Tuesday, March 17, 2009

O Captain My Captain... What Have You Gotten Yourself Into?

It's painful when you really like an actor, and see him in something that's less than he deserves. Such is the case with Nathan Fillion in Castle...ABC's new crime procedural (!) on Monday nights.
Castle is just like every other cop show on TV... except it's so badly written. So, SO badly written. Nathan Fillion stars as Rick Castle, a James Patterson-style mystery author, filled with boredom for his rock-star lifestyle- signing women's breasts, golf buddies with mayors and judges. His boredom is leeching his creativity, and he gets writer's block (we know this because of one sentence in last week's pilot), but finds that his creativity abounds in meeting Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), a tough NYPD detective with a hidden past (we know this because of one sentence in last week's pilot too) when a serial killer starts copycatting the murders of Castle's novels. There's also a hint of sexual tension between the two... *wink wink*. We know THAT because of one sentence in last week's pilot. Get where I'm going here?

Fillion is and has always been charming (who else could play Captain Hammer? Malcolm Reynolds? That dude in Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place? yeah... I watched it) and it is him and him alone that has me watching this show at all. Sadly, after two episodes, I'm not sure it's enough- the murders the police are solving are trite (nanny kills other nanny over affair with the musician dad who's sleeping with both? please), the banter between Fillion and Katic is pathetically one sided, and I'm continually re-writing the dialogue in my head to make it more interesting. Fillion is in nearly every scene, and he is working so hard to engage the other actors that he looks a little manic. The best scenes in the shows so far have been between Fillion and his tv family- an aging stage starlet (Susan Sullivan) and his too-together daughter (Molly C. Quinn). The three have a sweet chemistry and play off each other in a familiar and real way.
I really want Castle to work... not just because of my affection for Nathan Fillion...but also because I want ABC to restore my faith after pulling my precious Pushing Daisies. Yeah, I still haven't gotten over it. Sadly, I think this show is a little TOO precious for its own good. A superfamous WRITER? With GROUPIES? Does anyone know a writer like that?
Anyone? No? Ok.

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