Castle - Season 1

Much as I am loath to watch yet another TV cop show – having gotten to the point in the last decade or so when I could see about every possible plot angle coming in the first five minutes – and about every possible buddy pairing imaginable – my daughter talked me into this one. “Mom, it stars Nathan Fillion – Captain Mal! It can’t possibly be that bad!”
And to my mild surprise, it wasn’t that bad; quite good, in fact, but not for the actual crime-solving puzzles involved, but for the play of personalities – Richard Castle, the celebrity mystery author and dilettante, and Kate Beckett, the driven and earnest police detective, working together and striking creative and almost-but-not-quite romantic sparks off each other. In a lot of ways, it’s a throwback, not just to TV shows like Moonlighting, but to 1930’s William Powell and Myrna Loy, in “The Thin Man” series – an engaging merge of the who-dunnit with firecracker wit, sexual attraction and glamorous Manhattan, into one delicious trifle of intriguing characters and snappy conversation.

The supporting characters are not neglected when it comes to delivering crackling good lines; notably Kate’s work buddies, Detectives Esposito and Ryan, and the sharp-tongued medical examiner, Dr. Parish. Castle’s personal life – he lives with a refreshingly grounded teenage daughter, and his mother, a flamboyant former Broadway star – rounds out the character of Castle. He is a good and responsible father, and possesses connections and skills – notably a writer’s sharp observation and intuition about characters – which are a good fit for Beckett’s determination and laser-sharp focus. In personalities, they are opposites: he is talkative, open, creative, whereas she is focused, stoic, and more inward. Part of the charm is how they act on each other – she opens up, just a little bit, and he seems to become a bit more responsible, as the season progresses.

Of the extras included, the most amusing is “Write Along With Nathan Fillion” – where he and producer-writer Stephen Cannell spend the day together, in the interests of Fillion learning to be a mystery writer. It’s almost as much fun as any of the episodes of the show.

Castle – Season 1 is now available through Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and contributes to the on-line literary magazine, The Deepening. Her current book project, “The Adelsverein Trilogy” is also available at Amazon.com and selected local outlets. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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