Castle: Have Princess, Need Dragon

28 02 2010

Over the last two years, I survived on a steady diet of Law & Order: SVU, LOST, and Seinfeld re-runs. Why? I don’t have cable TV, and I don’t particularly yearn for it. I’ve grown accustomed to the new ABC drama or the riveting tale of deception illustrated by 60 Minutes. Simply put, my options are slim. ‘Castle’ was a heavily pushed ABC cop-drama that starred two relative unknowns in the industry; Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame and Stana Katic, a statuesque model-type who does fairly well in a detective persona. I watched every episode since the pilot and while I enjoy the show (simply because i’ve nurtured it since inception), it’s definitely missing something. Read on for a full review and pics of the cast.

The basic premise of the show goes like this; Popular murder-mystery writer Richard Castle tags along with a NYC homicide detective for inspiration to create a new hero after killing off his previous cash-cow character in his latest book. Castle can be a nuisance at times but his insight based on his penchant for plot-twists serves as a big aid to the cause and actually helps in solving crimes. Kate Beckett, the female detective in which Castle is looking to base his new character after, is at times annoyed by the tag-along but is actually a huge, raving fan of Castle and his books (but he doesn’t know it). During the entire first season and half of the second season, Beckett and Castle develop a Jim-Pam, Ross-Rachel post-breakup, will-they-won’t-they relationship that really keeps the viewers tuning in. The murder story plots are a bit far-fetched and are probably not enough to keep the show going, which is why the last 4-5 episodes have been particularly average. The show isn’t very plot-driven, meaning you can hop in at any time, but I strongly urge curious window-shoppers to start from the beginning and see Castle and Beckett’s relationship develop.

My advice to the guardians of the Castle? Keep us wanting more. Push Castle and Beckett but maintain the glass ceiling. A peculiar romance is what people want to see, and as a straight-up police drama, it can’t hang with the SVUs, CSIs, and other certified heavy-hitters. It does own a pretty decent time-slot (Mondays at 10:00 PM) because the level of competition is low, but with NBC moving Leno back to The Tonight Show, the original Law & Order returns to Mondays at 10 P.M..  At this point, Castle is missing the “umph”, but it definitely has long-term potential.

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