Thursday, July 10, 2014

Castle or My Undying Love for Firefly (and Nathan Fillion)

I recently, despite advice to the contrary, picked up the first season of Castle.  It's taken awhile for me to tackle this show, not because of the warnings that it just wasn't that good, but because it is not available on Netflix which is the only way I watch TV these days.  My primary interest in the show was one Nathan Fillion aka Mal Reynolds.  Also I tend to like crime shows and the premise sounded somewhat interesting.  What is the premise?  Sir Nathan plays a very successful  mystery writer, Richard Castle and in episode one he is brought in on a murder investigation because the murders mimic the ones in his books.  He is intrigued with the woman detective leading the case, Kate Beckett, and decides he'd like to base the main character of his new mystery series on her.  Because he's a famous writer the Mayor of New York orders the police to let him shadow Beckett on all her cases.  While Beckett is annoyed by this, Castle proves to be an asset in solving the crimes because of his mystery writerly skills.

So is the show any good?  Hmmmm...I don't love it but seem to like it enough that I am now almost midway through season 2.

I'll talk about the annoying bits first and get that out of the way.  First of all a major theme, one might say THE theme is the Unresolved Sexual Tension between Castle and Beckett.  I usually love this theme in a show to the point where for me to really love a show it has to have some UST going on somewhere.  I love the slow build and interpreting the little minute details of behavior and dissecting the particularly UST filled scenes.  The problem with the UST in Castle?  It is SO in your face it's like being smothered by an air bag. There is no subtlety, no slow build. In fact there's not even any question whether Castle loves Beckett.  He's all over her from episode 1.  I hate it.  It doesn't mean that everyone will but I do.  I also don't feel like the chemistry between the two actors/characters is all that strong.  Maybe it is suffering from the fact that I just finished an X Files re-watch where the chemistry is crazy like a fox but whatever the problem is with Castle, the chemistry feels shallow and embarrassing to me.  In fact that pretty much sums up my overall feeling about the show - it embraces every cliche and tired old plot point and trots it out with a minimum of originality.  It has it's moments but for the most part, I am not surprised by anything that has happened thus far nor had to use any part of my brain.  This is not always a bad thing of course and is sometimes an asset but it does not a favorite show make. 

I also don't love the actress they have for Kate Beckett.  The character is fine - she's tough and smart and holds her own.  But, as we are told over and over and over again, she's stunningly gorgeous and a twig.  The character, NYPD cop, even did some modeling in high school. She's always put together and fashionably dressed. Just once could we have a lead actress that is just normal - that our romantic hero falls in love with because of her personality and character?  No?  Well, okay.

So why am I still watching and writing a post about a a show I feel meh about?  Well here's ten very good reasons.

Sir Nathan of course and his undying fandom of Firefly.  Nathan has said before that Firefly is the best show he's ever worked on and I love that it gets slyly referenced on his new, much more successful show.:0)  And he even keeps his Mal Reynolds outfit on into the next scene and makes a Buffy joke!  Thanks for keeping it alive Nathan!  Plus, as an actor he's got great comic timing and he has plenty of corny but also funny lines and he sells every single one of them and makes me smile.  I was initially put off by his character who is more rock star than writer (signing women's boobs and the whole playboy lifestyle) but they've toned it down a little and I've gotten used to it.  His family on the show (teenage daughter and crazy mother) are fun. 

I also have enjoyed the cases they investigate which are interesting and creative enough.  I like crime procedurals and this one works pretty well.  And while there's not a lot of content to quicken a book nerds heart, Castle has started ranting about his biggest grammar pet peeves which is charming.

Final Verdict: This show is not threatening to break into my twenty favorite shows of all time but it's a nice diversion and I still heart Sir Nathan. 

So has anyone else watched this show?  What do you think? Would anybody else out there sell their souls for some more episodes of Firefly?

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