Castle: The Complete First Season (DVD, 2009, 3-Disc Set) Reviews
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Castle: The Complete First Season (DVD, 2009, 3-Disc Set)

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Nathan Fillion Charms in Castle - The Complete First Season

Sep 25, 2009 (Updated Sep 25, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Nathan Fillion.  Entertaining series.

Cons:Only ten episodes.  Case issue.  Mystery could be stronger.

The Bottom Line: Castle is an entertaining show that deserves to be seen.  Castle - The Complete First Season is a great DVD set for fans.

I first discovered Nathan Fillion when he played Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly.  I loved him in the part, and yes I'm still annoyed that the show was cancelled.  I have since seen him in other things like Serenity, Slither, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  The main reason that I started to watch Castle in the spring of 2009 is that he plays one of the main characters.  I quickly got hooked on the show and decided to pick up Castle - The Complete First Season on DVD.

Castle is an hour long police show that airs on Monday nights at 10:00 P.M. EST on ABC.  The first season began to air in March, so it is a shorter season.  The second season began to air on September 21, 2009.

Richard Castle is a successful mystery writer who has a series of very popular books.  He decides to kill off his main character and then struggles to create a new character.  He lives with his teenage daughter Alexis and mother Martha.  He becomes involved in a homicide investigation when someone starts recreating murders from his books.  Detective Kate Beckett is a fan of Castle's books though she isn't happy about having to deal with him during the investigation.  He does manage to help the investigation.  He has some powerful friends in town, including the mayor, so he gets it set up so that he can shadow Beckett while she investigates other murders.  Castle intends to base his new character, a female cop he names Nikki Heat, on her, something else that annoys Beckett.

Every episode in the first season of Castle deals with a different murder investigation.  Castle is really excited to be going along with Beckett even though he is out of his element.  He does manage to help in various ways which does usually annoy Beckett.  At times, Alexis or Martha will say something that ultimately helps with the current investigation in some way.  Some of the investigations do involve more than one victim.  None of the mysteries are that complex, but they still make for entertaining episodes.  With most of the episodes, I just watched them for entertainment without attempting to figure out the killer was.  The mystery elements of the show could have been stronger, and that may disappoint some viewers.  People who prefer shows with more complex mysteries might want to pick a different show.  

Several of the episodes in the first season of Castle start off by showing what turns out to be a murder crime scene.  A few episodes start off focusing on one of the main characters before they are contacted to go to a new scene.  All of the crime scenes are shown at some point in the episodes.  None of them are that graphic, especially when compared to similar scenes in other shows, but they aren't exactly pleasant to see either.  A little bit of violence turns up every so often without any of it being explicit or that graphic.  Every episode has some action, usually provided though a chase or shooting.  The action stuff does help to keep things interesting.  

Different aspects of the investigations are shown, like when Beckett goes to question people or is trying to track down a lead of some kind.  Castle knows all sorts of things because of the research he has done for his books and those things end up helping at times.  He also has some contacts that he utilizes every so often.  Beckett is usually the one who interviews suspects at the police station and sometimes Castle is also in the room for that.  I know he has gotten permission to observe her work, but it doesn't seem as believable that he would be allowed in the interview room too.  Castle is shown writing every so often or dealing with something else tied to his work, though those things aren't shown very often.  The different aspects of the police work shown really aren't anything new or different from what has been done in other shows.

In addition to the different investigations, each episode in the first season of Castle also shares information about the characters while building relationships.  Since some of the personal things that are shared are slowly introduced and build over the season, I think it is best to watch them in order.  Alexis and Martha are introduced in the first episode and while they aren't shown as often or have as much to do, they are still important characters because of their relationships with Castle.  The reason that Beckett decided to become a cop also comes out eventually and that reason played a big part in making her the way she is.  Castle and Beckett develop a working relationship and even seem to be friends by the end of the season.  Castle also develops friendships with the other detectives working with Beckett.  I like that the show takes time to focus on different aspects of the character's lives instead of being just focused on the various murders.  Beckett's look does change a bit over the season, mostly as her hair gets a little longer.  Her hair changes lengths during the first episode.  I also think her eye makeup gets a bit heavier, especially the eyeliner, later in the season.

Even though there are many serious moments during Castle, there is an overall lighthearted feel to things.  Much of that is because Castle is such a fun loving type of character who tends to act goofy.  He adds a lot of humor to what is going on and keeps the mood lighter.  He wants to be involved in the investigations and he won't listen to Beckett when she tells him to wait in the car most of the time.  That causes him to chase down a suspect while carrying one of his shoes.  Castle says and does all sorts of things that I find funny.  I think those things make the show more entertaining and make it stand out from the other police shows currently on the air since they are all so serious.  I like many of them as well, but it is nice to see something a bit different.  The ways the characters, usually Beckett, react to Castle are also funny at times.  Beckett is a very serious character for the most part, so Castle helps to balance her.  I think the humor and more serious elements are blended well throughout the episodes.

