Monday, January 14, 2008

Your WikiReality Is Not My Wikireality: Beauty & The Beast (the TV series)

You know, Wikipedia is an amazing creation of the modern era. A true idea of progress, where computer geeks the world over have come together to create a resource as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica. Truly, Wikipedia is something to be celebrated.

But the Wikisword is double edged. Because sometimes, sometimes, the entries are just a wee bit wikicrazy, smacking of someone's unnatural obsession. Take for example this entry on Beauty & the Beast (the TV Series).

Don't remember this show? Why it was a magical series that "centered around the relationship between Catherine (Linda Hamilton), an Assistant District Attorney who lived in New York City, and Vincent (Ron Perlman), a gentle, but lion-faced "beast" who belongs to a society of misfits and outcasts (see "mole people") dwelling in the tunnels beneath the city."(1)

Tell me more you say? Who is this Catherine? Catherine
"was the daughter and only child of Charles Chandler, a partner in a large corporate law firm based in New York City. She was of less than average height, with honey-brown hair, grey-green eyes, and a ready smile. She usually dressed very fashionably, in accordance with her social and economic position, even in the less "formal" world of the Tunnels."(2)

Interesting that the "mole people" of the "tunnels" dress "informally". Personally, I am only familiar with fancy-dress, high-class "mole people". Additionally, I think it is quite plausible to think that the creator of this wikientry may
a) have been a writer for the show
b) write romance novels
c) own 3 or more cats.

And what of Vincent? "The true nature of Vincent (portrayed by
Ron Perlman) is difficult to explain, and has been the source of conjecture in the fan community. Physically, he is a person of extremely large and powerful build; however, he differs from human norms in that he possesses the facial characteristics of a lion, complete with blonde "mane" and fangs. His fingers are tipped with claws that can leave deep wounds when he attacks. In contrast to this intimidating form, his voice, while gravelly, is quite soft. When angered, Vincent emits a deep, throaty, feline, growl and when fully roused has been known to emit loud roars, also similar to a lion's. Normally dressed in a welter of various patched garments and homespun, he often wears a large cloak about his shoulders, especially when walking the city streets so as to conceal his appearance from others Above. Only during Halloween night does he feel safe enough to venture outside openly. He has also been seen to wear (at more festive or formal occasions) a costume somewhat similar to an 18th Century gentleman's formal dress, with a ruffed stock tie (see definition 12) at his throat." (3)

There are so many choice selections from the entry, if I quote more, I may as well reproduce the entire thing. I suggest that you peruse it for yourself so that you will not miss any of the gems - like the stars, there are simply too many to count.

Of course, you may be wondering what has taken me to the Beauty & the Beast entry on Wikipedia in the first place. A fair question, I'll give you that. In truth, I was a huge fan of the show. I was also in the fourth grade
. In retrospect the show was probably has a reading level somewhere between Dr. Seuss and USA today - just because you have working writers, doesn't guarantee the material won't suck.

At any rate, I only remember the first season of the show because I apparently got a life in fifth grade and was no longer home on Friday nights to see it. But my wee sister, being five years younger, was a true devotee such that she now has purchased the recently released first season on DVD.

It was she who discovered the wikientry, and has only helped to reignite her love of Vincent. To the left you'll see a picture of vintage (ca. 1981) Ron Perlman who played Vincent, and I'll have to agree that he looks a heck of a lot better in make-up as some sort of lion-man than he does au natural (ditto for him in Hellboy).

My sister, however, feels no shame in her love. In fact, Vincent seems to presently eclipse her affection for her usual love, Russel Crowe, such that she said to me last night "If only Russel Crowe looked like a lion, had a lair, and about 50 dogs then he would be my dream man."

It may be helpful to keep in mind that my sister's self-described interests are "hard liquor, good boots, smart dogs, bad men."

Cue the video:

This post is dedicated to my sis. She likes it when the stories are about her.
(1) Crazy wikipedia entry on Beauty & The Beast (the TV Series)
(2) Id.
(3) Id.


Anonymous said...

Vincent could never eclipse Russell (aka: M-O). Never.

He is just currently filling the empty hole in my heart left when Russell got married. I rotate fillers weekly.

Anonymous said...

PS: Thank you for my blog.

Bert Bananas said...

I wondered where you were going with this! An homage a sister adroitly done.

I wonder if penning an entry on Wikipedia will ever become the same as getting into the Guinness Book of Wacky Records. I mean World Records... (Is there a Guiness Book of Records wacking champion? Oh to be 17 again.)

The Guv'ner said...

Hahaha I remember that show although I don't know if I even saw an episode, but coincidentally I have always thought that if I met Ron Perlman in an alley on a dark night, I'd shriek like a banshee, flail my arms around and run like the wind. And that's out of "beast" costume, which is so much nastier, as you pointed out!

Wikipedia is a very useful resource but really, I'm not sure it's 100% accurate if anyone can write practically anything. Plus I hate how someone can come along and edit your entries. That's WAR baby. :)

The Guv'ner said...

Also, is it wrong that as the beast, Ron looks like Ted Danson, or is that just me?

The Idea Of Progress said...

Ron Perlman is an actor I've always really appreciated--not for Beauty and the Beast, but for The City of Lost Children--after that, he can do no wrong.

Incidentally, the wikipedia entry on the Fonz is pretty extensive and fantastic as well.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Um, wow. That's a lot of info about a bad 80s show.

pistols at dawn said...

Sometimes, the internet makes me feel like none of us will ever be truly worthy of another's love. We're all beasts inside, I guess.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Wow. That show was bad, unless you were a lonely, lonely woman longing for a intellectual sewer-dweller.

Anyone remember the SNL sketch where Jan Hooks and Phil Hartman play the couple from the Beauty and the Beast show double dating with one of his mole-buddies, played by John Lovitz? The Lovitz character doesn't have that romantic spirit. He's just a chubby, dumbass, sewer dude.

Funny shit.

Grant Miller said...

I've always confused Mr. Perlman with Tony Roberts. They look kinda similar.