Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Castle, Season 2 (2009)

Much as with season two of The Americans, the qualification on my recommendation here is a simple one: if you liked season one of Castle, you're almost certainly going to like season two, and should check it out.

The basic premise of the show is unchanged: wealthy crime novelist Richard Castle works with NYPD detective Kate Beckett to solve murders.  Ostensibly, Castle does this because he's using Beckett as the inspiration for his new fictional heroine, "Nikki Heat", but it's pretty clear that he does it because he enjoys both the challenge of the cases and the company of Ms Beckett herself.  As for the NYPD ... well, they go along with Castle's participation because the Mayor believes it is good PR.  And sure, Beckett may slowly becoming accustomed to having the irreverent but charming Richard Castle in her life.

One of the things I said in my review of the first season of this show was that I hoped they would do more with the supporting cast in later seasons, and apparently someone heard my comment, invented a time machine, and went back to 2009 to make sure my desires were met.  Which was nice of them, I am sure you will agree.  Castle's mother and daughter both have a more substantial presence in this season, and "sidekick cops" Ryan and Esposito also get more attention.  I approve.

Outside of the fine supporting cast, Castle continues to deliver the quirky cases that are very clearly a part of the show's formula.  It seems no-one in New York ever just gets murdered as the result of a simple argument turning violent.  There's always some tangled skein of secrets to sort out, often involving some outré element such as vampire cosplay, BDSM clubs, or an amnesiac who may be a witness.

Castle is a fine light dramedy show, where the trappings of the police procedural are mostly there to drive the character and dialogue-based humour.  It's definitely stronger when playing for laughs than for drama, but it's fun TV overall.  Well worth a look if you're in the mood for something light.

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