This post has been a long time coming, and while I do not have the time to give the topic justice, I’m inspired at the moment and want to rant for a bit. That’s what blogs are for, right?
Beauty and the Beast (1987)
I LOVED Beauty and the Beast – the television show – when I was younger. In many ways, I find it the perfect romance. Well, they are re-making it, or rather, it has already been re-made. It premieres this fall. I would love to say that I am excited about this. I feel like the story from the 80s was not concluded properly and I would love to see it finished right. However, my first impression of the trailer was, Lana Lang, really? Isn’t she too young? And the “beast” isn’t much of a beast.
There are two issues going on here. The first is whether or not they will successfully make a good television show. The fact that the “beast” is a hottie that could be on the cover of GQ or in a Calvin Klein ad is a huge problem for me. The scar, if anything, makes him sexier. I realize that he will be transforming into a “beast” in much the same way Bruce/David Banner turned into the Hulk. I still don’t like it. It isn’t the Beast from my Beauty and the Beast. Vincent looked like a lion and I know that when I really think about it, I am surprised they could get away with it in the 80s because with too much thought, well…it skirts the issue of beastiality, which, of course, completely detracts from the love story. Nevertheless, for some reason it worked. I attribute this to George R. R. Martin’s awesome writing skills and Ron Perlman’s awesome acting skills…and the fact that apart from regular hugs, we never actually saw Catherine and Vincent be intimate.
There is always the possibility, however, that it will be a good show. Only time will tell. I won’t be holding my breath though.
Back to my point: the second issue. Age.
Kristen Kruek just seems too young to be playing that role. It seems like a lot of television shows lately are utilizing really young actors. Shows with characters in high school aside, we have Hart of Dixie (a really young doctor), Fringe (a really young FBI agent), Castle (a really young cop) and Revenge (a woman who is way too young to be that proficient at what she does). Add to that all the shows about teenagers: The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, Gossip Girl, 90210, Suburgatory, and Teen Wolf.
These lists are far from complete (obviously) and while I watch many of the shows I listed, I still feel like there is a privilege given to really young actors, even when the roles they are portraying calls for older actors. This have been bugging me lately. I realize that I am no longer in my 20s, but I notice when there is an actress I can relate to age-wise. I still like the Vampire Diaries and Revenge, but for different reasons.
Recently I decided to go back and re-watch the original Star Trek series. It has been a long time since I have seen this show and the summer is upon us, which means there will be a dearth of things to watch. I was trivia-reading and I happened to come across the fact that George Takei was the youngest cast member. He was 29 years old.* Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were 35 when the show first aired in 1966. That was what prompted me write this post. Twenty-nine is still relative young, but for being the youngest, this seemed to stand in stark contrast to what I see on television today.
Well, I did a little highly-unscientific empirical data gathering and what I found really surprised me.