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Castle

 
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Castle Reply with quote



This show is hardly The Wire or Homicide in terms of high end TV quality... but it's a fun little show.

Good charisma between not just the leads, but also their interaction with the supporting cast. The "mysteries" jam a lot of twists and turns and false leads into a 40+ minute episode where a certain amount of time is always set aside for non-mystery character development stuff. The character stuff is pretty solid, especially with Beckett as they slowly peel away the layers of her and her backstory.

The show is in the tough genre where the two leads are clearly attracted to each other with tension between each other and the dual pull of "get them together" and "keep them apart". There are loads of shows like that, from fellow mystery series like Moonlighting and Remington Steel to comedies like Cheers to tweener shows like Ed. It's very difficult to tease the audience forever, but there's also the worry that *lots* of shows seem to decline after their leads hook up.

The best thing that ever happened to Cheers was that Diane left the show as it was close to hitting the wall on the Sam & Diane stuff. Bringing in Kristy Allen, who had a different tension/charisma with Sam, opened up the show to chase a lot of other angles, especially with the wide range of nut jobs in the cast.

With this show, it's hard to tell where the show heads if they do hook up. It would tend to alter the dynamic of the scenes around the station and crime solving, and alter their banter into something entirely different.

On the other hand, having listened to the first season commentary tracks, Castle Creative (Andrew Marlowe & Rob Bowman) seem to have a really good grasp of the characters and where they're headed. Which adds to part of the nice/fun aspect of the show as little bits of things here and there get sprinkled out over time, rather than all tossed out at once. It was nice recently to have Ryan's girlfriend show up at the end of an episode after all the hazing he'd taken over the series, and her turning out to be very sweet with a nice comment for each of his team members that reflected really well on Ryan.

The relationship between Castle and his daughter is quite fun to watch, another place where the cast has really good charsima together and in that case it was there from pretty much the first scene Castle and Alexis shot together. But the writers aren't in a massive rush to throw everything out there between the two, and have avoided the dreaded "A Very Special Episode Of Castle" temptation by putting Alexis in peril or major crisis. Instead, it's small insight into their relationship, and her character. Best Daughter On TV may be an overstatement because there are no doubt some excellent characters out there right now that hit on the issues teens go through more realistic and better. But it's a really nice father-daughter relationship that they've created, again in a show where the majority of time is spent on the Mystery first and the Castle-Beckett relationship/dynamic second.

I'm of course a massive mark for Beckett/Stana. You initially think initially that it's a case of Super Model Turned Actress, as Stana very much has a super model look underneath. But... she really can act. Nathan Fillion gets to chew up scenes as an over the top lead, but she inturn is something of an anchor for the cast and the rest of the folks on the team. I'm a mark for her ability to roll her eyes at Castle's goofiness (I wonder why! :P ), but she also nails the tough, emotional scenes well in a way that's very much in character given she's a tight, controlled, "walls usually up" character. In a show that's "entertainment" and certainly light compared to say Cracker, Homicide, The Wire and Prime Suspect, I likely would have checked out instantly if the Beckett character, and Stana's nailing of the role, wasn't there to hook me in.

Anyway...

Fun little show. Not earth shattering, but entertaining.

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Castle Reply with quote



Castle: "Only a handful of shops? Okay, what aren't you telling me?"

Beckett: "So much, Castle. So very, very much."

Okay... one needs to see the context, but it's perfect banter between the two. :)

John
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Iron Chad



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The preview for the latest Castle had me rolling, a TV chef murder mystery guest starring Iron Chef Douchebag, Rocco di Spirito. I have not given Castle a look-see yet, but this may be enough to get me to tune in.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly they're putting Douchebag Chef Rocco over. I was groaning on facebook about it. :)

Probably should catch some of the re-runs first before watching the three end of season episodes left to air (including tonight). The last new one along with these three (and possibly the start of next year) have a plot arc of Beckett getting another man-interest character that complicates the relationship between Beckett and Castle. It's not critical to see 100% of the prior shows to get what's going on, but it's akin to jumping into seeing the last two episodes of a season building up to a cliff hanger without seeing how they got there.

The show usually has reruns on Saturday as well as them having a load of them coming up after the 5/17 season finale. Probably a good time to check it out. If you're interested, I'm sure that either Cheetah or I could recommend a good entry point show to watch to get a taste of the show.

It's not The Wire or Homicide or even the current Treme. Closer to the old Moonlighting or Remmington Steele of the 80s, though Moonlighting tried to be (and probably was) more creative in what they did. It's "light" entertainment, but watchable with a nice cast of characters. I've heard it compared at times to Bones, but I haven't watched that show.

You also might be catching the series at a tough time because one would think that Season 3 is where they need to make some progress on getting Beckett and Castle together, and that's always one of those make/break moments in shows like this. Don't know how that will work out.

