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Friday, February 12, 2016

Loving Castle

It’s Valentine’s weekend - a time to celebrate love for a spouse, parents, children, siblings, friends, chocolate, and television shows. Yep! I said TV shows. Many networks will be running marathons this weekend. While I do enjoy a good Hallmark love fest, the one I’m looking forward to is a two night premier of new episodes of Castle.

I discovered this show several years after it first premiered. Home sick one day, I came across an all day marathon of the first season: There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. I was hooked.

In case you've never seen an episode and are wondering "Who is Castle? Why should I watch?" here’s the intro for the first couple of seasons:

If that intro isn’t enough to show you why I’m such a big fan of this show now in its eighth season, here are five more reasons why I enjoy the series so much:

1)      Nathan Fillion is a writer who hangs out with other writers. In each episode we are treated to some of his wild theories on the cases. He focuses not just on the crime, or suspect, but motives – often injecting the most ridiculous plot ideas including aliens, time travel, international spies, treasure hunters, vampires, and even paranormal activity. These are perfect examples of how writers play with stories, trying new twists, and character introductions in order to find that perfect combination for a truly memorable tale. The audience is given a high energy, intelligent, and lovable protagonist. Viewers are also treated to scenes with real-life writers from time to time. James Patterson, Michael Connely, Dennis Lehane, and the late Stephen J. Cannell have made appearances at “the writer’s poker table.” In one episode, Castle calls Wes Craven for advice.
2)      Fabulous Femme Fatale – Stana Katic’s character, Kate Beckett, becomes Castle’s muse for his new series. While it’s all too easy for mysteries to offer a flat or carbon copy femme fatale, this show gives us one who is not only beautiful, but smart and strong as well. Does it necessarily follow that she must bring misery to any man who is with her? Castle is definitely willing to find out. See video below for an example: 
3)      Amazing Supporting Characters – the show focuses an equal amount of time on relationships with family, partners, and friends. This series offers us some of the most witty and lovable characters to fill these roles. Castle has a daughter and his mother living with him. Beckett has two male partners, and female coroner best friend. Whether the episode gives you a police procedural, psychological thriller, or a twist the comedy relief and loving support of those secondary characters carries as much weight as the two leads.
4)      Frequent nods to scifi and fantasy fans – Hat tips have been offered to shows like Buffy, X-Files, Star Trek, and Star Wars. There have also been a few references, and guest appearances, from Firefly (another Nathan Fillion series). And viewers discover in an episode, The Final Frontier, that Beckett, Castle, and Alexis are all science fiction nerds who enjoy Comicons. That one episode alone is FULL of visual, plot, and dialogue references to the popular genre. For a list of those references go here.
5)      Musical references – nearly every episode has some melodic reference. From the musical opening, to settings in music competitions, and a full episode such as Swan Song (a behind the scenes documentary style episode) the series offers many lyrical references. Sometimes characters merely recite a single line from a song, or briefly refer to a musician’s actions in passing. Viewers might even miss it in the snappy dialogue if they are not paying close attention. Occasionally, the supporting cast may offer musical numbers (that's right, many of the actors have musical skills). We are left with no doubt that the amazing writers are also music fans of every genre and age.

If this list isn’t enough abc put together a list of 100 reasons you should watch when they aired the 100th episode. Isn’t that cake gorgeous? You can find those 100 reasons here.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have been watching! It's a great show.

D.G. Hudson said...

I watch Castle too, it's one of the few police shows that has a believable, feisty female lead who doesn't make me gag. This is a well cast show and has even surpassed the Mentalist as entertainment in my mind. I like it!! Initially it intrigued me since he's a writer, and a sexy one at that. . .

Taryn Tyler said...

Is it really in its eighth season already? I feel so old for having watched the premier episode when it first aired! It's a great show.