Currently in Season 5 on ABC
Creator: Andrew W. MarloweStarring: Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog), Stana Katic, Molly C. Quinn
Synopsis, found here:
After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes. A "guy's guy", he proves popular with the male team members, but immediately offends the sensibilities of the team leader, Detective Kate Beckett. Though she'll never admit it, he slowly wins her over with his innovative approach to crime solving. He brings to the table skills the others don't have: contacts in Manhattan high society, free-form creative thinking, and years of developing believable fictional characters that have inadvertently molded him into a natural criminal profiler. But life is not all crime fighting adventure for this wealthy playboy: his relationship with Beckett becomes even more strained when he unveils a new series of detective novels featuring a racy character based on her, and his home life is dominated by his mother (a fading Broadway diva) and his whip-smart teen-aged daughter.
I've never been a fan of "cop shows". Actually, "never been a fan" is a euphemism for sneering disgust. It isn't pretty. I admit I gave Castle a shot only because 1.) my husband was begging me (don't TELL me I never do anything for you!), and 2.) Nathan Fillion was in it. Since I loved Nathan in Firefly by Joss Whedon, and loved to hate him in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, also by Joss Whedon, giving Castle a small chance to impress me didn't exactly cause a brain rupture... despite my over-exaggerated, exasperated sigh as I reluctantly plopped myself down. But I was already hooked by the end of episode one.
The story is great, the plot pacing is perfect, and the characters are really fun. While I still find the character of Beckett one-dimensional (she's all about the job, even in Season 5), Castle's life and the story are fleshed out and entertaining enough that I can shrug it off. More importantly, this is a "cop show" that, as a modern woman of reasonable self-respect, I can watch without being overcome with rage and bitterness about the way women are treated, talked about or acting. They managed to make a cop show with a convincingly tough female homicide detective as the ranking officer, without making it dirty, disgusting, sexist and all the other shitty things I have come to expect from "cop shows". What a relief.
I find that Nathan's character, Richard Castle, has the earnestness of his character Mal in Firefly, and the ego of his character Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible.It's an interesting mixture. I've also found that the producers of Castle aren't shy about milking Nathan's past successes with Joss Whedon in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion. I've laughed out loud at a couple of their ploys.
And to crown it all, I just found and downloaded the mystery novel by Richard Castle from my library. The whole mystery series by this fictional writer is available at my local library. I read the first one, Heat Wave, and despite not being a big mystery novel fan, I enjoyed it quite a bit. And not just because of the "thank you" from the "author" at the end of the book, written from Richard Castle's perspective. It was full of hilarious takes off the TV series. Well done.