Let me begin this review with full disclosure: I was alarmingly excited about this show and, going in, there was little-to-no possibility I would dislike it.
That said, I thought it was AWESOME.
Nathan Fillion is one of my favorite people on television. Ever. (And not just because I'm a die-hard Whedonite.) His range is far greater than most American actors nowadays. He has the ability to be insightful, comic (both verbally and physically), charming, attractive, badass, and incredibly annoying. Richard Castle is character gold for Nathan Fillion, and a supreme delight to watch for everyone else.
Fillion's opposite number Stana Katic is not particularly well-known, but I think she will do well in this show. I've been waiting for her to get a good role ever since her short stint on Heroes as Hana Gitelman, and I think she's found in it Kate Beckett. I think ads portrayed the character as a bit more hardxcore than she really is, but the more complex and less serious actuality is, in my opinion, far more likely to be interesting.
Castle is a procedural. And there are a lot of those. BUT, Castle is a new angle on the procedural. It's not a crime show about the science or the law of murder and crime. It's about the story and the reason behind murder. And, let's be honest, that's bound to be much more interesting and entertaining than watching the same fingerprint recognition software run over and over again. (Don't get me wrong, I love procedurals a la CSI.)
Maybe this show will sink, maybe not. ABC has not had the best track record as far as shows I want to watch staying on the air (I'm looking at you, Eli Stone and Pushing Daisies). But hopefully the humor, dynamic, and lead actor chemistry will keep Castle around.
I enjoyed the pilot and am very much looking forward to more.