ABC’s Castle is a crime based comedy/drama starring Nathan Fillion as mystery author Richard Castle and Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett. The series begins with a murder that seems all too familiar to Detective Beckett, who is a devout Richard Castle fan. Castle is called in for consult on the crime, which mimics a murder in one of his novels. He is inspired by Detective Beckett and decides she is his new muse, seeing as how he just killed off his best-selling character, Derrick Storm. Nikki Heat is born, and, thanks to his friendship with the mayor, Castle is now Beckett’s permanent tag-along on all her cases (much to her chagrin).
10. The Acting is *actually* really good.
I don’t know about you, but I despise shows like CSI, SVU, and Law and Order because the acting is absolutely atrocious. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean the main characters—but the victims/murderers/rapists/suspects/etc. I understand that with people constantly being murdered and interrogated, you need to cast a lot of actors per episode/season. But honestly, I could name ten people from my high school drama class that can act better than that. There are so many actors out there who are trying to make it in that industry, really talented people, and you waste your budget on actors who belong in porn or workplace training videos?
When I watched my first episode of Castle, that’s exactly what I was afraid of. I already knew Nathan Fillion was going to be great, but I was most hesitant about the extras. Castle isn’t a real “well heard of” show, so why would their budget allow for talented people? I had to weigh my attraction to Mr. Fillion against the inevitable bad acting that would come with this crime/mystery show.
To my surprise, I could have my cake, and eat it, too! The actors they choose to portray even the smallest part are always, always stupendous. I’ve never found myself flinching during a badly-delivered murder confession or victim’s statement. Plus, if you’re a Whedon fan (which you better be), you’ll delight in each episode that a Whedon character suddenly appears! I know I did.
Not to mention Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, is a brilliant actress, as is the entire cast.
9. It’s a Twist!
Well, obviously it was the husband. He is definitely the killer! I mean, come on, he took out a life insurance policy on his wife the week before her murder, hello! Wrong, stupid. It was the random guy from her office who was mad that she was going to reveal that he was sleeping with his secretary! BUT WAIT THE HUSBAND WAS IN ON IT??
See what I did there? You went for the obvious answer, right? But you were wrong! But then you were kind of right. It’s all very technical. This is basically what you can expect from each episode of Castle. You’ll find yourself accusing the character that seemed really shifty during interrogation, when really you should have been accusing the person who “found” the body or knew the victim from summer camp 20 years ago. I’m not saying that you should expect every episode to have a murder plot out of left field, but really, you should just leave Beckett and Castle to their jobs. It is fascinating seeing how everything ties together at the end. I always get a little chill when either Beckett or Castle (or both at the same time, as they do) shout, “I know who the killer is!”.
8. The Sexual Tension is Murderous. (Get it? Eh? EH?!)
Oh, Caskett (their OTP name, Castle + Beckett = Caskett) JUST DO IT ALREADY! Castle and Beckett are so obviously in love. And how could they not be? Castle is Kate’s favorite author, he’s handsome, rich, smart, helps her solve murder cases, and makes her laugh. And Kate is strong, independent, incredibly sexy, a Sherlock in stilettos who could kick your ass halfway to next year. The tension between these two is so frustrating. You just want to make paper dolls of them and make them kiss each other! (Wait, is that creepy?) Honestly, though, you understand why they’re hesitant to indulge their curiosities. The writers do an amazing job of making sure you really know the characters. Just like Beckett and Castle, you’ll know when the time is right.
7. “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be just like Kate Beckett!”
Detective Beckett is a triple threat: smart, sexy, and lethal. Her target practice sheet will have you pissing your pants, and don’t even think about running from her, because she will take you down harder than a linebacker (I don’t know football, is that a legitimate comparison?). This woman is in-demand, determined, and noble. She wants to put murderers behind closed bars and will do whatever she needs to do to get there. The youngest female homicide detective in the NYPD, Kate Beckett is driven by an inescapable desire to gain vengeance for her mother, who was murdered when Kate was still a teenager. She is loyal, honest, and hard-working. She is a real role model, although her character would blush and hide in a closet if you told her so (she’s also very modest).
6. Castle’s insane theories will have you in stitches.
Whether it’s a government conspiracy, extraterrestrials, zombies, or vampires, Castle always has an imaginative (and sometimes plausible) theory for the murder case at hand. Occasionally, his theories are actually helpful, and humor ensues. This is not a science-fiction show, however, so his theories are always wrong. Still, it always has Beckett and her fellow detectives raising eyebrows and grinning even in the grimmest of circumstances.
5. The Plot Thickens…
There isn’t one episode of Castle that bores me. Pop stars hanging from fire escapes, dead guys in cake mixers, girls pinned to the ceiling with barbed wire. Call me morbid, but these episodes are frightening and fascinating. Sometimes there’s a gunshot wound to the chest, but the body has been set in such a ceremonial fashion that you wonder why the body was left that way instead of why the victim was murdered in the first place. The writers keep the viewer intrigued, curious, and grasping for details. And as always, when the case is solved, the viewer is left satisfied.
4. All the feels.
From Castle’s relationship with his daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn), to Beckett’s painful past, the feels in this fine program are never ending. I have laughed and sobbed appropriately. I have been scared shitless and overjoyed. I have rooted for the good guys and been furious with the bad guys. I feel like I know these characters, like I’m part of their lives, and I have high hopes for where they’ll end up and who they’ll end up with.
3. The existence of the Richard Castle novels. Yes, they’re real!
Someone actually writes the books, under the pen name Richard Castle! When I figured this out, I was thrilled. Castle’s first series of books featuring detective Derrick Storm (whom he killed off by episode one) are available to buy on Amazon, as is the newer series, Nikki Heat (based on Detective Beckett herself). During the show, One of Castle’s Derrick Storm novels, Deadly Storm, was adapted into a graphic novel, and it’s actually available for purchase! Now that I’ve finished the show (before season 6 premieres this fall) I’d really like to read all the Richard Castle books and the graphic novel. The novels are loosely based on experiences that Castle actually went through. I’m excited to learn more about Derrick Storm, since those novels took place before the show came into fruition.
2. Whedonites, rejoice! References are in abundance!
Like I said before, if you’re not a Whedonite, you better become one, quick! It’s just the best fandom to be a part of. And once you do, or if you are, Castle is just sprinkled with perfect little references to all our favorite shows. Buffy, Dollhouse, and, of course, Firefly. When I hear one, I can’t help but squeal and text my fellow Whedonites exactly what I heard or saw. They just make me smile until my cheeks hurt. Although Mr. Whedon isn’t involved in the writing, I can’t help but think that his close relationship with Mr. Fillion has something to do with every little allusion.
1. Nathan Fillion. Enough said.
Seriously. Enough said. No? Oh, all right. Come on, guys! It’s Captain Hammer from Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly and Serenity! Sergeant Buck from Halo: Reach! Bill Pardy from Slither! Caleb from Buffy! Okay, if you don’t know what any or all of those things are, then you better get on it, buck-o. I mean it. Nathan Fillion is incredibly sexy, talented, and hilarious. I’m not sure if Richard Castle is more Richard Castle or Nathan Fillion, but either way, he portrays the character exactly like he should. No one else on Earth could play that character, and I’m glad no one else does.
Now go watch seasons 1 through 5, ABOGS!
*banner image from georgespigot