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June 28, 2011

TV on DVD Review: The Beast (2009)

Son of a bitch. Why? Why did this have to be so good? Why did I have to like it? Why did it have to end at such an amazing plot point? This is Deadwood all over again. At least when this happened with The Job, we got a do over in the form of Rescue Me. Do you know what 261925 means? Neither do I. Nobody does, and nobody ever will. It will haunt me like a rat inside of my brain gnawing at the inside of my skull. The worst part? It's nobody's fault. Patrick Swayze is dead, and he left us with an awful cliffhanger. I suppose one day we'll say the same thing about Sylvester Stallone, but the meaning will be different. Swayze's best work was his last, and that's something we can all hope for.

Buy The Beast on DVD

Rumor has it that the producers of the show knew about Swayze's cancer, and they told him that they wanted him anyway. If that's true, they made a wise decision. Swayze is Charles Barker, an FBI agent that plays by his own rules, and Travis Fimmel is Ellis Dove, his partner and student. Right away that sounds like something you've seen a million times. It is and it isn't. This gets into stories you don't always see in cop dramas, and it has a great running plot that stretches the length of the series. It takes place in Chicago, and as someone who grew up there. it's great to see the authentic outdoor locations. It brought me home, and maybe it's a small part of why I liked this series.

I'm usually not into this type of show. Cop shows tend to get stale and repetitive, and you can always guess who the bad guy is. The Beast wasn't like that. It was building into a great drama, and it will never get to its full potential. I know I sound like I'm complaining as though someone cancelled it, but I just think it sucks. Swayze was too young to die, and he would have had a great run as Barker. The entire cast was great, and I really hope they all get to have long and successful careers. If you get a chance, watch the thirteen episodes. You'll be upset when it ends, but you'll be glad you took the time.

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