Are Beauty and the Beast and Person of Interest kissing cousins?
Is ‘Beauty and the Beast’ the tween version of ‘Person of Interest’? Both surround a government trained assailant who stalks a hot, uber-moral cop while together they solve crimes and brood over government mysteries.
Beauty and the Beast (B&B) is basically the young adult version of Person of Interest (POI). I never expected to love Beauty and the Beast as much as I do. But, it hit its stride after that terrible pilot. While watching this week’s episode, I looked beyond the romantic angst to notice how much it parallels my other favorite show, Person of Interest. So, why aren’t their fandoms watching each other shows?
The premises are the same
Think about it. Both premises surround men, inspired by 9/11, who leave the woman they love to protect the United States through international operations. Of course, their capabilities become too dangerous for their handlers. They’re sent on suicide missions, presumed dead, return to the country secretly and live in isolation until a bespectacled geek takes them to a secret lair and helps them along. Now they live in New York and eventually stalk an uber-moral cop, who initially studied to be a lawyer, and who lives with her younger family member. Drawn to the cop who isolates herself, deals with office sexism, is a woman of color and has a partner who always has her back, they pull her into their secret. While they run around town hiding from uber-secret government forces, they work to solve crime with the help of their spectacles-wearing science friends and salt of the earth cop acquaintances. Sure Beauty and the Beast dwells more on the romance than the government conspiracy, but how could I NOT notice the similarities sooner?
Both shows make stalking look sexy
If an uber-hot, government trained, emotionally scarred man hung out on my fire escape, routinely broke into my apartment, followed me to work, and then stared broodily at me, I wouldn’t exactly consider him a viable romantic interest. Then again, I doubt he’d look like Jay Ryan or Jim Caviezal.
Unrequited tension (AKA Born Again Virgins)
Both shows feature impossibly pretty single people inexplicably avoiding having sex with each other. However, Beauty and the Beast also provides two alternate realities that Person of Interest staunchly avoids: what if Carter and Reese acknowledged their feelings more blatantly and what if Reese’s first love returned? B&B’s Vincent and Catherine are in a holding pattern that rivals POI’s Carter and Reese; but, at least, they ADMIT something’s there.
They hang out on roofs A LOT
Their sidekicks are glasses-loving geeks
Without J.T.’s bio know-how or Finch’s computer science genius, neither show would truly exist. So, let’s hear it for the geeks! But, is it me or did the producers deliberately write the glasses-wearing geeks as cock blocks? During POI‘s first season, Finch spent 80% of his time warning Reese from Carter. During the first half of B&B, a frustrated J.T. tried separating Vincent from Catherine. What’s up with that?! Can’t geeks be voices of reason without rocking a major case of CB?
They use abandoned buildings as their man caves
Both shows use abandoned buildings as bromantic headquarters. Think about it, Reese/Finch hang out in an abandoned library (which Carter never visits) while Vincent/J.T. hang out in an abandoned warehouse (that J.T. hates when Catherine appears). J.T. isn’t pissed when Catherine pops up for Vincent’s safety, he’s just ticked when she interrupts their man sessions!
Considering the CW resulted from a CBS-WB mash-up, and although the original 1980s Beauty and the Beast (CBS) creator Ron Koslow receives creator credit for the 2012 CW version, I still wonder if the producers allowed Person of Interest to influence them. Considering they’re on at the same time on the same night, it feels as if they’re mirror versions of each other.
So, why aren’t Person of Interest fans watching Beauty and the Beast and vice versa? B&B is on Hulu, after all. Well, both clearly push for two different demographics. B&B surrounds people in their mid-to-late-twenties (or early thirties) and POI surrounds characters in their mid-to-late-thirties (with supporting characters in their forties and fifties). Plus, B&B focuses more on the romance, while POI surrounds tech and government conspiracies. While both are emotionally dark, POI is dark concerning the evils committed in the name of protection. And, let’s be honest, POI is a bit more realistic than the romantic fantasy generated by B&B. All the same, after watching the most recent B&B episode I suddenly noticed the covert parallels and wondered why I never noticed it before.
So, if you’re a POI fan and want to see a bit more of the romance between the cop and her stalking avenging angel, then check out B&B. If you’re a B&B fan, but wished the show did more realistic tech and more realistic government conspiracies, then check out POI. I know, I know. I keep doing mash-ups, but I just can’t stop myself. Sometimes it’s nice when good TV parallels other good TV.
So, what do you think, are Beauty and the Beast and Person of Interest the same show for different age groups?