I was hoping for two things. One, that I would like the new ABC show “Castle“. Two, that it would get good enough ratings that it doesn’t get dropped before the fifth episode.
It’s Nathan Fillion, you see. The man is cute, talented and funny, and he played a space ship captain with very tight pants in the short-lived cult classic “Firefly“. Then he went on to play a cheesy, singing superhero with tight pants and shirt in another Joss Whedon project, the web movie musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog“. Television shows with him playing the lead role haven’t had much luck. “Firefly” ran for something like eleven episodes before it was cancelled, and his other show “Drive” had even fewer episodes than that before it got pulled. Still, he has legions of fans — myself included — who believe the television landscape is a much better place with him in it. Which is why I was really hoping I was going to like “Castle”.
So I watched it and … well, I liked Nate Fillion in it. The show itself isn’t intolerable, but from the looks of the pilot episode, there really isn’t any reason to watch the show if you aren’t a fan of the male lead. The show is full of fluff, the crime itself isn’t terribly clever and the only other character that’s the least bit amusing is Castle’s mom, played by Susan Sullivan, who likes to flirt and sing around the house, but that could get old quickly.
And no, the female lead character — Det. Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic — isn’t the least bit interesting. Not very surprising, though. Female detectives on television are the new girlfriends, it seems. You know how girlfriends and wives of lead characters are usually flat, like they’re just there because the men have to have relationships? These female cop characters are nearly all the same: tough, pretty, and there to keep the male leads out of trouble because heaven knows these women would never actually dream of doing anything, you know, crazy: Teresa Lisbon in “The Mentalist”, Dani Reese in “Life”, Rachel Young in the U.S. version of “Eleventh Hour”, that dour eyebrowless chick in that J.J. Abrams “sci-fi” show. These women do very little aside from beating up bad guys and pretending to be annoyed at the men’s shenanigans. It’s funny that David Boreanaz is claiming that “Castle” is trying to rip off his show “Bones” — I wish it were. His character Seely Booth’s partner Dr. Temperance Brennen is even quirkier than he is, and she has her own back story and character development. They both take turns pretending to be annoyed at each other’s shenanigans. (To be fair, I think Boreanaz was just trying to drum up a little frenemy intrigue to raise interest for both their shows, as Joss Whedon veterans — which he and Fillion are — are usually supportive of one another.)
Haven’t seen this week’s episode yet, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s not as awesome as Battlestar Galactica by any stretch of the imagination, but with the latter bowing out tonight, I could use a fun new show in my viewing roster.