Thursday, May 19, 2011

Castle - Season 3

The last show got a stay of execution, but there is no such luck for Castle. I mean, for me, anyway. The show is going strong in the ratings and is coming back next year, but I won't be watching it. Having your show star Nathan Fillion will only get you so far before it has to be able to stand on its own, and after three years Castle is still just a mildly charming yet otherwise totally standard cop procedural, one that just doesn't do enough to keep me interested anymore. I don't know if the mysteries are actually getting lazier or if I'm just used to all of their tricks, but the cases each week are much less likely to be surprising, or even just passably entertaining. I swear there were two episodes in a row where the killer was the obvious suspect's assistant. With the episodic stories no longer being as thrilling, and the serialized elements reduced to a joke at this point, there's simply no reason to keep watching.

Obviously we're coming back to the sexual tension thing - how long can you have two characters who obviously dig each other but don't hook up for various flimsy reasons before it becomes irritating? I definitely prefer for relationships between characters to actually develop and change over time, but I think if it's just part of the story, you can keep it going for a while. The problem is that the will they/won't they crap between Castle and Beckett is the only thing the show has going besides the periodically boring crimes to solve. The other cops in the station are mildly likable to the point where a scene with them isn't a total drag, but they don't actually ever have anything interesting to do. Castle is pretty much the only character who is ever seen even having a life outside the scope of an investigation, and that stuff is extremely boring. His mother pretends to have an active social life and his daughter has teenage girl problems that always seem to have an extremely convenient thematic link to the case, but there is nothing close to entertainment to be derived from any of that stuff. So you have a show that exists only to come up with new ways and reasons to murder people and keep its two leads apart, and it doesn't do either of them very well.

Sometimes the show will go out of its way to have special events in certain episodes, two-parters or season finales that deal with especially high profile investigations or further the unfolding mystery of the conspiracy behind the death of Beckett's mother. These don't really work either though, because they often shift the focus away from the peppy tone that makes the show watchable in the first place, sideline the main character, or just expose the fact that the writers aren't very good at coming up with those kinds of stories. The show already has an entirely laughable premise it has to stick by, with a writer being partnered with a homicide detective for three years now. But when they try to do something like a nuclear bomb threat... it's supposed to be big and series, but it's just goofy. This year's finale was particularly egregious, ruining a perfectly serviceable supporting cast member for the continuation of a mystery that still doesn't make any sense. And then they had the balls to try and pull that final scene with the sniper. I don't hate watching Castle, but I am indifferent enough to it that it just isn't worth the hour every week.

1 comment:

Joe M. Corujo said...

I was heart broken when I thought the program was going off the air. Castle is one of my favorite programs. I love the character in the show, they have great chemistry.
I'm really thrilled it coming back next season.