Castle, Yes or No?

Anyone watching Castle? I started watching it and liked it. But I don’t usually watch cop shows (okay, Castle’s a writer, but he works with a cop in this series), so the format—opening with the murder, then they solve it—grew a bit tiresome. Although, I must say, I love the characters, Castle and his mom in particular. Kate Beckett, the detective with whom he verbally spars, I’m not as sold on.

Two weeks ago, the DVR glitched and the episode didn’t record. I realized I didn’t miss it. Last week, the episode recorded, but I grew bored watching it and deleted halfway through. Then I discovered that Lee Lofland, a member of one of my writing lists and author of Police Procedure and Investigation (great reference book), is reviewing Castle each week on his blog, The Graveyard Shift. Okay, now I have a great reason to start watching again.

I’ve been meaning to plug Lee’s blog for some time now. If you write mysteries or romance mysteries or romantic suspense, check it out.

Lee watches Castle each week, then corrects the procedure mistakes in his blog. Here’s the entry for last night’s episode, and here’s the link for the Archived reviews of the previous episodes. (The review for last night’s episode is at the top of the Archive listing, last week’s is next, and then you’ll have to hit the Older Entries link to get reviews to earlier episodes).

If you read the reviews, you’ll quickly realize that Lee spots tons of errors in the writing of this show. An excellent resource and opportunity for learning.

Okay, how about Southland? Anyone watching that? I’ve watched the first two episodes and am intrigued enough to keep checking in. Yes, the episodes follow a pattern so far, just like Castle does. In the case of Southland, the first two episodes opened with a scene from the ending, then started from the beginning and worked their way back to the ending. I don’t mind this technique, but if done every time, again, it will grow tiresome for me. I have no idea if Southland portrays the police accurately or not. Wish that I could find a review of Southland each week on Lee’s blog (hint, hint, Lee). (P.S. If you’re already doing the reviews, let me know where to find them; my time is short these days).

Anyone remember Annie from Men in Trees? She’s in Southland. Totally different character. She’s great to watch.

16 Responses to “Castle, Yes or No?”

  1. Lee Lofland Says:

    Hi Cindy. Thanks for mentioning my blog and book.

    I’ve certainly had fun doing the Castle reviews. And the review day receives the highest number of visits to the blog – nearly 30,000. So somebody’s watching the show.

    I’ve never watched Southland. Perhaps I should give it a try.

  2. Edie Says:

    I haven’t watched Castle. The premise didn’t appeal to me, from what I could see from the trailers — a writer ordered by a judge to help the police. Something like that. Too unrealistic. Not like Medium, which I watched last night. There is a real Allison Dubois. And who doesn’t have dreams that come true? 😉

  3. Cindy Says:

    Hi, Lee. You’re welcome.

    I’d love it if you watched and reviewed Southland. Would be interesting to hear how it compares to Castle.

  4. Cindy Says:

    Hi Edie,

    The writer isn’t ordered to help the police. The writer, Rick Castle, wants to research the female detective, because he’s basing his next novel series on a character like her. I can’t recall the first episode, how he got into the first murder mystery. Thereafter, because of his high-up contacts, yes, he wormed his way into being her sidekick.

    I agree it’s not a realistic premise. You kinda just have to go with it.

    I don’t watch Medium or Ghost Whisperer or any TV shows that deal with the supernatural. Let’s just say my imagination doesn’t appreciate it, and leave it at that. 😉

  5. MJ Says:

    I love Castle. It may not be accurate, but I love the dialogue and relationships, especially between Castle and his daughter.

  6. Cindy Says:

    Hi MJ!

    I like the daughter, but find her a bit precocious. Well, his mom’s precocious, too, but she works for me better for reasons I won’t get into in “public.” I guess Castle is precocious, too. It’s a family trait.

  7. Lee Lofland Says:

    Okay, I’ve watched about ten minutes of last week’s episode of Southland. I hate to disappoint but I saw a few procedural errors. However, it looks like a decent show. I’ll give it a try next week.

    Errors:

    – The patrol officers were not wearing vests. I know, it would be pretty uncomfortable to wear one during the filming. Still…

    – Police were questioning a murder suspect while standing two or three feet from the victim – INSIDE the crime scene. They’d move him away to prevent contamination of evidence.

    – Officers put a robbery suspect in the back seat of the police car. Then a rookie officer climbed in beside him, with his pistol next to the bad guy. Officers should always sit or stand with their gun side away from the suspect.

    Good things:

    – Conversation between the officers.

    – The fact that the rookie officer played cowboy and ran into a store during an armed robbery without waiting for back up to get into position. Then his training officer (I assumed this was who the guy was) blasted him for doing it, and for arresting the wrong guy. We set up scenarios like that all the time in the police academy. Why? Because they really do occur.

  8. Marilyn Brant Says:

    Cindy, I’m a fan of Castle overall. Some episodes (like the pilot) were so well constructed and fun…others are less so (although I did enjoy Monday night’s show). Regardless, thanks so much for pointing out Lee Lofland’s site!! My husband and I LOVED reading the procedural errors he found–fascinating!–and I’m looking forward to reading more of that :).

  9. Cindy Says:

    Hi, Lee, thanks for chiming in again, that’s great. Yes, the older cop is the training officer. The first episode (the one previous to the one you watched) is the rookie’s first day of training.

    Thanks for taking the time to watch the 2nd epsiode!

  10. Cindy Says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Glad you found Lee’s site useful. I haven’t had time to peruse it as much as I would like. But what a wealth of information. I totally love the reviews of Castle. Lee is providing a great service to writers by dissecting the show like that. I think we can all agree that realism often goes the wayside in fiction, TV and movies. The way romance writers are portrayed (or Canadians, for that matter) are usually way off base, as well. 😉

  11. Nancy J. Parra Says:

    I enjoy Castle- but don’t fret if I miss an episode. I like his mother-she is a great character. Thanks for passing on the blog link!

  12. Cindy Says:

    Velly welcome.

  13. Natalie J. Damschroder Says:

    Castle is growing on me. If I didn’t love Nathan Fillion so much, I’d never have started watching, never mind kept watching. I saw plenty of errors and I’m totally clueless! LOL Kate is also growing on me, and the father/daughter relationship is my favorite part.

    Castle got involved in the first place because someone was mimicking the murders in his books. He was between main characters and suffering severe writers block and Kate unlocked him so he started tagging along.

    I think it’s full of cliches and tired writing, but there are flashes of awesome–like Castle’s ability to weave a spell via storytelling, which makes it more believable that they’d let him “work on” a suspect occasionally.

  14. Cindy Says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Yes, we see an episode every week, but in the story time, he’s not assisting on a murder every week.

    Thanks for the reminder about the premiere.

  15. Lee Lofland Says:

    Cindy – I tried to watch Southland last night but couldn’t get through the entire episode. Some of the things they did were okay, but for me, it was pretty tough to sit through.

    At least Castle execs bill the show as a comedy, and they pull it off. Southland, I think, is trying to portray cops as they really are and they’ve missed the mark by a long shot.

    Where’s Barney Fife when you need him. Now he was a real cop!

  16. Cindy Says:

    Thanks, Lee. I like Southland myself and have re-programmed my PVR to record it rather than Castle. I’ll catch Castle when I can, but there’s not enough there to lure me every week. Meanwhile, I’m getting sucked into the ensemble approach and multiple relationships to keep track of in Southland.