Murder. Mystery. The macabre. What is it about a hard-boiled detective, a femme fatale, and the cold steel of a gun that keeps our bedside lamps burning into the wee hours of the morning?
These are the first words uttered in ABC’s hit show Castle. Reading that, you’ll think that the show is just another police procedural trying to follow in the footsteps of CSI or Cold Case. Well, if you watched Castle’s first episode, that image will be shattered pretty quickly. After those words above were said, the camera cuts to Richard Castle, best-selling novelist, signing women’s breasts to celebrate the release of his latest book. Not exactly something that you’ll ever catch Horatio Caine doing.
But who is Richard Castle? Well, I’ll let him tell you that himself.
If you were too lazy to play that video, this is essentially what Rick Castle said: There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. What better opening do you need?
In a nutshell, the show is about Richard Castle who, as mentioned above, is a bestselling mystery writer who feels that life is getting pretty boring. He gets his wish for more excitement when a psycho killer starts murdering folk the way Castle killed people off in his books. These killings lead to Detective Kate Beckett (who is a big Castle fan, by the way) asking Castle’s help to solve the murders. After that case gets solved, Castle convinces the mayor to let him tag along on Beckett’s cases, explaining that he will be basing his next bestsellers on Detective Beckett, his new muse.
Unless you missed the subtext there, Castle basically redefines how guys go after girls. Gone are the days when the guy sees a girl across a crowded room, meets her, falls in love, and lives happily ever after. In Castle, the guy meets the girl in the middle of a murder case, falls in love, and then follows her around like a puppy dog until she accepts that she likes him too.
Here are a few other reasons why I love Castle, and why I think you should watch it too:
1. The Protagonist Is A Writer
Yes, he’s a full-time writer. He’s got no other job. He’s not some kind of superhero whose alter-ego is a writer. He’s not a daredevil trapped within the body of someone who just happens to write for a living. Richard Castle is a bona-fide writer who is more at home typing behind a computer or thinking up plot lines while sipping coffee than chasing after criminals in dark alleys. Also, he keeps forcing insane theories and ridiculous stories into random conversations. And that’s what makes him so special.
Richard Castle is a writer, and he is able to think outside the box. Castle is the person in this show that everyone can relate to–he’s childish, relatively immature, easily revolted, and seems to be always heavily-caffeinated. Also, he never fails to come up with insane theories during murder cases that are guaranteed to crack you up. My favorites would have to be time-travelling killer, Buffy the vampire slayer, international spy, treasure hunters, and aliens. Yes, he proposed all of that.
2. The Femme Fatale is Legen–wait for it–DARY!
To say that Kate Beckett is amazing would be an understatement. If you watch most of the shows that are on TV today, you’ll see that some girls are pretty, some are smart, and some have the ability to kick-ass. Some girls have two of those characteristics, at most. Kate Beckett is all three, plus she does everything in bone-breaking sky-high heels. Can you do that?
Another reason which can be filed under Detective Beckett is her will they/won’t they relationship with Castle. The good thing about their relationship is that the entire narrative doesn’t revolve around it, unlike in most shows with this kind of dynamic. Caskett fans aren’t treated with sultry looks that are full of love and anticipation every episode, which only makes them beg for more. I really think this is one of the best taken-care-of relationships in TV history, and definitely the most exciting.
If you wanna get a sneak peek at the sizzling sexual tension between Castle and Beckett, watch this season 2 teaser. And I mean teaser.
3. The Supporting Cast Members are Fantastic
Any show that focuses too much on the main actors will eventually lose fans, mainly because it’s easy to get tired of a story that just focuses on one or two people. This is where the supporting cast comes in. It’s one of the main strengths of shows such as FRIENDS or How I Met Your Mother–you don’t get too preoccupied with just one character, which means your interest is shared equally among everyone. Castle is able to deliver in that respect.
No show is truly great until it makes you interested in the little things, and in this Castle does not disappoint. Viewers will find themselves thoroughly interested in Martha’s (Rick Castle’s mother) antics, or Alexis’ (Castle’s teenage daughter) adventures in high school and eventually college. The bromance between fellow detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito is also an awesome, frequently resulting in light banter that adds comic relief to the show. For example, during one episode, Esposito feels insulted when an exotic dance promoter offers Ryan a job instead of him. This results in the following conversation:
Esposito (flexing his muscles): “NYPD calendar 2007.”
Ryan: “It was a group photo.”
Esposito: “I got letters.”
Ryan: “Yeah, three. Two of them from your mom.”
Esposito: “One of them from my mom.”
Also, we can’t forget the medical examiner Lanie Parish, who is Detective Beckett’s best friend. She’s the one who was first able to make Beckett admit that she likes Castle, and is probably one of the biggest Caskett shippers out there (after Martha, of course).
4. The Focus on Family is Heart-Warming
Castle lives in this big Manhattan loft with his daughter, Alexis, and his mom, Martha. His mom lives with him because she got screwed in her last marriage and lost most of her savings, and his daughter’s preparing to move out and go to college. And despite Castle’s writer obligations, and his work with the detectives, he always has time for family.
Some of the best scenes in Castle are the ones involving Rick and either of his family members, or even both. My favorite would have to be when Alexis got really hung over after her graduation party, or when his mom wanted to host acting classes in his loft and was walking around in costume all the time. Ah, good times.
Also, the entire mythology of the show revolves around the murder of Beckett’s mother. I don’t know if that qualifies under family focus, but whatever.
5. Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion deserves his own reason. He’s a big perk of watching this show. Not only is he ridiculously funny and good-looking, he’s also one of the best and most underrated actors in show business today. Also, if you’re a fan of Firefly or Serenity, you’re going to love all of the references that managed to make their way into the show. The biggest one would be Richard Castle donning a Captain Mal Reynolds costume during a Halloween episode. Small ones were blue hands, and Castle knowing Mandaring from ‘a TV show [he] used to love’. Awesome.
And did I mention that he’s ridiculously good-looking?
Bonus Reason: Kate Beckett’s Hair Porn
Kate Beckett’s (or, well, Stana Katic’s) hair has made such an impact on fans of the show that there are literally dozens of fanfics about it and how it evolved from the boyish cut of the first season to the luscious locks of the latest episodes, like this one for example. Hot lady plus gorgeous hair, what more can any man want?
Of course, there are a whole lot of other reasons and I could go on and on about why I think you should watch Castle. That doesn’t mean that the show is perfect though. There are hits and misses, like with anything else, but in the end the show never fails to make me smile. Aside from that, what else do you expect to get out of a TV show?