Castle (2009–2016) – a Breath of Fresh Air

The pilot episode for ABC’s new crime show “Castle” left me wanting more, much more in fact, and that is exactly what a good pilot should do. The relationship formed between the two leads is unquestionably one of the best and is, so far, most endearing. It is impossible to not like them.

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I’ll start with Nathan Fillion(of “Firefly” fame). Nathan plays Richard ‘Rick’ Castle. His charm and wit and spot-on comedic delivery make him alone the reason to tune in each week. Move over David Boreanaz ’cause Nathan has got you beat in the plucky-comedic-male-sidekick-to-tough-and-serious-female-cop role. Nathan comes off as the friend we all want and treasure. Having followed Nathan’s career rather closely I am glad to see him in this role. It fits his nature and you can tell he knows it too just by watching him. It’s in his postures and mannerisms and facial expressions. I believe he said in an interview that he is “72%” this character and that sounds about right. He is comfortable in this role. Similar to how he was comfortable when playing Malcom Reynolds in “Firefly”(which, by the way, is the greatest show of all time…period).

Then there is Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, and God is she gorgeous and enticing. No wonder Nathan’s character can’t get enough of her. Stana manages to instill in the portrayal of her character enough grit and fortitude to be mysterious and alluring, while retaining a good amount of the audiences confidence in her ability to be a bad-ass. On the other side, though, she is beautiful and her lightly-flirtatious nature does not detract from the other part of her character but rather enriches it making her feel real rather than just a cliché tough female cop(because TV is full of them right now).

What it comes down to, ladies and gentlemen, is chemistry and these two have it. They are a joy to watch even when they are not in scenes together and that is what will keep viewers tuning in each week. This show has great promise.

Before I go I will note that it was nice to see real authors on the show(I will not reveal who). It adds another layer to Castle’s character and makes for an amusing poker scene. I hope the producers arrange for more cameos of this nature.

Let’s be fair…

Yes, this is a great vehicle for Nathan Fillion because he’s gets to play the lovable scoundrel, which truly is his bread and butter. I was worried when I saw the pilot that they were going to shoot their premise in the foot but was impressed at the end when they gave you a new basis that could last longer than a few episodes. Now if we’re fair and judge this show on it’s writing and acting rather than on our excitement that Nathan Fillion is back then we must conclude… that the show is still pretty good. I have been impressed with the story lines up to this point and while the short description of the “who-dun-it” may sound like scenarios we’ve heard before, these writers aren’t satisfied with a “Law and Order” ending. They’ve already thrown out the triple and quadruple switchbacks with the uncovering of the culprits. And all the while allowing Nathan Fillion to fill the screen with his smarmy charm and allowing him to cavort with an attractive, albeit, hard-boiled female cop.

The great part about this show is that they haven’t really set up Fillion as a Sherlock Holmes. He is playing a seemingly educated street-wise poetic guy, but he isn’t the one with all the answers. For every conclusion he draws, the female lead makes just as many and may refine Fillion’s, which is wise on the writers’ part because his character works because of the inherent flaws that come with being a writer rather than a detective.

It’s a clever show that’s a must-see if you’re a Fillion-atic and a pretty good hour even if you’re not.

A writer’s show

I wish IMDb had a decimal system because this show isn’t an 8. From what I saw in the Pilot it is a solid 8.5 at the very least. Tho the pilot was fairly predictable when it comes to crime shows that aren’t CSI or Law and Order (i.e. one character is a fan of the other. Half way through everything is wrapped up a little too neatly etcetera), it was still an enjoyable romp.

Kate Beckett is a beautiful, hard nosed cop that should be working for a private law firm and Nick Castle is an arrogant, but devoted author and father.

Stana Katic (awesome name) is beautiful, but not so much that you wonder why she is a cop and not some goddess on an Italian beach like so many actresses tend to be. She plays her part very well, and the scene she has with Fillon when he, as Castle is peeling away her layers is amazing. She barely gives anything away until the very last moment, but with her facial expressions you know it’s coming making her character all the more wonderful.

Nathan Fillion is wonderful as the successful, charismatic, and egocentric Pop mystery writer who seems to be not a drunk (unlike Hank Moody, played wonderfully by David Duchovney in Californication) and is a loving, attentive father apparently who also has an intriguing backstory with his publisher/ex-wife which I hope is a back story they continue to develop throughout the series.

This really was a fun series. I know new shows have a very short lifespan, but this is one I hope has a decent shelf life. Watching just the pilot I see the potential for great stories, for great ad-libs and i do want to see the happy ending where the jaded, divorced writer and the hard nosed cop with a history work to deconstruct each episodes mystery, and each other. And as would be when the characters have bared all they can, they either finally get into bed together, or they get married.

