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In a recent Us Weekly interview, Castle show runner, Andrew Marlowe, responded to speculation that the powers that be were looking kill off Stana Katic’s character, police detective Kate Beckett as a way to shake up the series for its eighth season.
“I think for us that’s off the table. For us we’ve been telling a love story for the last seven years,” Marlowe explained, with Miller adding, “I think that would be a huge betrayal of our fans.” — usmagazine.com
Now long time Castle fans will more than likely roll their eyes at me and assure me that the fact that Castle has always been a love story is a generally known fact. It wasn’t to me. I don’t watch romances. I’m a “manly” man, who hangs out with his sons, coaches their sports teams and loads up on testosterone-laden media fare, including hard-biting police procedurals. I started watching Castle because of several factors, but mostly because the show was about solving mysteries, had robust male lead and great looking female lead to follow.
I related to the Castle character. Video games? Check. Wild theories? Check. Fanboy? Check. This notion that I was watching a romance simply did not compute. So, I did my research. I re-watched episodes and found myself inextricably brought back to the same conclusion. I wasn’t watching for the drama, or the action, or the suspense. I was watching because of the relationship between Castle and Beckett. The episodes that I kept going back to were the ones that moved their relationship forward. I watch, and re-watch, and re-watch the end scene of 4X23 “Always”. I only watch the engagement scene in 5X23 “Watershed”. I was absolutely annoyed that 6X23 “For Better or For Worse” interrupted the path to a wedding.
The fact of the matter, for me, was that Castle wasn’t just another police drama, albeit funny with the irrepressible Nathan Fillion keeping my interest. It was almost insidious, a guerrilla war waged on my senses to fill me with wonder as to what will happen to our favorite characters. I stewed at their inability to realize they were perfect for each other. I basked in the glow of their mutual discovery of their feelings for each other. With each passing episode, I watched their relationship grow, and I became less concerned with the mystery aspect of the show, and more involved with the love story.
I will always appreciate a good action/adventure turn. I will watch shows dedicated to suspense and thrills. If a series is overtly “romantic”, I’ll shy away from it. I’m not interested in something that puts angst-ridden love drama right in my face. But if it’s clever and it’s sneaky, a show can imbue a passion in my heart that I can appreciate. That’s what Andrew Marlowe and the cast and crew of Castle have done to me. At the heart of a good story is the relationship between characters, and Castle tells a great story. I am hooked, and now I know this was intentional.
To me, coming to this realization as we are closer to the end than the beginning of this run is the most amazing part of this revelation. Now, I’m aware that I need to be more open minded about the possibilities that exist out there for entertainment. I look at the interaction dynamics between characters and the stories they tell instead of relying on the adrenaline of a jump scare or the excitement of a mighty explosion. I have to hope that more opportunities to enjoy romance will be out there. I’m a little anxious because the Castle leads are indeed unique. Nathan Fillion is a blast to watch and Stana Katic has a strength in her performance that I haven’t seen in other leads. Together, they have so much chemistry that is the underlying foundation of the show that I’m hesitant to believe that we’ll see it again. In the end, I have to hope that more will come down the line to ensure that manly romance doesn’t die.
In the end, Castle is a love story. Like all good love stories, we had to see the evolution that wasn’t forced or rushed. We had to go through the triumphs and the tragedies that were surrounded a larger narrative as two people discover each other and understand their own selves. That is the magic of Castle. Interwoven within the adventure, the comedy and the mystery, was the love the two characters developed and grew. Honestly, I can’t think of anything anymore manly than that.