Revisiting the Castle

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on April 2, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

Four episodes in, I’m feeling a little better about the future of Castle, though the primary problem, the lack of chemistry between Castle and Beckett (real cute on her name, too, guys, although the symbolism could have been better), is not solved. The core problem with Beckett’s character, which leads to the chemistry problem, is that she is inconsistent. She’s hot, and knows it (“You have no idea” from the first episode and this week’s “distract him with legs” stunt) yet won’t give him the time of day while at the same time bemoaning her lack of action as though she’s a shut-in nerd. What possible real-life woman does this resemble? A woman with the confidence to show up in a thigh-length hot-pink number and drop her coat does not bewail her lack of dates to the M.E. in the morgue. This is partly a writer problem, but also an actor problem–she is high-strung, unlike, say, Dani Reese of Life who plays hard as nails, cool as ice, and faintly nose-wrinkling over Crews while allowing her respect for him to depend on his work, not on his quirks. Which part of the woman are we supposed to buy into here? I actually could buy the shut-in nerd kind of a thing, since she reads all Castle’s books, kind of an Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy (she was also high strung), but that negates the “I’m hot and I know it” act that Sarah Shahi does so easily for Dani Reese.

It’s frustrating, because otherwise I would not have dreamed there was an actress working with whom Nathan Fillion couldn’t produce chemistry. Come on, writers, come on, Katic, decide on the character’s primary motivation here. Isn’t that the first thing they teach you in drama school?

Enough of the negative–the show is mostly flowing a lot more smoothly, the character of Castle’s mother is fitting in better, the daughter’s delightful although too unbelievably perfect–as is Castle himself. Does he have no flaws that can’t be overcome by looking cute? But I am enjoying the show quite a bit and hope it continues finding its feet quickly.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace