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Premieres: September 19, 10pm on ABC
Plot: A successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle (Nathan Fillion) gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.
Why We're Excited: With a serious lack of screwball comedy found these days on TV or movie screens, we're always happy to see the return of Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), who banter, bicker and solve crimes in a thoroughly modern yet delightfully retro way. The airwaves are saturated with police procedurals of late, and the interplay of action and humor cultivated by the whole crew at the precinct (not to mention at the Castle abode) create at compelling, refreshing version of the genre that has as much heart as it does police action. It will be interesting to see how the writers room resolves last season's cliffhanger, wherein Beckett was shot while giving the eulogy at an important funeral (we're avoiding spoiling that for you here); it's likely that determining exactly who shot her will be the larger mystery that sustains this season. On a lighter note, here's hoping we see more onscreen time for "Esplainie" this season - Castle's nickname for the secretive, burgeoning romance between Detective Esposito (Jon Huertas) and medical examiner Lainie (Tamala Jones).
Why We're Not: Besides being a bit miffed that certain high-ranking character was killed off at the end of last season, we're concerned that the repeated attempts of almost killing Kate Beckett might be trying the patience of audiences. Willing suspension of disbelief is key in maintaining momentum on a show like this, but there's only so much belief that an audience can suspend before their connection with characters is damaged permanently, and viewers must stay connected with Beckett in order for your carefully-balanced formula to keep working. "Castle" writers, your audience is capable of understanding more than just death, or the threat of it, as a motivator for changes in how characters relate to each other.
Trivia: When Stana Katic first met Nathan Fillion, she had just gotten out of hair and makeup for the final callback between her and one other actress, and realized she was wearing a blouse that was too long. She asked for a pair of scissors, saw Nathan Fillion getting coffee, and greeted him. He asked if she wanted to run lines, and she replied, "No, but speaking of lines, can you cut a straight line?" To which he replied "I can try." And so he cut her blouse shorter for her. The producers saw this and she got the part.