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Thursday, 25 of February of 2021

Tag » Castle

In Defense of Castle (and Smart TV Criticism)

Timothy Yenter alerted me to this article from the New York Times reviewing ABC’s Castle. While Timothy sums up what should be the general response to this article well, (“Nothing interesting to say about artifice. Random, unhelpful asides. Disdainful tone”) I felt compelled to chime in with something a bit more than a tweet.

I don’t review Castle here on the blog because I’ve never been happy with anything I’ve ever written about it. It’s not that that I have nothing to say about it, it’s just I don’t find anything I write particularly interesting. I know that Matt also watches it, but he doesn’t write about because, and I think this is correct, he likes enjoying the show on a purely non-critical level.

But this article isn’t just about defending Castle (and it’s worth defending), it’s about demanding smart writing about television, and not the wildly dismissive, bordering on elitist, dreck that the Times has passed off as television criticism. Read more »

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Finding the Formula in the Characters

With Lost’s upcoming return, I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss the shows that aren’t exactly innovative in terms of narrative or character or having a big honking mythology. Yes, I’m talking about the other hour-long dramas that are on TV and that, let’s be honest, may not necessarily get the critical love and attention that they may deserve. More importantly though, I want to, hopefully, parse out some of the differences in between these shows and see how they ultimately survive compared to other shows like Lost that burns us up inside, but fizzle on screen.

I’ll admit that Lost’s return isn’t the only motivating factor here. Burn Notice is on tonight, one of my favorite formula shows, and ABC’s Castle was just given two more episodes (presumably based on either the strength of last week’s series high ratings or to cover some post-Ugly Betty spots in the schedule, but in either case it’s a sign of confidence in the series), so it seems appropriate to discuss the issue of formula on TV right now. Read more »