Synthetic as Velveeta – But Fun w/a Great Cast

If you’re looking for a “realistic” policier like the LAW & ORDER franchise or THE SHIELD, then CASTLE is the wrong show for you. It is a comedy-romantic detective romp about a by-the-book but attractive woman cop, and the roguish bestselling hack mystery writer determined to irritate, ingratiate, and woo his way into her heart – among other places. ::wink:: A show like this rises or falls on the appeal of the leads, and the wit of the writing – and CASTLE, thankfully, has three highly-appealing leads and clever dialogue, as well as just enough personal drama under the surface to give it some crunch.

The title character is played by the engaging “bad boy” hero of FIREFLY, Nathan Fillion, with the perfect mix of self-deprecation, principle, nurturing and immature-jerk thoughtlessness. One of the brilliant moves of the series is to not simply present author Richard Castle in a vacuum, but to let us in what made him the character he is today: his vain actress mother, even more self-absorbed actress first ex-wife, Barracuda second ex-wife (and publisher), and wise but loving teenage daughter. It’s in the family scenes that you realize that Rick Castle is much more than the “playboy writer” image he projects to the world.

As NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, Robert Rodriguez and 007 alum Stana Katic matches the better-known Fillion in every scene. She succeeds brilliantly as a dedicated and highly-intelligent police detective, with issues, despite the synthetic mystery plotting. We see her emotional scarring almost from the moment we meet her – and we see the warm, humorous and loving woman underneath. Despite her vocal irritation at Castle’s insistence she is his latest “muse” (he bases a new series character on her), she quickly finds herself relying on his surprising perceptiveness, his ability to “think outside the box”, and the pleasure of their banter. Though Beckett’s back-story is only slowly being filled in, we see her loneliness, her sense of compassion buried under the hard-nosed dedication, and her own quirky sense of play that blossoms under his amused tweaking.

The third appealing lead is Castle’s 15-year old daughter Alexis, played by 15-year old Molly Quinn. At first you’re led to believe Alex is the “adult” in her relationship with her Big Friendly Dawg of a father and shallow Broadway Diva grandmother – and in some ways, she is incredibly mature for her age. But as the series progresses we see more of the teenage girl in Alex, and more of her deep love for and trust in her Dad. We’ve seen incredibly smart children countless times on television – what we don’t see very often are those children AS children, secure in the love and care of their seemingly screwy but devoted parent(s).

The mysteries are – well, they’re functional, and don’t get in the way of the flirtatious insulting, Author’s Worst Nightmare moments, eye-rolling hidden amusement, and World’s Coolest Dad occasions. The show succeeds on the strength of Katic’s and Quinn’s considerable appeal – and the desire to see the three of them together solving mysteries as one happy screwy family.

Excellent show

Sometimes you stumble upon a show that is beyond amazing and completely absorbs you. I am glad to say that “Castle” is one of these shows. I got hooked from the very first episode and just can’t stop watching “Castle”.

As a murder is seemingly drawn inspiration from the best-selling author Rick Castle’s work, he gets called upon by the NYPD to help with the case. And, after meeting homicide detective Kate Beckett and helping her solve the case, Rick, a friend to the mayor of New York, gets permission to join the squad for research for his next novel. From then on it’s a big, fun ride.

The best thing about the show is the chemistry between the ensemble. The actors are perfectly cast and click amazingly. Two leads are Nathan Fillion who plays Castle and Stana Katic who plays Kate Beckett. Honestly, the show is worth watching just because of these two. They are just mesmerizing. My personal favorite aspect is when Castle and Beckett get into case and talk successively figuring it out and when they come to conclusion they burst it out together. So much chemistry, their characters come alive and have a real, believable relationship with it’s ups and downs and you just can’t get enough of them. Katic is absolutely dazzling, both with her acting and stunningly good looks.

The second great partnership is the one of detectives Ryan and Esposito. They are awesome in their own element and always seem to have a nice banter going on which expresses in the dialogue. Other supporting cast, such as the actresses who play Castles daughter Alexis and his mother Martha, are excellent as well.

The script is very well written and interesting, the crimes have many u-turns and twists. Dialogue is smart and funny and gives “Castle” great soul and vibe. Cameos of different authors and actors are interesting and enrich the show. Soundtrack is great, it consists of some of the classics and some of just smoothing and stylish songs.

All in all, “Castle” is a splendid show and i am very much looking forward to what happens in the new (fifth) season. Just the sight of chemistry between Fillion and Katic is a reason enough to wait on an edge.

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