In this edition of our month-long TV Revivals series, we’re very excited to dive into “Castle” — we tend to only do this series in February, so to say that we’d been planning this one for months would be an understatement.
We’ll be the first to admit that we found the show’s original pilot way back when to be somewhat wooden and problematic; however, the first season got progressively better as it went along, and by the time we got to season 3 this was strongly in our mind one of the best mystery shows on television. This is a very specific genre that we have a great deal of affection for: The procedural cop drama that still finds a way to incorporate plenty of comedy and romance. It’s so easy to identify favorite episodes, we relate to the characters, and we can so easily make montages of some of the best moments and clips. The writers found a way to have many of these moments pop.
Despite all of the great years that it had, the eighth season was frustrating to many — the way in which that season ended was a further echo of that, and the happily ever after ending of Castle (Nathan Fillion), Beckett (Stana Katic), and their new kids was obviously tacked-on. It was created mostly to be a “just in case” conclusion in the event the show did get canceled, and had the team had more time, we’re sure they would have created something better.
Why revive it? – The simplest reason is that the final season didn’t leave a great taste in anyone’s mouth. Some of the stories were fun, but the forced Castle / Beckett separation led to a show that didn’t inherently feel like the one that we came to love. Given how many years viewers invested in this show and these characters, to us it does make some sense that there is proper closure, and something that makes a little bit more sense to the fans. You could try for an order of somewhere between 8-13 episodes (that way it’s not too demanding for any of the cast), and you could put this on either in the summer or in the fall / spring. Give it half a season, and reserve the other half for something else.
As for the cast, obviously you’d need to bring the original cast members back in Fillion, Katic, Jon Huertas (Esposito), Seamus Dever (Ryan), Tamala Jones (Lanie), and Molly Quinn (Alexis). We do think the internet were a tad too hard on Toks Olagundoye and Sunkrish Bala, but we’d prefer to see Hayley and Vikram back as guest characters. Maybe they get involved in a case or two, but you keep the show more about the current core. We’d also want an episode or two of Penny Johnson Jerald while we’re at it. Creatively, the only thing we’ll say is that we’d want creator Andrew W. Marlowe involved in a far greater capacity than he was with the final season.
Here’s another interesting bit of data that may raise some eyebrows: The show’s eight season averaged a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Compare that to the two other shows that have aired in this timeslot for ABC this year: “Conviction” (which averaged a 0.7 before it was moved to Sundays) and then “Quantico” (which has drawn a 0.8 and 0.7 rating through two airings, and this is with “The Bachelor” as a lead-in). “Castle” was drawing much better numbers, even if these were its worst numbers ever. Sure, it was probably much more expensive, but couldn’t everything average out?
Will it happen? – It’s unlikely, even if nostalgia is high and we’re in an era right now where so many of us need the distraction of some fun, lighthearted TV. The biggest issue is that so many regulars are now doing other things: Huertas is on “This Is Us,” Katic’s working on a new project, and we imagine that Fillion will be heavily courted during this pilot season. You also have to make sure it’s financially viable, and then there are all of the rumors about acrimony behind the scenes. We don’t want to get into any of that — we want to keep this article positive — so let’s just say that hopefully some time and distance will have healed some of the problems that may or may not have been there. We’d want coming back on the show to be a fun, positive experience for everyone.
Still, we’re hoping for it to happen just because “Castle” is what you should want from network TV — fun escapism that helps you forget about the world.
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