Friday, March 27, 2009

The New Cops-Plus-One Shows


Photo: Nathan Fillion, aka CASTLE.

Since I'm between jobs, I've been watching WAY more TV than usual, and I've noticed the latest trend in cop shows. Now the cops all need a unique person to help them solve crimes. You've got MEDIUM, where the cops need a psychic. You've got MOONLIGHT, where the cops need a vampire/private detective. You've got THE MENTALIST, where the cops need a fake psychic/mentalist. You've got MONK, where the cops need a detective with an OCD cleanliness fetish. And the latest seems to be CASTLE, where the cops need a novelist.

I've had several friends tell me that I ought to watch the show, so I tried the last fifty minutes or so last night. Aside from a Bill Myers look the protagonist has going on, I was sorta flummoxed by the writing part--I mean, the man never wrote anything! In one scene he said a certain scenario wouldn't work because "I'd never write it like that," and in another he fell asleep in an easy chair with his laptop in his lap. But other than that . . . . no writing. I didn't even notice any day dreaming or note-taking. :-)

Funniest of all, to me, as the way the cops deferred to this guy, as if he knew anything about police work. They even let him question suspects! Ha!

Maybe the pilot set it up a little better, but I'm afraid this gimmick will wear thin pretty quickly. Too bad. The reality of a "writer show"--an episode where a guy sits around and thinks and types and thinks and types and paces and thinks and types . . . sounds like mesmerizing TV, doesn't it?

Angie

12 comments:

Terri L. Gillespie said...

You should write in, Angie.

Mocha with Linda said...

Ah. but the research you writers do could be interesting!!

Leslie said...

ROFL. What about Murder She Wrote? I don't remember Angela Landsbury sitting around writing either. Castle is basically a modern day version.

I love Castle - its one of my new favorite shows. Of course, part of that is because Nathan Fillion is in it... well a large part of the reason I tuned in to start. They had to capture me to get me to stay.

The setup of the story is that Castle is a best-seller mystery writer - and in his most recent book killed off his detective because he was bored with the story, character and "there were no more surprises" - but someone out there copycats his books and the police haul him in for questioning. After that case is solved he uses his connections with the mayor (who is a huge fan) to be brought in to "shadow" the female detective because she will be the basis of his new books.

Oh, and did I mention he has an extreme case of writer's block going on right now.

:D

Smilingsal said...

I tried to watch the second episode and did not connect; in fact, I fell asleep! The premise intrigues me; I hope they tweak it.

Aimee said...

I love Castle! (But as one of your other commenters said, I'm a huge fan of Nathan Fillion.)

Also - The Mentalist is a copycat of the original fake psychic show, PSYCH, which is really funny. :)

Christy Lockstein said...

I'm really loving the series because he isn't your stereotypical playboy. He lives with his flighty mother (he takes care of her)and his extremely down to earth daughter.

James Patterson and another mystery writer appeared in the fist episode as part of his poker group. It's a great conceit!

I hope you'll give it another chance, Angie. This is my new favorite show!

Shauna said...

I love Nathan Fillion (especially in Firefly), but I kept rolling my eyes during the Castle premiere and think the banter between him and the cop is grating rather than witty. I seem to be alone in being underwhelmed by the show, though.

Rachel said...

I refuse to watch The Mentalist because it's a bad rip-off of Psych. I watch NCIS and have honestly tried to watch The Mentalist. But it just falls flat for me. Psych is SO much better! The cops don't depend on Sean and Gus for anything and are perfectly capable of solving crimes without their help.

Pysch is very unique, has excellent characters and is laugh-out-loud funny every episode.

Amy said...

I still miss Moonlight!!

I thought this show was a lot of fun, and I adore Nathan Fillion.

Kristine said...

I haven't seen any of the above shows, but I recognized him for some reason. So I googled him and realized that yes, it was him that is in Dr. Horrible's Sing A Long Blog! One of the funniest and most random things I have ever watched. Oh, and he grew up in Edmonton and went to the same university I did. Interesting!

Allie said...

Kristine - you may not see this but if you liked Dr. Horrible you need to see the short lived series - Firefly (written by the guy who wrote Dr. Horrible and starring Nathan Fillion)

karenp said...

You made it through the last fifty minutes...of one show? I have tried several times to watch this one, never get very far. Seems I get distracted at a commerical, wander off to my office, and forget to return. :-/