- Beauty and the Beast
- Thursdays, 9 p.m., The CW
- Emily Owens, M.D.
- Tuesdays, 9 p.m., The CW
The CW has a reputation for programming guilty pleasures, and shows like that can turn out to be surprisingly innovative and entertaining. The network’s two new series premiering this week, however, exhibit no signs of sharp writing or impressive acting. They’re all guilt, no pleasure.
The lesser of the two evils is Beauty and the Beast, based very loosely on the ’80s drama that starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. This version has Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk as the world’s least convincing homicide detective and Jay Ryan as the alleged beast, a military veteran who gained animal-based abilities (but also animalistic aggression instincts) in a government experiment. While the original series had Perlman covered in furry prosthetics, here Ryan looks like a male model with a few strategically placed scars, making the entire idea of his supposed beastliness laughable. Kreuk and Ryan have no chemistry, and the conspiracy looming over the beast’s backstory is entirely generic.
But Beast is genius compared to the torturous Emily Owens, M.D. Combining the worst, most annoying aspects of Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs, it stars Mamie Gummer as the title character, a flighty doctor who behaves like a particularly immature 12-year-old girl, more focused on whether her hunky male colleague “likes” her or if her rival is spreading gossip about her than she is on practicing medicine. When it’s not irritatingly childish, Emily Owens is painfully manipulative and sentimental, all wrapped up in Gummer’s maddening voiceover. It’s easily the worst new show of the fall.