Saturday, January 9, 2010

REVIEW - What's Great about CASTLE

from Jennifer AlLee
Hold onto your hats, folks. I'm doing a review today. But it's not about book. And it's not about a movie (although I'm using the movie review header because I failed to give Lisa - designer supreme - a head's up that I was doing this).

That's right, I'm going rogue... stepping into uncharted territory... and reviewing a TV series.

The series in the spotlight: CASTLE

Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a well-known mystery writer who's just killed off the main character in his successful series. Thanks to his friendship with the mayor, he's paired up with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) so she can be the inspiration for Nikki Heat, the heroine in his new series.

Let me confess right now, my initial motivation for watching this show was Nathan Fillion. The Canadian-born actor is a favorite of mine. I remember watching him many years ago when he played the original Joey Buchanan on One Life to Live. He was awesome playing Captain Mal Reynolds on the prematurely canceled sci-fi series, Firefly. And let's not forget his comic musical turn in the Joss Whedon internet hit, Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Yep, I'm a Fillion fan.

But there's so much more about this series to love. Since he's a writer, we get to see Castle struggle through the plotting process, even while he's pondering the latest case. But my favorite parts are the inter-personal relationships. Castle lives with his teenage daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn), and his socialite actress mother, Martha Rodgers (the fabulous Susan Sullivan). The interplay between these three characters is wonderfully real. The love and concern that Rick has for Alexis is touching. For her part, Alexis is the level headed one, often giving solid advice to both her father and grandmother.

In the role as Beckett, Stana Katic gives us a strong, resourceful woman who is always professional, but still feels deeply. Because of the unsolved murder of her own mother, Beckett empathizes with the families of victims. And while Castle started off as a burr under her saddle blanket, she's developed a respect for his deductive reasoning skills... and his cute smile, I'm sure.

The dialog in Castle is crisp, often funny, and usually very natural. Of course, it's stretching the premise to believe that a writer would be allowed so much access to crime scenes and investigations, but that's part of the fun. When Castle accompanies the detectives to a location, they all wear vests that say POLICE. His vest says WRITER. We're all in on the joke. And I want to know where I can get a vest like that.

A new episode of Castle airs Monday, January 11th on ABC. Check your local listing for the time.

Question: Is there a TV show that you never miss?


  1. I'm glad you were a maverick today and braved new territory. I love this show. I love the mysteries, love the characters. Yes it requires that we suspend disbelief for a bit, but it's so much fun it's worth it. It reminds me a little bit of the old Remington Steele series with Pierce Brosnan. I guess I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories!

  2. I LOVE this show! I'm so glad a new episode is coming soon.

  3. I'm also a fan of CASTLE and, as a writer, fantasize about one day having a launch party like his. My sister thinks the red carpet and champagne are "the real deal" but with my debut book out in April, I'm thinking more along the lines of making sure my aging car gets washed before I drive it to a book signing where I'll spring for Hershey's kisses that evening.

  4. It's certainly popular and I can understand why. I just can't stay up late enough to see it.
    Leigh, I thought that all writers had those kind of parties? :)

  5. Jen! I LOVE Castle. I love Nathan Fillion, and all the characters on this show. I love the relationship with his daughter and mother.

    Shows I never missed: Quantum all time fav! Monk...rivaling Scott Bakula for a close second...and the other one you mentioned...Remington Steele. In fact, I recently purchased the first two seasons of Remington Steele and Monk. I'm saving them for a rainy day.

    New shows I never miss: Castle...and White Collar. I can't wait for that new season to begin as well.

    Everyone of these shows, past and present have something in common that I value in shows and books: interpersonal relationships, and in the case of QL and Monk, the writers give you a deep empathy for the characters and their personal plights. Monk's OCD and the drive to find his wife's killer, and QL's Sam Beckett and being caught between his desire to get back home to his true love and saving people from whatever tragedy awaits them.

    Like you, I can't wait for Monday night for the new Castle episode. It's already set on my DVR in case I fall asleep.

  6. Oh, yes, and like you, I LOVE the vest Castle wears. I want one, too.

  7. Castle: Let me borrow your magnifying glass.
    Beckett: I don't have a magnifying glass.
    Castle: Isn't that standard issue for detectives?
    Beckett: No, not since Sherlock Holmes.

    Castle: I can already see the blurb on my next book jacket; It's fashion week in New York City, and the clothes are to die for.

    Castle: What is it about full moons that bring out all the crazies?
    Beckett: I don't know, you tell me.

    Can you tell that I'm a fan? Happy Birthday to me on Monday. A new Castle episode.:)

    Oh, Deb and anyone who is interested. When I can't stay up and watch Castle I watch it later at where you can watch almost anything for free on your computer after it airs.

