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The Beast is… Kind of Terrible (Poor Swayze!)

by Mindy Monez January 16, 2009 10:22 am
<I>The Beast</I> is… Kind of Terrible (Poor Swayze!) Here's the thing about making fun of Patrick Swayze's new show, The Beast: I don't really want to do it, but after seeing the premiere last night, it clearly needs to be done. So the rest of this post is going to be very apologetic and everything, because of course I love Patrick Swayze as much as the next girl and want him to do well, but Jesus H. Christ, this show out-mediocres NCIS even.

First of all, whoever made this thing is clearly a big fan of two movies: Breach and Training Day, because it has the same premise and characters as those movies. Which is fine, because as we all know there are no original ideas left in this world, and every single good show on television is derivative of something. The problem with The Beast is that it adds nothing new to its genre (so far), except for insane writing. It's like FX level insane, but FX insanity usually makes sense or has some kind of gravity behind it (with the Nip/Tuck one exception to the rule, of course), whereas this is just insane for the sake of "whee! 'splosions!"

The Swayze character is some kind of Jack Bauer multiplied with Chuck Norris loose cannon, and the reason I know this is because he does things like peel out every single time he drives a car, even if he's just going to the store or something, blow up SUVs with a rocket launcher on a public street unnecessarily, yell everything, and regularly say things like, "Screw Bureau protocol!" It's nice that we have so many reinforcing examples of his loose cannon-ness, but there's unorthodox and then there's taking so many unnecessary risks that it turns into a cartoon. Of course, this could eventually turn out like 24, where the first few episodes everyone was all like "That's so unrealistic!" and now we're all like, "Jack drove a car off a cliff and walked away unharmed! Hell yes!" I'm just not there yet. Because right now, it's all a little Wile E. Coyote with the rocket launchers.

The show also has a really contrived and forced edginess to it, and Travis Fimmel has a weird talking problem. He sounds like Keamy from Lost, if that helps you at all. And the clich├ęs are nuts. There was a standoff in a meat locker, a crackhouse with a Wire cast member in it, Russian roulette was played, and don't even get me started on the dialogue, which was slightly above Lethal Weapon fan fiction in quality.

There are three good things about the show, though. They say "shit" a lot, just like FX, it's much handsomer than Breach, and they actually managed to make an hour of crime programming set in Chicago without a character disappearing in a St. Patrick's Day parade, so that's pretty great. And, like I said before, I do love the Swayze. Like anything, it might get better, but I'm not tuning back in until I have undeniable proof that it has.

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