I don’t watch much television anymore. When I have free time, I’m usually writing, and with the Small Boy and C in the house, the television is usually tuned to either Discovery Channel or Top Gear (the real, British one, not the American). That said, I do have a couple shows I watch regularly, and one of them is Castle, which is premiering tonight at 10/9c on ABC.
So, here’s five reasons (other than Nathan Fillion, that goes without saying) I make the time for Castle when so much else can’t keep my interest.
- The hero of the show is a writer. Let me repeat that. The hero of the show is a writer! And not some really-a-superhero-who-just-happens-to-be-a-writer, but one who is more at home behind a computer than in a car chase, and loves weaving ridiculous stories into everyday conversation. In fact, that is Castle’s superpower. His ability to think outside the box is the reason Beckett puts up with him. Castle is also a normal guy when it comes to the horrors that they deal with on cases. You can see the shock and revulsion on his face when confronted with the depravity of the criminals they apprehend. Fillion doesn’t play him cool in those scenes, and that makes the character both appealing and relatable.
- Castle/Beckett. It seems too simple to say that their relationship is central to the show, but I can’t leave it out. The writers have created two appealing characters, but even more, the viewers can see why the characters appeal to each other on more than a superficial level. I love all the little hints about Beckett’s background and personal life that the writers have dropped, without ever revealing too much. Of course Castle is following her around, she’s is an intriguing woman. In the same way, Castle can be really annoying to Beckett, but he’s also very loyal and very smart. The Beckett/Castle partnership is one of the most balanced on television, and I have loved watching it develop.
- Fantastic supporting cast. How many police shows have you seen where the other detectives are simply there to show how brilliant the main characters are? Yeah, I find that annoying, too. In Castle, the writers have created a cast of diverse characters, all of which you can easily imagine having a full life off-screen (Oh, and the Esposito/Lanie storyline? LOVE.). The writers and the actors don’t shortchange these characters and the show is so much richer for it. Also, I may have a slight crush on both Ryan and Esposito. Just putting that out there.
- Positive family dynamic. Does it seem too “Pollyanna” to say that I love seeing positive family dynamics on a show? I don’t care. Castle’s mother and daughter are pretty clearly the center of his world, and that’s incredibly refreshing. I love the scenes with Castle and Alexis; as a former middle-school teacher, it’s great to see positive portrayals of teens who are smart and genuine. Martha can be flighty, but she’s also a savvy, mature woman with a lot of depth. The Castle family scenes are never throwaway filler and I like that, too.
- Slightly serial, but still episodic. I love show mythology. I was an X-Files fan from Season One. I watched Buffy religiously. But there are shows out now (looking at you, Fringe) that I have stopped watching for now because I’ve “fallen behind” and the current show no longer makes sense. I like that Castle has developed some over-arching plot with Beckett’s mother’s murder, but it’s not the focus every week and I can miss a show without losing the whole thread.
These are only the top five reasons that Castle is a “must-watch” for me. The show is not perfect. The writing can be hit or miss at times, but the cast works with it and I rarely finish watching an episode without a smile on my face. There’s a great balance between the humor and the drama, and the cast has great chemistry. If you haven’t seen it before, jump in!
Thanks for reading,