Beauty and the Beast has been a big name for the past several months, primarily because of the live-action Disney remake that recently debuted — successfully! — in theaters. However, the CW series of the same name has a rather large following, and recent rumors have surfaced pointing towards a possible revival of the show on Netflix. Is there any truth to these rumors, or was the fourth season of Beauty and the Beast the final one that we should expect? Fortunately, we can address quite a few of these rumors below, but we’re also going to talk about the show in general.
After all, it has a particularly large following, and during its four seasons, it touched on many themes that are of importance for contemporary culture. Even if we’re never given a fifth season of Beauty and the Beast, there are quite a few other shows that might be able to scratch that same exact itch. Read on, for the full discussion!
You’d have to take a peek at reviews from well-versed critics, but Beauty and the Beast didn’t exactly get the best reception when it first debuted. A glance at the current Metacritic scores will tell you that it’s far from the best show on television, but none of that matters to those who enjoy it. And everyone knows that a TV show doesn’t have to be perfect, or even groundbreaking, in order to be enjoyed. It just has to deliver what people want.
And that is what Beauty and the Beast did, for CW viewers. It had elements of fantasy but was grounded in a very modern world that we could easily understand and comprehend. The characters might have been a little simple in concept, but they were always relatable, and that brought viewers in by the droves. Until, of course, the show was eventually canceled after its fourth season. Still, four whole seasons is a fairly remarkable run for any show, let alone a drama facing fierce competition on the CW network.
Beauty & The Beast
Of course, you can’t name a show “Beauty and the Beast” without it having direct, traceable connections to the legendary Disney story. The base elements of it are quite present, but the treatment of the characters are where most of the surprises reside. In fact, this television series more closely resembles another televised take on the classic fairy tale, originally having aired in the 1980s. It starred Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, and if you’re in the mood for a trip through history, it’s worth a watch.
The Beauty in this story is anything but powerless. Catherine Chandler is an NYPD cop, fueled by memories of her mother’s murder. She’s an extremely capable character and a sharp diversion from Belle, the original character filling one-half of the titular role. The other half is Vincent Keller, an ex-soldier who is supposed to be dead, according to all public records.
You can see where things are going, from here. There’s more to Vincent Keller than meets the eye; this version of the Beast is born of science, rather than magic and curses. Due to a military-funded science experiment gone wrong, Keller changes into “a beast,” whenever he enters periods of heightened emotional stress. Glowing eyes, pale skin, claws, sharp teeth — you know the drill.
Throughout Beauty and the Beast’s four seasons, one of the developments is the kindled romance between Catherine Chandler and Vincent Keller. Anyone familiar with the old fairy tale could have seen this coming, but in spite of how predictable it might be, the show still handles it well. It feels like a fresh story, rather than something that’s been unnecessarily rehashed, for the sake of a modern update.
Vincent’s struggle with the monstrous changes occurring in him are also a major part of the show’s plotline, and almost every relationship the man has is dependent on him maintaining control of “the beast” that’s hiding in his blood.
One of the sole benefits to a show’s cancellation after a handful of seasons is that it usually gets the opportunity to wrap up ongoing storylines. When a show is canceled after a single season, there’s often no time to bring closure to anything that the show has presented, and after seven or eight seasons, the show has been going too long to bring satisfying closure.
In a way, four seasons is just right…though diehard fans of Beauty and the Beast might disagree with me, here. Even though the fourth season is almost certainly the last that we’re ever going to see of the show, the show’s creators have been allowed to wrap up some of the more pressing relationships in the narrative. Catherine and Vincent get closure, and many of the conflicts — internal and external — that have guided them thus far, get their deserved conclusion. No spoilers, here, but if you’re looking for happy endings, I don’t feel like you’re going to be disappointed.
Will There Be a Fifth Season?
As it stands, there’s no official news regarding the fifth season for Beauty and the Beast. Rumors have been loud enough that quite a few people were expecting it to happen, but if there’s any network out there with plans to renew it, nothing has been announced.
That’s rough news for longtime fans of this show, but ultimately not surprising. Most shows — especially on competitive networks like the CW — live and die based on their ratings and critical reception. By the third season of Beauty and the Beast, both had slipped down to worrying levels. Fans might have been surprised, but the TV industry was not when the cancellation was announced during the show’s fourth season.
It’s not unprecedented, for shows to get picked up for another season once they’ve been canceled. Firefly — an ill-fated sci-fi series on the Fox network — even had just enough support to become a feature-length movie, thanks to the energy of the show’s creative talents and the legions of fans that were disappointed by its early cancellation. However, due to the nature of Beauty and the Beast’s end, it’s unlikely that this is going to happen.
Low Ratings & Stiff Reviews
If you know anything about critique, you realize that it’s possible to be critical of something while also enjoying it. However, entertainment that faces harsh critique and less enjoyment can easily find itself on the chopping block. This is exactly what happened to Beauty and the Beast, and it’s why we won’t be seeing a fifth season. Probably.
- In spite of very strong fan support, the show was dipping drastically in ratings.
- On top of that, critical reception of the show’s third season had spiraled down once again, and even though a fourth season had already been ordered by the CW, the death knell was already in sight.
- Unfortunately, a loud fanbase is just that — loud — and doesn’t necessarily speak to the number of people regularly tuning in to watch a show.
- To fans, it might seem like Beauty and the Beast was treated unfairly, but the ratings and reviews accurately forecast the show’s downfall.
Netflix Original Shows
Of course, none of the show’s fans would be courting Netflix to continue it, if that precedent hadn’t already been set. Already, Netflix has picked up several canceled shows, giving them brief, season-long continuations. It happened to Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls, and predictably, fans of each of those series made them massive successes for Netflix. Based on perception alone, this can make it look like any show with a big enough following could almost certainly be picked up and continued by the streaming giant. Isn’t that what happened, after all?
Unfortunately, the situation as a whole is much more complicated than that. And as usual, fans have a habit of putting way more importance on themselves, as opposed to the creative minds, producers, and actors that brought the show to life in the first place. After all, once a show has been canceled, it requires more than just diehard fans to be resurrected. It needs to have the invested interest of everyone who was originally involved with creating the show when it still aired on the CW.
That’s trickier to pull off, and it’s why the rumors about Beauty and the Beast are just that — rumors.
However, there’s no reason to fall into despair at that particular news. The CW network has plenty of other shows worth watching, and if you enjoy the “beastly” dynamic of Beauty and the Beast, coupled with modern-day romance, other series might pique your interest, too. Surely you’ve given True Blood or The Vampire Diaries a chance. Both blend supernatural mystery with passion and intimate drama, and do it rather well!
Until we hear official word from either Netflix or Beauty and the Beast’s creative talents, it’s best to assume that we won’t be getting a season five. As soon as we hear an update saying otherwise, however, we’ll be sure to update the article with that much-awaited news! If you have any other questions about this show (or the renewal process for shows that have been canceled) let us know in the comments below!