Good news today! ABC is renewing “Castle” for a full third season. Hooray!
“Castle” is the one television show I still keep up with with any regularity. I can’t even say it’s a guilty pleasure, because I don’t feel at all guilty about watching a show that centers around a guy who using his storytelling powers to help solve crimes.
If you’ve never seen it, “Castle” is about a mystery writer, Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) who gets partnered with a police detective, Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) to research his newest series of books. Along the way, the grumbling Beckett and overeager Castle develop a friendship and, well, some great chemistry. They solve a murder a week. In traditional dramedy style, of course, there’s all kinds of sexual tension between Castle and Beckett, but — unlike nearly every show I’ve seen with this particular formula — the characters are aware of it, and one of them (Castle) is constantly referring to it. It makes for lighter fare and also for less predictability. It makes it possible for either of them to end up with someone else without huge upheaval in the show, and that possibility remaining open is kind of nice.
In that they solve a murder every week, it’s procedural, but — there are further parts to the show. Castle is clearly the main character, because it’s to his home we go at night, to watch him interact with his precocious teenaged daughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) and his actress mother, Martha (Susan Sullivan).
Castle’s interactions with his family are usually funny and sweet; his interactions with Beckett are usually funny and smart. He’s clearly a famous writer, though less clearly a good one — the best thing the show has done so far (and I hope this pick-up means they’ll do it again) is to have published an actual Richard Castle novel, Heat Wave. It perfectly channels the voice of Richard Castle (the character) writing about his created characters that are based on himself and Beckett. I don’t know who actually wrote it, but it was a fun, zippy read that explains a bit why Rick Castle makes writing look not only fun but like something that could make half of New York fall in love with you.
Anyway, that’s my pitch. Watch Castle. It’s smart and funny. And now there are plenty more chances to see that.