Tonight is the end of one of my favorite television shows. I can’t recall in the nearly 60 years of television programs, I’ve watched, where I’ve felt such a loss of a TV program. It started with a seemingly simple plot with a handful of regular actors and a large supporting staff. On paper, #Castle should not have been this good of a program to watch.
The premise: a successful writer, decides he’s bored with the principal character in his serialized works of fiction, and kills the protagonist off in his latest book. We see him for the first time at a book signing party hosted by his publishers representative, his ex-wife. The gild is off both the glamor of writing, greeting people, and of course the ex. He laments this in front of his studious teenage daughter while at an open bar, party with his now live in, effervescent mother, who’s still looking to “get lucky”.
Highlights from the Paley Center – Interviews of cast in 2011
At this moment, where the titular character, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), is having one of those, “is that all there is”, verbalized moments, in walks a challenge to his world view. The (girl), Detective Kate Becket (Stana Katic) , meets the (boy), Richard Castle, and asks him to come to the precinct, to discuss a murder which appears to be stylized after his previous lesser known mysteries. He has a new fan, but not quite in the manner he expects. She’s a tough, no nonsense, savvy cop, whom he’s not as successful as he expects in charming this young, beautiful detective, who is grilling him on his possible involvement with the murder.
Flash forward an undisclosed amount of time, and the charms of this popular author have influence with the mayor of New York, an occasional poker player in Rick’s home games. The stories begin after the mayor has placed a call to the precinct captain to allow Richard Castle to “consult” with the NYPD, and most specifically with detective Kate Beckett. No matter how implausible this beginning and continuing to work as an unpaid consultant with the NYPD, Castle was a melding together of key players, they found a way into my heart, as well as millions of fans. Episode after episode introduces a new murder, new ways to hear these two interact, him teasing, her rebuffing, and the combined buddy combination of detectives Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas). We’re also introduced to the intelligent, charming, grounded, medical examiner, Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones). Dr. Parish isn’t your country doctor, she’s been there, done that, and doesn’t have a moments hesitation in offering her opinion, wanted or not, to those who need a moment of rational wisdom.
Video was the public choice winner for the Castle Fan Awards 2011 – Created by Diana L.
Each person who played a part did so wonderfully. The writing was superb combined with a technical support and production team that always did there best to make the show the best they knew how, and it showed. I doubt there will be another show with this smart, clever, inventive, thoughtful, romantic, creative, funny, and charming interaction among the cast as this show was, for quite some time, if ever again. They manage to capture lightning in a bottle.
The reasons why this became a must see entertainment piece were primarily the chemistry displayed between the two co-stars. It doesn’t matter if they liked or disliked each other off screen. What they did with the script along with their macro actions and micro expressions were priceless. It’s equally obvious to me that when the writing changed, and perhaps some of the actors commitment to the episodes changed, the wheels became bogged down, and the whole series lost momentum. Rather than focus on what was mostly season 8, now that the end is near, I would suggest we look back at what made this show so appealing.
For me, it was Kate Beckett, played by the intelligent, and beautiful, Stana Katic. Here’s where I first started to notice how absolutely compelling her performances could be, without over doing it. Her knack for bringing forth a person who had been propelled forward in law enforcement by the seemingly senseless murder of her mother. It gave a back story, presenting a person who lived through her grief, met this head on by becoming a highly professional, and effective detective. That sounds like I meant to be more clever than I am, pause, resume…
Becket was tough, but vulnerable, strong, but broken, stern, but funny, thoughtful, but capricious, self-sustaining, but romantic, in short her personality was comprehensive and complicated, but Stana Katic got her. She brought this panoply to the screen each and every time we saw and heard her. I can’t tell you how many times I sat there and cried when she did, felt hurt when she did, and understood her fear when having to confront the real world demons in police work. This isn’t as easy as she made it look, and many of us recognized this as we were drawn in by her portrayal.
Every person in the cast brought their A game, including the many guests on this 8 season series. It’s with regret that we see this series end, but oddly for many to understand, probably especially for the many people wanting it to continue, I’m glad to see it end tonight. This was after all the end of the 8th season, and when it was announced by ABC Studios that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones were not going to be offered a contract, should there be a season 9, it sent shock waves throughout the regular viewers and many fans of this crime-drama-comedy.
I can’t help making a comparison between leading ladies from the Avengers TV show in the 1960’s and Castle. Both female leads were courageous, sophisticated, intelligent, kick-butt, persistent, sexy women.
None of us wanted this fantasy show to end. I know it’s not described as such, but the very premise of the show was a fantasy, and so was the romance between polar opposites, which we grew to love to see in our homes, throughout the world. Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, we will miss you.
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