Still... I'm a big mark for Stana/Beckett. :)

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really need to watch the last two episodes of this season to see how the Castle-Beckett-Demming triangle plays out. I'm being such a good boy in avoiding them to watch them with someone else. ;) But being good is making me hyper. :P

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Castle: Season 3 debuts tonight on ABC. Looks like Ricky is in a bind over a murder where he looks like the leading supect. We know they won't take long for them to shake out before they start working on "who done it".

When we last left Castle, the beloved Beckett had broken up Det. Deming as she realized her feelings for Castle. Right when she was about to tell Ricky about it, she found out that Ricky had inadvertantly already pulled a Castle: asking his Wife #2 (a/k/a his Editor) up to the Hamptons to run roughshot on him while he completed his second Heat book. Beckett of couse can't say anything because she not sure if Ricky is being Ricky with his ex, or if there's something serious... or what.

Tonight we'll find out:

* what was up with Ricky and Ex #2 during the "summer" as he was finishing the book

* could Ex #2 possibly be the murder victim? (honestly... that would suck since she isn't a bad person)

* how Beckett is taking all this once she'd sorted out all her mixed up feelings for the big goofball

* how the summer went for Alexis (a/k/a The Greatest Daughter On Television) as rather than go to the Hamptons for the summer with her Dad as usual, she went on a pre-college trip to college where there are Lots Of Boyz! This *is* Alexis, so she's not going to come back home knocked up like a Palin. ;) But there's no doubt going to be some subplot that drives Castle to worry... only in the end to realize it's Alexis and not close to what he thinks. :)

* Will Espisito wear a shirt that makes Cheetah swoon? ;)

* Is Ryan still with his nice girlfriend Danielle?

* Did Martha land a role?

* Is the Captain still the cool guy he's always been?

In the coming season, the only thing we know for sure is that Beckett will get a new Boyfriend for a story arc similar to the one with Deming that just closed Season 2.

The Deming one was decent enough: he was pretty cool, and the dynamic between he and Castle was pretty funny in a few episodes. What we missed, and I think the two actors could have handled well, is what part of Beckett was Deming reaching. We see Castle hits certain parts, especially the Family part (and I'd really like to see Rick meet Kate's Dad at some point in Season 3). What was Deming reaching? It would have been nice to have seen them on at least one date away from the station... or even her waking up next to him and a dynamic between the two. Didn't have to have them go hot-and-heavy (like Castle and Ex #1 in that riot of an episode), or even neck. Just... something. Him sharing something with her, or her ability to she something with him... anything.

One would hope that with Boyfriend #2 we get to see something of the relationship outside of office. I could see them wanting to hide Kate's "passion" and save that for whenever she and Castle get together down the road (and lord knows we've seen enough hints of Beckett *not* Girl Next Door with zero passion in her background). But... they really need to have BF #2 be something more than just a prop. They kept Deming from being a prop by getting him engage in cases, showing the "relationship" that way, and the dynamic with Castle.

I'm of course rambling now... :P

John
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tdcheetah



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I went to look the show up on Google for information about the last 3 episodes, and I honestly typed in "Beckett season 3".

Now that I've stopped laughing at myself, I'll throw out my Fave Five things about the show. John's already covered the little things like eminently quotable dialogue, twisty plots, main character charisma and so on.

* Alexis may not be the Best Daughter on TV, but this is the best father-daughter relationship probably since James Broderick and Kristy McNichol on "Family". So there. There's fun and goofiness -- on both sides, Alexis is not 100% geek serious -- but also deep respect flowing both ways.

* The lighting. While "Dexter" excels in shooting technique ["whoa, back up -- look at how they framed/filmed that sequence!" was a common cry during the Seasons 1-3 we've seen so far], "Castle" stages light and darkness in realistic and yet artistic ways for mostly static cameras. From the edges on people's faces to the foreground/background tension, every scene has at least one shot where you think, "Wow, that's a real pro." It doesn't hurt when the faces are marvelous, either:



* Speaking of faces, Stana Katic has grown as a actress. She's taken supermodel looks and a superstar character and made Kate Beckett a believable human being. Should I ever be murdered, or even a suspect, I'd want Beckett investigating.

* Costuming. IMDb has Series Costume Design by
Salvador Pérez Jr. (22 episodes, 2009-2010)
Eduardo Castro (9 episodes, 2010)
Luke Reichle (22 episodes, 2010-2011)
http://www.hulu.com/watch/195589/castle-investigating-castle-costume-design and
http://www.wetpaint.com/castle/articles/fashion-roundup-castle-costume-designer-live-tweets-poof-youre-dead .
Anyone who can put Beckett in a beige pantsuit and have it look *right* has my vote, but more to the point, they've never been afraid of using brown as a base color for outfits or scenes. Terrific sense of cut and line for each of the main male characters - Castle softer or sharper, depending on whether he's at home or not; Ryan's quirky taste in blazers and ties and ranging from normal to slightly rumpled looking; Esposito all crisp and tight and -- thank heaven -- not wearing 100% black. There is an odd quirk of liking Alexis in red-violet fuchsia, but all her blues and greys are solid, and the way she layers/mixes outfits is spot on. Plus Susan Sullivan gets to be Martha all the way and over the top, which must be such a hoot for her.

