Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tube Steak: "Castle" and the Prodigious Charms of One Nathan Fillion

The premiere of "Castle" marked the always welcome return of Nathan Fillion to the small screen. Anyone familiar with Fillion's past work ("Firefly", "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place", season seven of "Buffy") walks in with an appreciation for his winning personality as it permeates his every turn. Fillion can effortlessly convery an boyish charm while playing the part of the incorrigible rascal much in the tradition of a young, free-spirited Bruce Willis or a Lethal Weapon-era Mel Gibson.

As far as pilots are concerned, Flowers for Your Grave was serviceable while not approaching anything life-changing. What it does succeed in is setting the table for a potentially fruitful series with Fillion's Richard Castle using his sway to force his way into the work of Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, Noah Wyle's love interest in "The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice"--oh, and what I presume is that bullshitty new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace).

As Jack Attack noted, there were times that Katic seems slightly overmatched which was the Little Lady's rationale for why that Ron Livingston negotiator show failed, but Katic never seems as ill-suited to share the screen with Fillion as Rosemarie DeWitt did *edit* opposite Ron Livingston *end edit* in "Standoff".

Even if Katic never gains the swagger to draw our focus from Fillion, the show is titled "Castle" and his talents will certainly be able to shine.

It is obviously early on in the game for "Castle", but aside from initially irritating music cues* the charm and sexual tension of this show should be a welcome change from the bland procedurals inundating the primetime docket.

*Maybe it is just me, but I find that a lot of TV would be better off without adding some pseudo-rock cues that are supposed to strike the viewer as hip in the middle of Thomas Newman knock-off scoring. I get that the Thomas Newman "American Beauty" score was pretty great, but does every quasi-quirky thing that has come out since need to adopt that style?

And in no way is Stana Katic hard on the eyes, so the two are welcome to play off one another for a while as far as I'm concerned.

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