MSRP: $39.99
RUNNING TIME: 430 minutes
• Misdemeanors: Bloopers & Outtakes
• Whodunit: The Genesis Of Castle
• Write-Along With Nathan Fillion
• Castle Godfather
• Audio Commentaries

The Pitch

The premise of Murder She Wrote (Murder HE Wrote) with the charm and romantic tension of Remington Steele/Moonlighting.

… aaand something for Fillion fanboys/girls to watch post-Firefly.

The Humans

Actors: Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion
Directors: John Terlesky, Bryan Spicer, Jamie Babbit, Dean White, but special shout-out goes to X-Files alum, Rob Bowman (show director and executive producer).

Stana Katic never did get that coveted role, but at every op, she perfects her KStew impression in the event Summit Entertainment flash-forwards with a Twilight: Now and Then spinoff.

The Nutshell

A popular pulp writer (Rick Castle played by Nathan Fillion) aids a copycat murder investigation instigated by his imagination. He then becomes a permanent fixture at the precinct as he shadows, and frustrates, a dedicated detective of the “fairer” sex (Kate Beckett played by Stana Katic). She soon becomes his inspiration for the main character, “Nikki Heat”, in his new sultry mystery series.

Will Castle get in the way? Of course! Will one-liners and sparks fly? No doubt! Will the two leads “investigate” each others’ “crime scenes”? Stay tuned!

“Hm. You ladies might want to avert your eyes. According to this *cough* specialized website, a ‘Browncoat’ is much more scatalogical than I was led to believe. “

The Lowdown

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a show coast on so much charm. The cases are usually fairly easy to solve, the murders are normally ones of passion, the killer is almost always the least likely suspect (motive discovered in the final moments of any given ep) still with opportunity. But charmed I was. Firefly‘s Fillion is a natural for the material. Akin to a rogue shark in a tank of unsuspecting mackerel, he’s built for the kill, his sole purpose is delivering clever lines and making the ladies (and men) swoon. And as Whedonite faithfuls, my wife and I wanted to see the lovable “Han Solo for the next gen” succeed. It was a shaky first step as Fillion was the MVP fo sho, but after a week or 3, we were DVRing it. We started to warm to detective Kate Beckett as she started to warm to Rick Castle. We were a tad worried Beckett would maintain that “I don’t need to show any sign of femininity in such a tough environment” cold fish demeanor every episode, but the showrunners wisely loosened up her attitude (and fashion) a tad.

Ghost o’ Lester Burnham, you are SO GOING DOWN.

My wife and I also watch Bones (on the subject of Whedon alum). These 2 shows are perfect for the married couple (and my Mom) looking for an hour of escape into some sexual tension, mystery, snappy dialogue, and not too much tragedy beyond the unfortunate corpse at the center of it all. Harmless mainstream fluff that sprinkles in just enough Cool to potentially soften a fair share of hardened internet cynics.  Castle does contain more blatant flirting and more conjecture than Bones. And due to the title character’s occupation as a writer here instead of a forensic anthropologist, we get more red herring and less maggots, but the focus on the relationship and chemistry between the two show’s leads beneath each procedural subgenre’s trappings are very similar.

The “CAP’N(Mal)” makes it HAPPEN!

I admire the fact that even though Rick Castle is a womanizing scoundrel, he’s surrounded by strong females. His daughter, mother, and now new “partner” add much balance and very vocal perspective to the crime-show cast. So…. the X chromosome side of the audience can simultaneously fantasize about and rebuke Castle vicariously through their gender’s onscreen reps. Additionally, the creators behind Castle were wise to avoid too much of a “mythology” thread in Season 1. Instead, highlighting Castle’s exposure to real murder (Fillion really sells his child-like enthusiasm and cold-water alarm) beyond the safety of his keyboard and the collision/connection between Rick and Kate. “Will they? Won’t they?” It’s only a matter of time IMO, but they’ll keep milking it. And we (at least my wife and I) will keep watching.

“Listen… do you smell something?… No? Well, you will in 5… 4… 3… 2… Elevators are waaaay fun, huh.”

The Package

Castle was a mid-season replacement, so there’s only 10 episodes in the set across 3 discs. It’s light and breezy and a good intro to the slightly expanded universe as seen in Season 2 (read about it HERE or buy it HERE), where even the supporting characters grow into their roles.

There some Fillion bloopers, Fillion commentary, and Fillion behind the scenes. More than enough Captain Hammer for your toolbox.

Extra Castle Facts: How’s this for a tie-in? They actually published a couple of the books that Castle has “written’ during the series, Heat Wave and Naked Heat. What better way to target the trashy tv audience than with some trashy airport books. I might have to pick up a copy. I’d be willing to bet some brick & mortar stores have packaged an exclusive paperback with one of the DVD sets. That would be the smart thing to do. Oooooh… I hear there’s actually a steamy sex scene on page 105 of Heat Wave, exactly as stated on the show. That’s dedication. And I’m a sad, strange, little man for caring. Do I have your pity?

“You gotta pen? Because I think I might need to add WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING THERE to the handy Laundry Room Rules posted right here conveniently to my left.”

8.0 out of 10