's character from Sons of Anarchy with Vincent. Remove the tendencies toward illegal acts, of course. Vincent is a character with so much potential. Combine cultured with "grr" slash "throw down" and you have yourself a winner. I think viewers would find his lion facial features hot too. They did in the 80s, so why not more so today when the multitude are begging for that supernatural experience. And Catherine, she wouldn't be such a waste of a character where you would have to kill her off in the third season. She'd be tougher, more independent, and knows what she wants. She'd bring out the animal said to Vincent's cultured humanity. In summery, the shortcomings of the 80s version wouldn't be in my imagined 2012 version.
I can dream, can't I?