Castle in the Air

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion

I rarely watch television anymore. I just can’t seem to relate positively to most of the popular shows. Having been through a few medical procedures and operations, I don’t care to watch hospital dramas, and frankly, House just plain old scares me. The same for the CSI’s after the one hold up at a 7-11 at 9 at night that I was in.

But I do watch Castle. As a writer and reader, I enjoy watching the interplay between mystery writer Richard Castle and NYPD detective Kate Beckett. Having met quite a few detectives through the years, I recognize Beckett’s no-nonsense approach to crime, and knowing quite a few mystery writers, I understand Castle’s outside-the-box-thinking about why people do what they do.

More important to me, however, is the family dynamic in the program. Castle with his actress mother and brainiac daughter becomes more than a caricature, and the on-going subplot of Beckett’s mother’s murder adds a humanity to her that is missing in other police procedurals I’ve watched.

When I watch Castle, I’m reminded of Numb3rs which also added the family dynamic to FBI procedural. By doing so, both series let viewers peek into the personal nuances of their lead characters more realistically than dramas that just focus solely on the crime investigation.

Another part of Castle that I enjoy is how it mixes reality and fiction by having Castle (and Beckett) mingle with real authors. The appearances of Steven J. Cannell, Michael Connelly, and James Patterson together with the plotting advice they discuss give Castle a hall of mirrors feel. These are real fiction writers talking to a fictional author about plot which is a real-life element necessary for the TV show.

The addition of the Castle books is a by-product of the show that I find amusing. Can’t say as I enjoy reading the books as much as watching the program, which is totally the opposite of how I usually feel about book/television marriages.

Finally, the Castle tv show’s biggest attraction for me is that cast is superb. Nathan Fillon, with the twinkle in his eye, adds just the right amount of boyish exuberance to the character of Castle to make him loveable and not doltish. His interaction with Susan Sullivan as his mother and Molly Quinn as his daughter is delightful.

The same dynamic is present with Beckett and her two main detectives, Ryan and Esposito. Lovely Stana Katic’s mixture of exasperation and dedication becomes almost motherly as she interacts with Jon Huertas’ doggedly serious portrayal of Esposito and Seamus Dever’s wide-eyed disillusionment as Ryan.

All in all, the show is exactly what I need in between episodes of Top Shot, Eureka, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, and Jeopardy!, which I watch regularly during their seasons.

Unfortunately, it’s off season for most of my favorites, so I need help. What television drama is your favorite and why? I’d like to know. You’d be doing a public service!

– Pat AAR

14 thoughts on “Castle in the Air

  1. Tee

    I watch no drama programs and, like you, don’t really watch a lot of television at all. But at night, I’ll pop it on and surf away. I’ve been enjoying “Chopped” when it’s on. I don’t cook anymore, but I’ve been loving this show. “Hoarders” is another one that fascinates me. I’m really quite orderly, so it amazes me that people truly live this way and see no problems with it. “Say Yes to the Dress” is another show that I’ll try to catch if I remember; also, “What Not to Wear” on a less regular basis. That’s about it. I’ve caught “Undercover Boss” more than a few times and really enjoyed it.

    But I can say that there is nothing on a regular basis that I plan for. Oops, that’s not true. On the Catholic channel, on Monday nights, is a show called “Journey Home,” which I’ve watched for years. Depending on the guest of the week, it can be very informative, for me.

  2. AAR Sandy

    I’m a big fan of HBO, Pat. Have you tried any of their series? Boardwalk Empire is outstanding. And The Sopranos is my favorite drama. Ever. I’m also a big fan of Mad Men.

    As for this season, I am really liking American Horror Story on FX.

    I like Eureka, too!

  3. AARPat

    Tee and Sandy, thanks for the recommendations! I’ll be looking into them.

    Sandy, I love True Blood, but then I love all of Charlaine Harris’ books.

  4. kitvancleave

    I’m convinced CASTLE and A GOOD WIFE are the best-written and best-acted shows on network television.

  5. Missie

    Like Linnie, another Castle and Body of Proof fan.

    Hubby and I also enjoy Eureka (did you know the series is coming to an end? :-( *sigh*), Warehouse 13, and Psych — we’re HUGE fans of Psych.

    I enjoy Royal Pains and Cover Affairs, as well, ‘though I don’t follow them as closely.

    Burn Notice is another good one — and it has family interaction all over the place (the delightful Sharon Gless plays the protagonist’s mom).

    Rizzoi & Isles is also enjoyable, as is The Closer. (What with all the varying “seasons” among the various channels, one can find a wide variety of shows.)

  6. Nicole

    I still watch Castle, but I find that I am tiring of the obstacles they are using to maintain the “will they / won’t they” between Castle and Beckett. And I am certainly not impressed with how Beckett seems to have had a glamour makeover. She is a detective and the original hairstyle was much more realistic. I can’t help thinking how she has time to style her hair for every crime scene attendance when they can happen at all hours. Stana Katic is pretty without making her look like a Hollywood cop. But then again, the coroner is also in heavy makeup for every murder scene, so it is probably a directive from the network executives.

    At least Nathan Fillion is his usual amazing self and his charisma makes this a show far more entertaining than it ought to be.

    Most network shows bore me because I refuse to watch the CSIs, Law and Orders et al. I prefer shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey.

  7. AARPat

    Thanks, everyone! You’ve all mentioned some really good shows.

    (Gasp! Eureka is gone?!? Oh, no, Mr. Bill!)

  8. Kay Webb Harrison

    Gasp! Eureka is gone?!?

    Not yet. There will be a special Christmas show in December. Then there will be a new [or continued] season in 2012.

    My husband and I both enjoy Castle. We also like the two NCIS programs on CBS on Tuesdays, and The Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist on Thursdays.

    I plan to watch the first episodes of Once Upon a Time, which begins this Sunday on ABC at 8 EDT.

    Kay

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