Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sepinwall on TV: 'The Beast' review

In today's column, I review Patrick Swayze in "The Beast":
You hear that Patrick Swayze has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and you wonder why on earth he would want to subject himself to the long hours and grueling workload of starring in a one-hour TV drama series that films in Chicago. He could be resting, or spending time with his family, or traveling, or doing anything but freezing his buns off near Lake Michigan.

And then you watch Swayze in "The Beast," and you realize that this is the best performance of his career - that the opportunity to play a part like this, and to play it was well as he is, may be fueling his ability to keep fighting against the cancer. And you realize, in an odd silver lining, that the cancer may, in turn, be fueling the performance.
To read the full thing, click here. I'll have some kind of post ready to go after the pilot airs on Thursday night, thought it may be another open thread.


Anonymous said...

In other news, Swayze was found in an alleyway biting a dog.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to pop up and say that the review was amazingly well-written.

I probably won't see the show, but I'll certainly keep reading whatever you write about it.

Anonymous said...

How many episodes have you seen? I only ask because I'm pretty sure that his cancer was undiagnosed until after the pilot was shot. Was there anything noticably different between the pilot and other episodes?

I'll give this show a look at least. I'm amazed that it took so long for Larry Gilliard to get another series gig.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I've seen two episodes. And while the cancer wasn't diagnosed until after the series was picked up, it was so widespread at the time of diagnosis that I have to assume it was affecting him -- even though he didn't realize it -- at the time the pilot was shot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alan--I don't get A & E (I'm tragically limited in my cable channels) but am interested in the show. Saw BW's interview with Swayze last week, and when he talks about what he has to do just to get going every day, well, admiration doesn't cover what I think of his courage. Glad to hear all that effort resulted in a terrific performance.