There are SO many television shows that are similar, it makes for a difficult time of keeping them all straight (or that would be my dad’s reaction). When ABC would air promotional spots for Castle, my mother and I would howl with laughter each time – so much so that we were determined to jump into the series knowing little about it. We impulsively bought the first set on a shopping trip, got home late that night from running various different places, and even still, we eagerly popped the first disc into the player. In anticipation for the premiere of Castle’s fourth season and the third season hitting store shelves, I couldn’t resist re-visiting one of my favorite TV crime-fighting duos by writing a post on just one of my (many) favorite television genius’.
Kate Beckett and Richard Castle – what can be said about the pair of them!? They are impossible, stubborn, and prideful but never have two people been better together. (So I am just the teensiest biased about this show.) The series is born when the two meet after NYC Detective Beckett comes up against a killer who is seemingly copying the murder scenes straight out of major celebrity author Richard Castle’s mystery novel. Castle is like a little kid when the NYC police department approaches him for questioning – and his assistance on the case; Beckett is less-than-thrilled with the circumstances and is determined to never let on just what a fan of Castle she is – she has read every one of his books, but he doesn’t need to know that. Nevertheless, the two solve the case and Beckett gleefully counts down the minutes until Castle will be off her back – turns out she is disappointed. Castle just happens to know the chief of police… and the mayor… and he kind of likes hanging around with the tough-as-nails Kate Beckett – after all, she is the cure for his pesky writer’s block and inspiration for his newest bestseller. With that, the reluctant Beckett and overgrown kid Castle are off to protect the dark streets of the Big Apple.
Instantly I fell in love with this series. True, there isn’t anything life-changing about it… but it’s cool and enjoyable… and good old-fashioned FUN! So oftentimes comedy and crime do not mix or if they are put together it is a poor match (as if that weren’t already a weird combination of genres), here there is just the right amount of wit mixing into the sometimes gruesome crimes and I think writers gain an even better handle on it in the latter seasons. The fact that a hard-nosed cop and big-shot writer are paired together is an interesting one to say the least – and one that in real life likely wouldn’t be allowed. Castle understands some of the flaws that make human beings… human, and they aren’t afraid of bringing alive characters who aren’t above reproach.
Early on in the show, we learn that Kate has secrets (I know: imagine that, right!?), secrets that Castle picks up on. During one of their dynamic scenes that is anything but comical, Kate warns Castle to stay out of her private life because if he doesn’t, they’re “done.” Naturally – Castle being Castle – he doesn’t keep his nose out of her business and instead uses connections in gaining access in places he shouldn’t have been privileged too. It is in that research that he learns a devastating truth. He had good intentions in wanting Kate to face her past, to be able to leave behind the cobwebs and move on. Kate’s anger is geared towards her so-called partner for a little while but really, she doesn’t have the right kind of attitude about bitterness and anger, period. Her grudge was long-standing and one that she needed to have long since let go of. Writers seem to have a firm grip on the love-hate relationship between Beckett and Castle. Their friendship might be one of the best currently on screen today. It has merged into a deep trust that isn’t easily broken now the pair has, perhaps even without recognizing it, formed an easy-going and honest rapport. The pair of them have gone through a lot together from a death that closed the door on Kate’s long-standing investigation to Alexis’ tumultuous teenage years. Now, after almost four years, it doesn’t hurt things that Castle finally uttered those three little words (what almost makes that worse is the non-existent resolution following that reveal).
This show – funny as it may be or serious as it sometimes is, has a lot more to it than meets the eye. So many of us want “intelligent” TV because we don’t want to be insulted by concepts scripter’s may add as a means of distraction or under the guise of being “funny.” Castle has its fair share of both instances (like one time when Castle has a bullet-proof vest custom-made which proudly proclaims his occupation) but it can also be a poignant hour-long time slot. Something about the show works because the summer time-filler vehicle it once was is now a highly-rated evening timeslot. Check out my reviews of seasons one and two below. And, now I must run - Amazon is waiting on my order of season three, and then, it's time to go solve a mystery!
Castle returns to ABC on September 19th at 10/9 C., and you can look for the third season to hit store shelves on September 20th.