CASTLE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) has a great relationship with the mayor of New York City. As a result, he has arranged to shadow the NYPD homicide division to help them solve murders. Heading the homicide squad is Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who constantly spars with Castle but secretly likes him… maybe a little too much.
WHAT I LIKED
This season of “Castle” hit a stride, much better than they had in season one. Like CBS’s “The Mentalist,” “Castle” shook off the dust of too much formula and predictability to enhance the characters in the show. It’s a fine line to walk with sexual tension between main characters, but Castle and Beckett work fine here. It helps that the show lets them flirt a bit but not make things too serious. After all, once that tension breaks, the show’s over… or in serious jeopardy (as we learned from “Cheers,” “Moonlighting” and “Scrubs”).
The key to this show is Nathan Fillion as Castle. Many people love him from “Firefly,” but here’s where he shines brighter. His tongue-in-cheek humor really works in this format, and the character comes across as just plain fun.
The murder-of-the-week is the focus, but the ongoing elements of the characters make things click. We’ve got the interaction between Castle and his family, as well as Beckett trying to resolve the jealousy and humiliation issues with Castle’s latest book, “Heat Wave.” It’s a fun show to watch, and even though it’s about murder, it’s enjoyably light-hearted.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only time this show falters is when it goes too far out of its own concept. Too much of a romance between Castle and Beckett threatens to get too serious. This is also the case when the shows focus too much on the murder of Beckett’s mother. It’s such a tragic story that it pulls away from Beckett’s humorous nature.
The only show that really was a problem was when it gave Detective Esposito (Jon Huertas) his own focus in a story. I have no problem with Esposito as a character, but it’s a comic-relief supporting role. He gets way too serious in this episode, and things get real for him. The whole episode felt like a test run for an Esposito spin-off, which would have been awful.
The DVD set comes with the standard deleted scenes, bloopers and outtakes. There are three featurettes, including “On Set with Seamus & Jon” in which the actors who play Detectives Ryan and Esposito take viewers on a set tour, “On Location with Nathan” in which Fillion introduces the audience to the different crew members and “Manhattan’s Most Unusual Murders” which focuses on the different and creative deaths of the series.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who want a twist on the standard police procedural.