When it comes to the best shows on television, usually a set formula is in place. The combination of great writing and direction behind the scenes and a top notch cast in front of the camera makes for simple ingredients, but moreover, the best shows on television are telling a story, which makes the plot of the utmost importance. One show that is bringing everything together is “Castle” on ABC.
“Castle” manages to stuff a lot into an episode. Like many great shows on television, the series transcends one particular genre and dabbles in comedy, drama, and romance. The charm of series relies on the lead character. Fortunately, Rick Castle is portrayed by Nathan Fillion. While even Fillion is probably a little tired of someone mentioning “Firefly” whenever his name pops up, the bravado and attitude he brought to that show helps bring crime novelist Rick Castle to life.
Of course, having Stana Katic played Kate Beckett, an NYPD detective, helps the show spring to life as well. Beckett could have been just another pretty face, but her tenacity and emotional isolation help intrigue viewers, not to mention Castle. The supporting cast is also in top gear, as every character has bits and pieces that help the product on the screen move the story and the overall plot along.
At the center, “Castle” is essentially a romance. Castle and Beckett have obvious feelings for one another, and while the will-they or won’t-they aspect of the show is played upon; it rarely dominates an entire episodes storyline. The series makes great use of the strengths and weaknesses of the characters, and the end scores as one of the top shows on television.
Keeping fans interested in characters on procedural shows can be tough, and relying on interesting actors and clever plotlines is usually one of the best methods. Since “Castle” essentially relies on murders, finding compelling storylines for an episode is usually not a difficult task. However, treating the characters as human beings and actual people is one way the show keeps fans guessing.
The show separates itself from a lot of typical cop shows by having the character not get everything right the first time. When it comes to the particular case of the week, Beckett and the team run down leads and dissect clues. The answer is not always obvious, but the lives of the characters also present mistakes, which makes the characters more relatable.
Rick Castle is a successful author with a ton of cash, a great daughter, and pretty cool mother. Castle has any number of mistakes on his resume with ex-wives, book publishers, and trouble with authority. Beckett also presents commitment issues and a tortured past with her mother being murdered. Plus, the rest of the characters regularly deliver relationship troubles and stress from personal events.
Overall, “Castle” manages to deliver grounded stories with entertaining characters. While many shows on television attempt to use that same formula, few manage to deliver the fun that this series does. With any luck, that formula holds for a few more seasons.