Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Castle: Season 1 (Review)

Here's a DVD set that kept popping up on my recommendations, and a while back I decided to give it a shot.  It was recommended because it stars Nathan Fillion, star of the wonderful but sadly cancelled Firefly series.  Though, this series is a far cry from the fantastic sci-fi heights of Fillion's past.  This is a cop show with a twist, as Fillion plays Richard Castle, a famous murder-mystery writer who gets himself attached to a NYC detective (who happens to be a very attractive woman—there are no ugly female cops on television, go figure).

I had mixed emotions going into this, as shows with a "writer" as a main character can generally go one of two ways.  Either the character is this fantastic, gregarious super-writer (everything the real writer wishes he/she was in real life), or the character is made goofy and comical, to counter the writer's inherent desire to cast themselves in the lead role.  With Fillion's character, the writers do a bit of both.  Castle is this dashing, rich writer with a suave personality, philandering tastes, and a cynical attitude sometimes more akin to a sitcom character than a crime drama star.  Nathan Fillion is a fine actor, and he does a great job with the material he's given, though I guess I was expecting his character to be a little more serious.

With that said, this isn't a horrible show.  It actually is entertaining, for the most part, though like a lot of mainstream shows it has its flaws.  The one character I can't stand in this show is Castle's burned-out Broadway-wannabe mother.  She's very annoying and pretty clichéd.  I think we've seen this stock character template used a few million times on other tv shows over the decades.

After watching the first season, will I be picking up the second and third season DVD sets at some point?  Probably, but am I eagerly running out to spend my bottom dollars for a chance to see more?  No.  When I manage to slip some fresh funds into my entertainment budget, I'll consider buying the next seasons, though there are other shows that rate higher on the list right now.  I will say this show has a lot of untapped potential, and I wonder if they're realizing it yet.

3.5 out of 5 stars; a good show for casual viewing, but I've seen better.

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