    Thanks for posting this Jen. It looks like a lot of us are Castle fans.:) I want a vest too! So fun.

  8. I love this show too! You all do know that his book has actually been published?! It's called Heat Wave, I haven't read it yet but it's on my wishlist!

    xoxo~ Renee

  9. Hey Renee,
    I asked for Heatwave for my birthday. And I'm guessing you're a Steeler Fan? I grew up in Greensburg, Pa. and still love the Steelers even though I'm in Bengals territory now. :) I have to admit I love both teams. Go read my post from last January at if you get a chance.:) That was a fun time wasn't it? Stay warm.

  10. Great to see all you Castle fans out there!

    Renee, Heat Wave has gotten pretty good reviews. I'd like to read it, but just haven't been able to fit it into the schedule. Also, I'm dying to know who REALLY wrote the book. It's a literary mystery...

    Deb, I've got Bible study on Monday nights and don't always get home in time for the beginning, so I record it old-school... on a VCR. But like Jill said, you can watch it on Hulu, too.

    Jill, great quotes! There are so many good ones to choose from.

    Leigh, congrats on your book! Oh, wouldn't it be awesome to have a book launch like the one for Heat Wave? We can dream, right?

    My other series not to miss is LOST, which starts up again on February 2nd. It's a fascinating character study wrapped up in a really cool, weird storyline. This is the last season, so can't wait to see how everything is wrapped up.

    Blessings, y'all!

  11. Oh Jen, sadly there are many shows I never miss, and since I have DVR on my TV, scheduling is not a problem. By the way, DVR (otherwise known as Tivo in some areas) is revolutionary. Once you have it, you can't imagine how you ever lived without it.

    Here's my won't miss list.

    So You Think You Can Dance
    Gray's Anatomy
    American Idol
    One Tree Hill
    Make It Or Break It
    Ten Things I Hate About You
    Better Off Ted

    Know you all know way too much about me. I'm a bit of a TV addict. However, in my defense, they don't all run at the same time of year, and I rarely watch any live TV. It usually averages about 5-8 hours a week.


  12. What a fun discussion today! Great review. This show is adorable.

    One show I never miss is Chuck. Talk about suspending disbelief --but I love it. Silly and escapist, but the romance between Chuck and his CIA handler is fun, too. I'm happy the show comes back tomorrow & Monday.

    There are quite a few Steeler fans among us, aren't there? I lived in Pittsburgh for a while. Great town. I was cleaning out a linen closet today and found our Terrible Towel.

  13. I'm glad you went rogue today, too! In order to have control of the television around here I have to know what I'm gonna watch, when, and why... otherwise I'm outnumbered by the males and end up viewing marathons of Bear Grylls eating nasty things and drinking his own pee. Sigh. Life with boys. Now I have something to put on the schedule for ME! Thanks!

  14. Niki, we watch a lot of Bear Gylls here too, and the Mythbuster guys. Ugh.

  15. Dina, I'm SUCH a TV person! I also have a list, and now that you've outed yourself, I can come clean, too :+} Some of my other faves are:

    So You Think You Can Dance
    American Idol
    Lie to Me
    CSI (the original)

    I would be watching Stargate Universe, but we don't get the Sci-Fy Channel since we downgraded our cable to save money. Same for Project Runway. And some shows I can't watch because of scheduling conflicts, so I get caught up with them on Netflix.

    And now you know WAY more about my TV watching habits than you wanted!

  16. Yay, Jen!

    I don't watch much TV but I absolutely love this show. Everything from the sharp writing, writer's jabs, quirky eyebrows and the chemistry between Rick and Beckett is right and fun.

    Thanks for the terrific review. And the head-ups about it's season re-start. :)

  17. Guess who got Castle, The Complete First Season for her B-day? :)

  18. Jilly, happy birthday! And what a great birthday present, too.

    Hey, girls, I'm glad I'm not the only one who watches the Bachelor. That's one of my guilty secrets that I don't usually tell anyone about.

  19. Suzie, I watch Bachelor/Bachelorette, too but I don't keep it a secret...I tell everyone, even the ones who look at me with disdain. I realize the producers put the most entertaining bits up, but it's a fascinating hour (or two) spent on character study from my POV.

    Also, up here in Cda, we don't have the good fortune to receive although it would make my life so much more convenient if we did.

  20. NOW I know about Castle!

    Hmmm, only take time to watch TV on hubby dates and during exercise.

    LOVE Law & Order and The Closer.
    Great dialogue and plots.

  21. Cold Case which is on in 10 min. And, inadvertantly, The Amazing Race, because it's on before Cold Case and the schedule gets off during football season. The boys watch Race with me, but I send them to bed during the "creepy show."


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