The Castle of pulpy mystery and brilliant colors

Castle - The TV Series

I started watching Castle in the shadow of Chuck, which meant that it had an unjustified disadvantage to begin with. The show supposedly falls in the comedy-drama (or dramedy, if you will) genre. The reason I picked the show up was Nathan Fillion, the guy I loved as Malcom in Firefly and Serenity (the movie.)

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Fillion plays Richard Castle, a mystery novelist with his ex-wife as his publicist. He lives with his very wise teenage daughter, Alexis played by Molly C. Quinn, and his wildly bizarre mother played to perfection by Susan Sullivan. The pilot episode has Castle being called by NYPD to solve a serial murder case inspired by his books. As Castle helps the gorgeous detective Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic, catch his copycat murder and also struggles with the brickbats for killing his series’ protagonist in the latest novel. With minor twists, reasonable drama, and complete lack of teamwork, detective Beckett and he succeed in catching the murderer. The episode ends with Castle using his contacts and charming his way through NYPD to get the permission to tail the detective on her each homicide so that he can base the new protagonist of his forthcoming series on her! Beckett hates his guts, and Castle flirts every now and then but the chemistry is kind of lost to me. Nothing path breaking but mildly entertaining show of about forty minutes.

A Particular Frame I Like

Only four episodes of the first season down and I can see where the main plot is headed, but I cannot complain. Not every show is supposed to blow your mind, some are just meant to amuse and then be forgotten. I would put Castle in this category. However, the cinematography of the show is brilliant and I love the opening shots of every episode, which mainly show NY skyline. The use of color is also splendid and I find myself paying a lot of attention to every frame.

Stana Ketic as Detective Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha, the Mom

As I said, the opening shots use the usual NY structures and much exploited skyline, but the shots are amazing. Check them out for yourself.

Each episode solves a mystery, which works wonderfully for me but the major drawback of the show in my opinion is the lack of depth in the characters. The makers clearly decided that they wanted some romantic tension between Richard and detective Beckett and that Richard would share a complex relationship with his mother and a beautiful one with his daughter, but that is where they stopped. I bet they do not know squat about Richard Castle beyond this and that is reflected in the show. I often see conflicting shades in Castle’s character, which puts me off the show immediately.

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis

Another thing that I find hard to swallow is the flawlessness of Alexis’ character. She is a good kid, I totally buy that but she is sensible to the extent of being unreal. Since they have not paid much attention to the characterization, this stands out like a sore thumb.

All said and done, I do not mind watching an episode of Castle over dinner after a hard day’s work. Nevertheless, it does nothing, absolutely nothing, to fill the vacuum left by Chuck. The withdrawal symptoms continue. The wait for January 10th could not be any more torturous.


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