For those of you that never watched Firefly, a good show turned great by this man, you were probably more surprised than I was that this otherwise formulaic cop show was so fun to watch. When I saw the previews for Castle, I was both excited and very wary. He was the main billed actor, good, but in the 50th new cop show premiering this season; and as the only major actor on a cop show that didn't have CSI, NCSI, Law and Order, or NYPD in the title, the odds did not look good. And, in my humble opinion, neither did the promo. I was cheering, but would Dick and Jane that make up the other 10 million needed nightly viewers for a successful show do the same?
I needn't have worried. Of course, as you have seen, he carries the show quite handily. With scripts and storyline's that are the definition of recycled, trite and predictable murder mystery-television, Mr. Fillion and his lovable (and very well cast) daughter make you come back for more. I may not particularly care whodunnit at any given moment, but I most certainly care who's up next for giving lead in's to Nate's witty banter and outshining personality. And while I know there are a lot of people out there who go to every midnight showing of Serenity in the tri-state area (don't ask) that would drool over anything at all Nathan puts forward, including White Noise 2 and Waitress (bleh and bleh, though Slither was a laugh), I myself am far more picky. I still feel his talents aren't being used to their fullest, but gosh-darn if I'm not grinning from ear to ear to see him at his thing again.
Although Stana Katic could have been cast better, and some say much better, the plot lines seem to be improving a bit, and the love story brewing between her and Castle is at least kept toned down most of the time, instead focusing on their professional relationship, working together to solve the case. Some of the other cast members are quite good, sometimes even adding depth and characterization as the season goes on (his mother, annoying at first, comes to mind). Some of the cast members, while not necessarily poorly acted, are very poorly written/groan-worthy stereotypes (Espesito! I mean Sanchez! I mean token Hispanic cop! Go do this thing that merits your 45 seconds of screen time this episode!). Overall though, especially considering how I felt coming into the show after watching the trailer, I am quite pleased. And left with high hopes for improvement next season, now that they see how integral their main man is to the shows success. I'll leave it to him to guide them in the right direction.
To summarize, for any lingering fans or unconvinced show-prospectors wondering about giving it a try, the Cap'n is back! And as good as ever.