Sticking: Castle

Posted on February 8, 2012


All they had to do to sell me on this show was tell me that Nathan Fillion was in it. Seriously. After Buffy and Firefly (and Two Guys and a Girl), we were going to watch.

When the ads showed off the character’s smarmy sense of humor, we were hooked.

We Watched It

Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a best-selling mystery author who is killing off his bread-and-butter character. He’s not burned out. He wants to write more. He’s just uninspired. Divorced (multiple times), with a live-in mother (Susan Sullivan) and a high-school age daughter (Molly C. Quinn), Rick can’t just stop working.

NYPD Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) has two murders on her hands, and both of them were committed using methods right out of Castle’s books. Castle finds her attractive, and inspiring, so he calls his buddy the mayor and gets himself made a police consultant.

Castle is awkward, bumbling, and unprofessional as a detective, but his insight actually helps solve the case.

Three years later, he’s still solving them.


The show is a well-oiled machine at this point. What Castle has going for it is a terrific ensemble cast. Jon Huertas (a fellow veteran) and Seamus Dever play two other NYPD homicide detectives. Tamala Jones plays Lanie Parish, the forensics expert. Plus there’s the professional and romantic tensions between Castle and Beckett.

The aforementioned Susan Sullivan and Molly C. Quinn round out Castle’s family life. The interplay between Castle, his mom, and his daughter, is poignant at times and hilarious at others. We’ve come to love them, frankly, and that speaks to the show’s strength: Its characters.


If Castle’s strength is characters, then its weakness is plot.

Now, I’ve spent years reading detective fiction, true crime books, and criticism of detective fiction. I’ve read many books on how to write detective fiction. That does not make me an expert. It just makes me informed. My information says that the more outrageous the crime, the fewer possibilities there are for suspects. In other words, the elaborate, locked room, mystery is usually the easiest to solve in the real world. The random, impulsive, killings are often the hardest to resolve.

The crimes on Castle are usually elaborate, and often bring in recent fads or are just plain weird. While this gives Rick Castle plenty of opportunities to display his humor and his childish side, it doesn’t make it intellectually challenging.

Seriously. You watch Castle for the characters and how they deal with events, and not for the plots.


Are you aware of the social media blitzkrieg that is Castle? The character has Facebook pages and a Twitter feed. Have you ever watched a show just because of a particular actor? Who was it?

Posted in: television