“Castle” is canceled.
There’s a time when we wouldn’t actually believe that to be true. There are shows that you imagine sticking around forever, and around one point in season 4 or 5, we may have been in that camp. We remember writing a review of the pilot many years earlier when we were still sharpening our teeth in the world of TV criticism, and honestly not being all that positive about it. Luckily, it won us over fast, and for so many reasons. The writing was sharp and funny, the characters interesting, and while this was a classic mystery show, there was also that epic love story between Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) that was apparent in the early going.
Fast-forward to season 4, and we were firmly hooked on the show by the time we started covering it full-time. Any initial worries we once had about it went away. Fillion was an easy sell, jumping on board after “Firefly”, which was one of our favorite shows of all time. Katic was new to us, but we really enjoyed her work and those nice little moments of vulnerability in the Beckett character.
More than anything, we enjoyed the show for the comfort of it all. There’s something greatly nostalgic and underrated about the case-of-the-week crime procedural, especially one to us with a little bit of humor smoothed in. Some of our favorite shows are ones like “Monk” or “Psych” on USA, which give you a great case but with some quirkiness and charm thrown in there. “Castle” was the same way, and our favorite episodes will always be the ones that involve funny costumes, wacky premises, and Castle coming up with a theory that time-travelers / Bigfoot / ninjas / invisible people were responsible for a murder. The individual romantic moments between him and Beckett also stand out, but as moments more so than full episodes.
Would the show have worked without Katic? It was hard to imagine it in the weeks that followed the stunning announcement that it could, though throughout the entire process we found ourselves in great conflict over it. There have been few bigger Beckett fans than us over the years, but it’s hard to root for a show’s cancellation at the expense of so many other people who work so hard. It’s just not in us to do so. Yes, we know that there is the whole explanation of “they can always go get other jobs,” but that’s hard to do in this business sometimes. Would you tell a friend to leave their job out of solidarity for another friend losing theirs, especially if there was no guarantee that another one would come within the next year? The whole way this was handled was so incredibly unfortunate, to Katic and Tamala Jones first and foremost, and then so to many fans wondering if they should pick sides between their loyalty to an actor and to a beloved show.
Timing is what makes this announcement so difficult. Had ABC chose to announce the end of the show come February when it returned to poor ratings (which is what they really should have done out of respect for the cast and the fans), everyone could’ve had more time to jump aboard a pilot somewhere else. Because that didn’t happen, everyone’s in a tougher position. Sure, they’re all enormously talented and will find something in due time, but it’s hard to know a timeline. Fillion will always be in demand with the genre community; meanwhile, Katic has been working on movies during hiatus months and will likely continue to do so. Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever have been working on music.
In the end, the “Castle” cancellation is probably the best move to give a proper conclusion to that epic love story we first got immersed in so many years ago. We just wish that it could’ve come about in a way that gave fans more time to prepare, given the cast more time to unify, celebrate their achievements, and planned more for what was next.
Luckily, the show will exist in syndication and in repeats. You’ll have a chance to see funny moments, heartfelt scenes, and cool cases for so many years to come. They’ll always be around, and we imagine that this story will stick with you.