I may like a lot of TV shows (as the landscape has been getting better), but there are a handful that I love. “Castle” is amongst my favorites of late, and it should be yours, too. I was quickly enticed when it originally aired by the simple fact that it starred Nathan Fillion. As one of the better, yet originally less known actors of our time… I’d watch him doing a commercial.
Fillion stars as Rick Castle, multi-millionaire novelist who decided to finally kill off his money-making character and create a new series of crime novels. Much to the dismay of his manager and publisher, he moves forward with this plan. After being called in by the NYPD to aid in the solving of a murder, he decides that the best way to create a new character is to continue to work closely with them.
Thanks to his influential friends, he is ‘partnered’ with Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), and right from the start, their relationship is rocky at best. He decides to base his new character, Nikki Heat, on her and she is less than thrilled.
I hate comparing it to “Moonlighting”, because everyone has, but it is a good comparison. The love/hate relationship carries through the series, and it is pulled off by the lead actors better than I have ever seen it done.
I’m glad to finally see Fillion in a series that lasted more than one season… heck… even lasted a full season. He has been though the soap opera gig, made a couple of movies and even ended up as a ‘big bad’ in a season of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.” But his big shot into fandom came when Joss Whedon cast him as Malcolm Reynolds in the ill-fated “Firefly” (still the BEST TV series ever…period). Lasting only 14 episodes, but spawning a big screen film (“Serenity”), Fillion moved on to “Drive” which lasted 6 episodes. But with “Castle”, Fillion has hit his stride and finally caught the attention of the masses outside of “Firefly” fans.
Stan Katic I knew less about, but she is perfect in the role of Detective Beckett. Paired up with Fillion, they make the perfect imperfect couple. As I mentioned, they have that love/hate thing going which almost came to a head at the end of the second season… but has managed to be held off… for a while anyway.
We also get to see a bit of Castle’s home life, with Molly Quinn as his daughter Alexis, and the great Susan Sullivan as his mom. The relationship between this trio is every bit as entertaining as that of Castle and Beckett. There are moments where Fillion plays the father, and these are always subtly powerful and poignant or downright hysterical.
“Castle”, even in its fourth season is a very light and somewhat overly breezy comedy-mystery-drama, but no less entertaining than just about anything else out on TV right now. I’m thankful that it beginning a fifth season and I hope there are more to come. I think it has a good chance of lasting since it has spawned a real series of “Richard Castle” books and graphic novels.
The DVD for the fourth season delivers a clean transfer as well as a host of extra features. There are three commentaries (listed below), all of which are quite funny to listen to. There is also an unusual feature showing Fillion and cast members doing a show broadcast in the form of an old time radio show in front of a live audience (what I wouldn’t have given to be there!). You’ll also find a great featurettes on an underwater stunt scene, plus a behind the scenes look at the episode “The Blue Bunny.” Of course, no set would be complete without some deleted scenes (of which there are many) and a great Gag Reel.
“Castle” is a wonderfully fun show, one that deserves a long run. And I should mention that for “Firefly” fans, there are little Easter Eggs that show up in the series just for you. Some are easy to spot, while others offer a little bit more of a challenge to find, but they are there. Happy Hunting!!
Rise (commentary by Executive Producer Rob Bowman and cast members Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones, and Seamus Dever)
Heroes and Villains
Kick the Ballistics
Eye of the Beholder
Cops & Robbers
Cuffed (Commentary by Executive Producer & Writer Andrew Marlowe & Writer Terri Miller, Cast members Nathan FIllion and Stana Katic)
Til Death Do Us Part
Dial M for Mayor
An Embarrassment of Bitches
The Blue Butterfly (commentary by Writer Terence Paul Winter, Costume Designer Luke Reichle, Actors Susan Sullivan, Tamala Jones and Molly Quinn)
Once Upon a Crime
A Dance with Death
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Molly C. Quinn, John Huertas, Susan Sullivan, Seamus Deaver
Extras: Fillion & Friends – Castle Goes Radio; Submerged – An In Depth Look at Stunts; Bowman, Bowman, and Castle; Audio Commentaries; Deleted Scenes; Bloopers
Specification: Widescreen (1.78:1); Dolby Surround 5.1
Studio: ABC Studios
Release Date: 9/18/2012
MPAA Rating: NR