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Castle 1.22 – Food to Die For

Grade: B+

Cop procedurals really aren’t my thing. At all. Actually, tied with medical dramas they might be my least favorite genre of television show because of how formulaic they are. For me to actually get into one of these types of shows there needs to be an interesting hook, whether it is an overarching mythology (Fringe) or characters that are just too damn awesome not to watch.

Enter Castle. Well, Rick Castle. Played by Nathan Fillion (who stared in the awesome, awesome, awesome Firefly and its movie sequel Serenity), the character is a famous detective novelist who is parterned with a cop in order to get inspiration for his next novel. Sounds silly? It is. The show doesn’t really take itself too seriously, but it also stars Nathan Fillion. He’s an asshole (the character Rick Castle was actually meant to sound like “asshole”) but he plays him so damn well that it’s impossible not to like him.

Tonight was the first time I watched the show even after hearing how great it was from other people. Even though it wasn’t on my list of TV shows from the first poll, people still wrote it in. I liked it instantly and proceeded to watch a few more episodes afterwards (which were surprisingly superior in most ways to this Monday’s episode). But still, this episode of Castle was fun, engaging, and never took itself too seriously.

The premise of Monday’s episode is that a star chef is found murdered in his kitchen after being frozen to death. My issue with this episode is actually that this A-story wasn’t too interesting. Madison, Beckett’s friend from high school, was easily the highlight of the one shot characters (and I hope she returns) but in general the case and its motives were fairly weak. There is a conclusion but at that point it just kind of happens. The villain isn’t very well developed compared to other episodes and just leaves you shrugging your shoulders.

That being said, everything else about the episode was gold. Literally. Castle and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) seem like they would be your typical buddy cop partners. And even then, maybe Castle is the humor while Beckett is your typical no-nonsense female detective that really just needs to let loose. Thankfully neither is true. While Katic’s character is easily the more formal of the pair she is by no means a complete hardass. The mystery surrounding Beckett’s past was extremely well done (and has been in other episodes) helping move along the sexual tension that is growing between the two. Not to mention that I like seeing her bad girl side (and so does Rick).

And of course there is sexual tension, but it’s doesn’t seem cheesy or out of place. Of course they’re going to end up together but the way they go about it is extremely entertaining. Both characters go on dates with wildly attractive people that they should be much more into than their partners, yet they still can’t get over them. In the end, Beckett seems to be torn between the detective Ben and her strange attraction to Castle that she can’t escape. Typical, yes, but the scripts gives both Fillion and Katic a great way to display this potential cliche with a twist that is both entertaining and funny.

That’s pretty much the theme of the show. It shouldn’t rise above classic police mediocrity, but we have some very witty dialog and fantastic acting by Fillion and Katic that really make show. Expect reviews every Tuesday from now on. I also encourage you to get into the show, it’s extremely easy and requires really no prior viewing.

Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.


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