* Acknowledging and incorporating fans. Not just understanding that a lot of people came to the show initially as "Nathan Fillion fans" and then stayed around because it's clever writing or Stana's sexy or Alexis is awesome or whatever. (There are so many bones thrown to the various types of fans throughout a season, you can tell it's someone's labor of love. The yearly "Firefly" reference is only the most obvious. :) ) But I'm most in awe of how their online store is *incredibly* smart in marketing "Fan-Made Gear": you can submit an idea and if approved they'll sell it in the official storefront, like these:

http://abctvstore.cafepress.com/Castle.441696171
http://abctvstore.cafepress.com/Castle.466662354
http://abctvstore.cafepress.com/Castle.460683394

They don't just try to guess what's going to strike a chord, or push it at you whether it resonates with you or not -- they also make room for the creativity that they started bouncing right back at them.


Honorable mention: the supporting cast and clever guest stars. I won't even go into how it's a shame Captain Roy Montgomery has only been in 75% of the episodes -- no doubt it's because Ruben Santago-Hudson steals 75% of the scenes he's in and they don't want people thinking this show is named "Montgomery" rather than "Esposito". :P In addition to Rocco di Spirito and Tom Bergeron in thinly-veiled disguises :) , how about appearances by Dana Delany as a federal agent, Gilles Marini, Bill Smitrovich, Michael Trucco, and Lyle Lovett as a federal agent. (And those are just the people I, not much of a TV watcher, recognize.)

And in looking these up, I just saw that on Feb. 21st Adrian Pasdar will be playing a... federal agent. Adrian freaking Pasdar on "Castle"?! As a federal agent?!?!?!

Folks, if the universe explodes on Feb. 21st, 2011 -- you heard it here first.


Lee
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alrighty... I've been pretending to ignore Cheetah's post for a while to make her mad... but it isn't working. :P


tdcheetah wrote:
So I went to look the show up on Google for information about the last 3 episodes, and I honestly typed in "Beckett season 3".


Yeah, Cheetah often refers to the show as Beckett... or Espisito. :P


Quote:
* Alexis may not be the Best Daughter on TV, but this is the best father-daughter relationship probably since James Broderick and Kristy McNichol on "Family". So there. There's fun and goofiness -- on both sides, Alexis is not 100% geek serious -- but also deep respect flowing both ways.


Alexis rules. We're right at the point of the season where we need an Alexis Episode to drive Ricky nuts. :)


Quote:
* The lighting.


Totally agree. They likely get a lot of credit for the lighting / photography in the Opening Death & Body scene, but they really are solid through a lot of the show. The lighting in the station house is really consistently nice. They've done some nice things at Casa del Castle, especially the beloved LASER TAG SCENE~! :) The lighting in the morge is pretty nice, and not over the top in trying too hard, similar to the various CSI's having their unique lighting.

I think that's the best thing about the lighting in Castle, similar to the old Nero Wolfe Mysteries: they don't try to hit you over the head with it in masterabatory ways (with the exception of some of those opening Murder / Body scenes), but instead it's one of those things done well that if you start paying attention to it, you'll see what Lee means by "there's some pros involved".

Quote:
* Speaking of faces, Stana Katic has grown as a actress. She's taken supermodel looks and a superstar character and made Kate Beckett a believable human being. Should I ever be murdered, or even a suspect, I'd want Beckett investigating.


I like Stana. It seemed to come together in Season 1, and the commentary track kind of nails it as she admits there was a certain show where it all clicked for her. I think she's turned out to be a fine anchor for the show, given Nathan/Ricky getting to chew up scenes. The writer treat the character with respect, she's no stooge, and there's wonderful times where she's way ahead of Rick such as the show where they had a "bet" this season that she let him win because it benefitted her to have him win. Nice touch at the end of Espisito asking her when exactly did she know, and her selling of it was excellent. :)

I think that's the major difference between Castle and The Mentalist: Beckett is more than an equal to Castle, while Lisbon is given the short end.

Quote:
* Costuming.


I was nice to see Cheetah's comment said nice things about various of the characters rather than obsessing about what great shirts Espisito had on this week. ;)


Quote:
* Acknowledging and incorporating fans.


Totally agree on this. They seem to get it, and enjoy playing to it. :)


Quote:
Honorable mention: the supporting cast and clever guest stars.


Yep. Bill Smitrovich turning up popped the hell out of us... and I loved Dana as "She's the you of the FBI" playing a decade or so older Beckett, that if you watched carefully you could see Dana doing and nailing right from the start. Total mark out moment for me. :)

I haven't watched Proffit or Heros, so I don't know this Adrian Pasdar fellow. ;)


John
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