In Defense of Nathan Fillion’s CASTLE

nathan fillion castle

With Entertainment Weekly calling CASTLE “an implausible muddle,” the Washington Post proclaiming it to be a “misbegotten MOONLIGHTING imitation” and’s very own Aleks Chan admitting that it’s “actually very boring,” one can only imagine the excitement this TV Addict was feeling for Nathan Fillion’s new series CASTLE.

Which is why I waited until late last night — following a rather lengthy two-hour AMERICAN IDOL extravaganza — to give the show a shot, hoping that at the very least, Fillion and co-star Stana Katic’s playful back-and-forth would keep me awake until my traditional nightcap arrived in the form of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Well, mission accomplished.

Not only did CASTLE manage to keep me awake, it kept me laughing, smiling and most of all wondering how on earth anyone could fail to enjoy this show.

In case you missed it, CASTLE stars the ridiculously-likable Fillion as Richard Castle, an equally-charismatic novelist who finds himself paired up with Kate Beckett (Katic), a tough-as-nails NYPD detective, in an effort to track down a killer who has been using the author’s best-selling murder mysteries as more of a “how-to” rather than the light and fluffy page-turners that they are intended to be.

Do sparks fly between our two leading players? Of course! Is the episode’s ultimate baddie utterly predictable? You bet’cha! Does Castle’s overly-sexed mother and too-smart-for-her-own-good teenager daughter scream television cliché? Absolutely!

Yet Fillon more than makes up for any and all of CASTLE’s shortcomings thanks to the perfect mixture of flirtatious eyebrow raising and a seemingly endless stream of witty one-liners. So much so that I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun watching an hour-long police procedural.

Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade in my mythology-laden, dense and disturbing hour longs such as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, LOST, and TERMINATOR for anything. But there is simply something to be said for a show that just wants to have fun… and doesn’t make me feel like a modern-day luddite for not realizing that the guy in that grainy black and white video on last night’s LOST was revealed to have been vaguely connected to the Dharma Initiative four seasons ago.

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  • M

    Thanks for the positive review. I was beginning to think I was the only person that enjoyed Castle on Monday. I hope that it people give it a chance as I think that it will only get better as time goes on.

  • Niels

    I had the same idea, i was wondering too why people didn’t like it.
    I really liked the episode and the characters in it and I didn’t experience any of the ‘problems’ in read in some reviews.
    Thanks for this posting, i too hope it will succeed.

  • I wasn’t that impressed, especially because in the end, we find out the series is going to be the regular same-old procedural (the idea that deaths were based on his books was intriguing–I was unaware it’d only be one episode). I’ll test it out again next week because I’m a Fillion fan, but I dont’ know how long I’ll watch.

    I posted a longer review on my site, if you’re interested.

  • I’m with you, I liked it too. It’s by no means perfect, but the concept shows promise and Fillion & Katic definitely have chemistry. I made the comment that the show has a BONES-y feel to it last night on Twitter and was promptly admonished by the TV blogger community.

  • jess

    i enjoyed it too. Sometimes I like to not have to figure anything out when watching TV. And I love Nathan Fillion, ever since he was Joey on OLTL.

  • Just Jody

    I liked it too! It’s makes a perfect end to the Monday night laugh-fest of TBBT/HIMYM/CHUCK. It may be typical as far as procedurals go, but it’s piles of fun! And Nathan just oozes charm.

  • Ace

    I actually liked it too. Piolets can sometimes be awkward, but they pretty much put right out there what the show was going to be like. If you like Bones, you’ll probably like this show too. I don’t think it rose to the level of Moonlighting cheesy. And seriously, who doesn’t love Nathan Fillion. Anyone else remember Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place??

  • I actually enjoyed it too, though a LOT of credit goes to Nathan Fillion. Still, while not brilliant, it has the same breezy vibe from Bones (though without the strong squints ensemble).

    I don’t think its required viewing but I sure enjoyed it enough to come back.

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  • Nick.C

    Let me start by saying im a HUGE Nathan Fillion fan,but that show was terrible.Absolutely terrible ….Why can’t Fillion get a break and get on a good show that won’t get canceled?

  • Nick.C

    He was good as always but everything around him was cliché crap…

  • Terry

    I thought the show was really good. I enjoyed the boyish charm of Fillion although I wasn’t crazy about the woman detective. I liked the mom and the daughter. A little light entertainment is just the ticket at the end of a long hard day. With Chuck and Castle as bookends, who needs more? And I liked the cameos!

  • v

    Like Fillion but I turned off the TV after Castle’s first half… not a keeper!

  • Hil

    Having finally seen it all it seemed to me to be a light and harmless show. Similar to Bones minus the lab. I don’t know how anyone can call it “muddled”. It was very straightforward and easy to follow. You could argue it was too easy going, but that is about it. Going back old school tv it reminded me a little bit of Remington Steele with the dynamic they are going with the characters and the humor level. Of course being compared to the complexity of a 1980s show isn’t the best thing either.

  • Alison

    I’m with you.. I enjoyed it… it wasn’t the best show but I think the chemistry was good… I’ll keep watching.

  • Cole

    What authors did cameos in the poker game. I recognized Patterson, but who was the grey haired guy? I have been racking my brain trying to figure it out. Email me.

  • Nathanael

    I was really expecting the pilot to be lame, but I was honestly surprised. Sure, it was cliche and corny, but it was actually entertaining (mainly due to Fillion’s performance).

    I’m concerned, though, that past the first episode it will devolve into yet another goofy-cop crime-solving show. Since the “murders inspired by the books” storyline was apparently only one episode long, it would seem that it will now revert to standard procedural territory.

  • Marty Ew

    anyone know who the poker players were in episode 1? 1 with beard appeared to be Stephen j Cannell…don’t know who the other man with glasses or the woman was…just wondered if they were cameo appearances by other writers.

  • Jerrie

    Who is the female poker player/ Love the show!

  • Glenn

    Any show that has Fillion basically playing himself as some character–smuggler, outlaw, mystery writer… whatever–is always worth watching. The guy is just fun to watch. And what show hasn’t started off with stereotypes that grew into their own? As long as ‘Castle’ is on, I’ll be watching it.

  • I missed the latest episode of Castle and forgot to set my DVR, but luckily I was able to catch up with them at DISH Online. As an employee of DISH Network I had heard about this awhile back but now that it’s live and I’ve had a chance to use it I’m really excited about it. You can catch the latest episode of Castle here if you missed it too:

  • Jeannette Warren

    Who is the female poker player in season one episode one ?