Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My View of Castle

© by Gerald So | geraldso.blogspot.com | 5:00 A.M.

Last week, ABC canceled the Nathan Fillion-Stana Katic police procedural Castle after eight seasons. Though the show had been on the bubble the last few seasons, canceling it now surprised me because, despite Stana Katic and Tamala Jones being let go, Nathan Fillion, Jon Huertas, and Seamus Dever had signed deals to return for another season.

I'm a Fillion fan from Firefly and have been a crime fiction fan since 1993, so you'd think Castle would be in my wheelhouse. I enjoyed similar shows—Monk, Bones, and Psych—but for me Castle started on too light a note to become very serious. And some episodes wanted to get dead serious. The longer series go, the less I expect them to maintain a single tone. Part of longevity is changing with the times. If a show's tone changes, though, I'm more willing to watch a serious show become lighter than a light show become more serious.

In case Castle was canceled, an extra scene was filmed to provide closure. The finale goes from Castle and Beckett holding hands after being shot to seven years later having happy family time. The abrupt shift couldn't be helped with the timing of ABC's decision, but it leaves me with the mixed feelings I've always had about the series.

As highly as I think of Firefly, Castle proved Nathan Fillion could lead a show for years. Meanwhile, Stana Katic's Beckett was the core of the show, the character who most influenced the audience's feelings about events and other characters. She would have been difficult to replace.

1 comment:

Ray Daniel said...

We bailed on Castle (which was one of my favorite shows and even my ring tone) last year. The show had jumped the shark so badly that we couldn't watch it anymore.

Shows jump the shark when the writers fail to realize that shows create their own genre of sorts. They create a set of expectations that an audience appreciates and comes to rely upon. It's breaking those expectations that causes the show to jump the shark.

Many people thought that Castle would jump the shark when Castle and Beckett become lovers. I think this is because they learned the wrong lessons from Moonlighting. Moonlighting had set the expectation that the shows driving engine would be the sexual tension between the main characters. While Castle also spent a long time delivering sexual tension between Beckett and Castle that was never the show's driving force. The driving force was the interplay between Castle and Beckett as they solved cases.

This last season, with it's ridiculous premise that somehow Beckett could not be with Castle for "secret reasons" destroyed that driving engine. They could not have interplay if the entire show was Beckett hiding from Castle. The writers misjudged, believing that Castle chasing Beckett was important, when in fact Castle being with Beckett was important.

The show spun out and crashed, and a show with Castle and no Beckett might as well simply be a new show.