Castle is intrigued and attracted to Beckett when they first meet.  She loves his books but doesn't want him to know.  At one point during the first episode, she is really annoyed with Castle while he seems to be acting like he thinks they are on a date.  He tends to be very flirty with Beckett while she tries to ignore the attraction.  Every so often she does something that I think indicates that she is more interested in him than she wants to let on.  She does return the flirting every so often.  The attraction between them is subtle, but it is there.  As the season progresses, they do get closer and have a better friendship.  During one episode, Castle spends time with his ex-wife and they do have sex.  They still have a decent relationship and tend to meet once or twice a year for sex.  That episode includes a brief sex scene that doesn't show a lot, though it is clear what is going on and bare skin is shown.  I'm thinking that the relationship between Castle and Beckett will be explored further in future episodes of the series.

Richard Castle is a very successful mystery writer and single father.  He tends to be very fun loving in most situations, though he has his serious moments at times as well.  He is rich and has a comfortable life that he enjoys.  He adores his daughter and loves his mother even though he is frequently irritated by her.  I love Nathan Fillion in the part.  He's very charming as Castle, making him a very likable character.  Alexis is Castle's fifteen year old daughter.  She is intelligent and has a wonderful relationship with her father.  It is very nice to see a teenager in a show that doesn't act like a huge spoiled brat while talking back to the parents all the time.  In some ways, Alexis is more mature than her father.  Molly Quinn is wonderful in the part.  Martha is a former Broadway actress still trying to have a career.  She just sort of breezes in and out and enjoys causing her son some embarrassment at times.  Susan Sullivan handles the part really well.

Kate Beckett is a very devoted homicide detective.  Something from her past had a large influence on her and was a major reason for why she became a cop to begin with.  She tends to be serious, but she is capable of having fun as well.  Beckett is a very strong woman and well capable of taking care of herself.  She is annoyed by Castle at times, but she also seems to like him.  Stana Katic does well with the part.  Roy Montgomery is Beckett's boss.  He is amused by how Castle can annoy Beckett while also seeing that the two of them work well together.  He usually doesn't have a lot to do.  Ruben Santiago-Hudson does fine with the part.

Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan are two other detectives who work with Beckett.  The two of them get along well even though they bicker about a few things at times.  They enjoy teasing Beckett, but are also protective of her.  They also get along well with Castle.  Lanie Parish is the medical examiner.  She seems to be in a good mood most of the time.  She and Beckett are friends, though the two aren't shown doing much together.  Lanie does like Castle and even seems to encourage Beckett to act on her attraction to Castle.  Tamala Jones does well in the part which is different from the few other things I've seen her in.  Some real authors, including James Patterson turn up as Castle's friends.

Main Cast

Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan
Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
Joe Huertas - Javier Esposito
Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish
Stana Katic - Detective Kate Beckett
Molly Quinn - Alexis Castle
Ruben Santiago-Hudson - Roy Montgomery
Susan Sullivan - Martha Rogers

DVD Information

Castle - The Complete First Season has the ten episodes from the first season on three discs.  I have a small issue with the case.  The first disc is on one side of the inside the case and the other two discs are on the other side of the case, with the second disc on top of and slightly higher on than the third disc.  That makes it necessary to remove the second disc to get to the third disc or to put the third disc back in the case.  I have other DVD sets with this type of case and I really don't like them.

The set features commentaries on a few episodes that I haven't had a chance to listen to yet.  Whodunit: The Genesis of Castle features the creators of the show talking about which other television shows, like The Rockford Files, influenced them in the creation of Castle.  Some of the cast are also included in talking about the show.  Castle's Godfather features Stephen J. Cannell talking about the shows he worked on.  The creators also talk about how they were influenced by Cannell.  Write-Along With Nathan Fillion has the actor spending the day with Cannell to learn how to act like a writer.  This doesn't last long, but it is very humorous and entertaining.  Misdemeanors: Bloopers & Outtakes, the final extra, is a gag reel that lasts about two and a half minutes and is pretty funny.

Episode List

Flowers for Your Grave
Nanny McDead
Hedge Fund Homeboys
Hell Hath no Fury
A Chill Goes Through Her Veins
Always Buy Retail
Home Is Where The Heart Stops
Little Girl Lost
A Death in the Family

Castle is an entertaining show that is worth seeing.  Fans of Nathan Fillion should definitely check it out.  Castle - The Complete First Season is a great DVD set for fans of the show.

Castle - The Complete Second Season ~

Richard Castle Book Reviews
Heat Wave ~ Naked Heat ~ Heat Wave ~

Nathan Fillion Reviews
Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog ~ Firefly - The Complete Series ~ Serenity ~ Slither ~ Wonder Woman ~

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