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July 25, 2014

Jane After Dark: Five reasons I'm loving Castle

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 27th 2009 3:01PM
Castle - Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion
This week in Jane After Dark, I caught up with season one of Castle. I'm a sucker for fun whodunits, especially when they feature great male and female characters who've perfected the art of the snappy banter. Specifically, here are five reasons why I'm loving Castle:

1. Nathan Fillion is boyishly charming.
I've been a big fan of this Joss Whedon favorite since seeing him in 2005's feature film Serenity. I finally completed that awesome circle by watching Firefly last winter. Fillion has the ability to be goofy one minute and deadly serious the next. In Castle, he plays Richard Castle, a best-selling mystery author who's raising a 15-year-old daughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) -- and, in many ways, his free-spirited live-in mother Martha (Susan Sullivan), as well. Having killed off his latest fictional character, Richard found inspiration in NYPD detective Kate Beckett, after being called in to advise on a case. Now they're working as pseudo-partners.


2. Stana Katic is beautifully brainy. I still see Carla Gugino when I look at Katic, but she's slowly coming into her own identity for me. I love that she's smart and gorgeous, but also that she's the strong one of the Castle/Beckett partnership. She can make a perp cry like nobody's business. You get the feeling that she doesn't have to try too hard to resist his charms, but there's definitely a spark there. She seems both flattered and repelled by the fact that she's the inspiration for his new fictional character, and yet, she's starting to appreciate his attention to detail on cases. They make a good team.

3. Molly C. Quinn is adorably responsible. I love the relationship between Richard and Alexis, and the fact that she's much more sensible than he is. Sure, he'll evil-eye the boy who takes her to the prom, but that's only after she takes away the fake severed head he plans to freak the boy out with. And laser tag? What a fun dad.

4. The writing is captivatingly snappy. The writers have created such great characters on this show, and I love the dialogue between Castle and Beckett. Castle harks back to not only great whodunit shows like The Rockford Files and Columbo, but also classic film duos like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in any of their films, William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man series, and Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. It's a joy to watch Fillion and Katic perfect their craft.

5. I can watch it with my kids. I've never really gotten into the darker, modern-day crime procedurals because a lot of them are too dark and edgy for me to watch with my kids (a teen and a tween). Castle has all the elements of a great procedural, but it's also fun and fresh. You get a body and a crime scene at the beginning, but then it's really all about the characters and how they interact to solve the crime.

Castle: The Complete First Season is now on DVD, so if you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. Read Kona's review of the season two premiere, and look for my review of the next episode this week.

[Watch clips and episodes of Castle and other shows on SlashControl.]

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Sarah

Nathan Fillion IS boyishly charming!
There's something about him that people can't help but enjoy and want to root for him. I've liked him ever since Two Guys and a Girl and watched Drive just because he was leading it. I'm glad he found a winner with Castle.

September 28 2009 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris

I just started to watch Castle this summer and Love it.

Definitely see a lot of Rockford Files and late 70s crime shows in Castle.

S2 Premiere episode granted was not that good but I think it will progress nicely.

September 28 2009 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandee

Castle and his daughter remind me of Susan and her daughter on DH. She was sometimes more the adult than the parent. And I find it refreshing not have a wise arse kid on a show.

September 27 2009 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Age-K

I also love the scenes at Castle's house with his family. They're such an interesting/amusing trio. And I totally believe that the family can be like that, as over-the-top as they can seem. I enjoy the mysteries and the entertaining ways they solve them, but whenever the cameras go back to the Castle apartment I get a little "Woohoo! Apartment scene!" moment.

September 27 2009 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

I watched season 1 yesterday after watching the season premier last monday and i really enjoy it, i love the dynamic between beckett and castle and the sense of humour the show has.

September 27 2009 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

High fives, Chuck. :-)

September 27 2009 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

there is something wrong here.. a review I agreed with?
i too enjoy the show, to include the "Alexis parts" - which allow the writers to give a little more depth to Castle, one minor bone to pick, he sure became a "detective", i.e., fit in without much trouble, awfully quick (what you say this is Tv?)..
but overall has my tiVOTE.

September 27 2009 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corrector

The Alexis parts are what kill the show for me. On top of "crime of the week", we've got to deal with "witty case-breaking father-daughter moment of the week" too? Reminds of the little sister sub-plot from Bionic Woman. Alexis should be window dressing, nothing more and certainly not in every episode.

If they don't go with a serialized with an investigation of Beckett's mother's murder (or some other compelling story), I don't think we'll see season three.

September 27 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Corrector's comment
driftwood

I like the dynamic of the adult "child" versus the juvenile "parent". The actress always has great lines and does them well. Also, in terms of the show, I think it's a needed break by providing a dose of innocent/non death time.

So I like her so much better than the whiny annoying bionic sister.

September 27 2009 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corrector

It risks becoming contrived though.. if she "solves" the case for him every week.

September 27 2009 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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