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Tag: Castle (81-90 of 96)

Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: It's the procedural playoffs -- sweeps month!

It’s sweeps month! It’s sweeps month! Craziness will happen! Casting will be stunty! Networks will actually try!

Yes, Beatniks, it’s that magical time of year when whatever the actual televised content on procedurals—good or bad—it is highly unlikely to be indifferent. Those networks need our eyeballs, so if they want ’em, they’d better be willing to throw us a CSI triple crossover, resurrect long-lost castmembers, and double the Deschanel quotient! (Oh wait, no, Zooey’s not popping up on Bones till Dec. 10. Shoot. That’s one bit of holiday stunt casting I do approve of, mainly because we’ve waited for it just this side of forever.)

Maybe it was leftover Halloween madness, but Numb3rs already started getting down to sweepy business on Friday, with a straight-up strange episode about people getting zapped by lightning bolts directed by drones. (Or were they…aliens??! No—no, they were not.) But that wasn’t the weird part. Aside from a few throwaway references to Scooby Doo and The X-Files, the weirdness was in the person of John Michael Higgins, whom you might know from Arrested Development, Kath & Kim, or—and I didn’t know this till I looked him up—as the voice of Mentok the Mindtaker on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. (Cool points tallied.) Higgins played Floyd Mayborne, an agent from “Dept. 44,” which we are led to believe is some sort of double super-secret background black ops crew. Floyd seems to have an invisible cell phone, crazy deep sourcing throughout the fed farm, and a spooky ability to materialize anywhere. He was also a bit dippy. I’m not sure Floyd was as successful onscreen as the character must have looked on the page, but it was still nice to see Numb3rs go for humor—they tend to do a creditable job when they try. READ FULL STORY

'Sound Bites': Your favorite TV clip this week?

This week, in an extra-creepy Sound Bites: Michael Scott can’t suit his way out of inadequacy, Castle pays homage to Firefly, Natalie Portman trips out on Top Chef, 30 Rock‘s Jenna spoils the secret behind Lost, and much more. Oh, and everyone gets to dress up for Halloween, even delusional entertainment writers who think half-baked Dancing With the Stars costumes are fabulous. Vote for your favorite featured clip after the jump, or nominate your own in the comments! If you have noms for next week’s show, email me or tweet them to @EWAnnieBarrett. Boo.

Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: 'The Mentalist' and 'Castle,' tricks and treats

mentalist_lI love Halloween episodes. They’re less cheesy than Valentine’s Day drivel, and generally funnier than Christmas and Thanksgiving episodes (plus, we don’t have to deal with guest-star relatives). This All Hallows Eve week we got two gems: The Mentalist and Castle. Since y’all always say I give The Mentalist and Criminal Minds short shrift, I’ll start with the faux-psychic (particularly since there was no meeting of the Minds this week).

Anybody who’s been watching procedurals as long as we have (I know you’re out there, McMillan & Wife fans) has to appreciate the occasional homages to Columbo thrown into The Mentalist. In Thursday’s episode, Jane (Simon Baker) tracked down the murderer of an architect almost no one seemed to like much. Was the killer the wife he once cheated on? The lady whose family manse he bought? The ghost of the mausoleum’s original owner? Nope, none of the above. READ FULL STORY

Beat Cop: 'Castle' brings the return of Captain Tightpants!

With your regular procedural patroller Alynda Wheat on vacation, it falls to me to embed this clip from last night’s vampire fetish/comic book happy Castle, or what my colleague Marc Bernardin has referred to as “officially, the geekiest hour of television ever.” It opened with Nathan Fillion trying on a familiar “space cowboy” costume for Castle’s annual Halloween party. Daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) wasn’t quite as psyched as we were for the Firefly reference:

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Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: 'Law and Order' or high and mighty?

Law & Order is touchy. Maybe it’s age—after all the show is an admirably ancient 20 years old, which in TVworld means Willard Scott should’ve offered them congratulations about five seasons back. But this past episode had the reigning Queen Mum of procedurals wagging a bony finger in all sorts of directions, including—perhaps unwittingly—its own. READ FULL STORY

Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: Having fun storming the 'Castle'

There was a book? All this time there was an actual, buyable, readable Castle book and nobody told me? I mean sure, I could’ve read this post from Jeff, this one from Mandi, or this one here. But Jeff and Mandi are all the way across the country in the New York office! You and I are, we’re right here. All I know is, if Beckett gets to read that book, then I’m getting my hands on it too. But—and let me know if this is a step too meta—what I really want is a book about Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion). Or maybe I mean less meta, because Heat Wave, featuring Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, is basically Beckett and Castle, but one level deeper into the fantasy. I just want to stay on the surface, with our beloved cop and her dashing mystery-writer partner. Besides, the names Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook make me giggle. READ FULL STORY

Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: A moment of silence for 'Southland'

Regina-King_dlLet’s bow our heads for a moment of silence. As we learned last night, NBC snuffed out one of our favorite procedurals, the gritty, fantastically acted Southland. You’d think shoving Jay Leno down our throats for five hours of primetime would be injury enough, but no—they had to add insult. This, NBC. This is why TV viewers are dropping network for cable in ever-greater numbers. Viewers know cable offers the kind of risky, investment-heavy programming that’s rare on network television these days, and what’s better, cable will actually stick with it.

Take a show like Mad Men. There’s very little nudity (I can’t recall any, anyway), almost no swearing, and not much in the way of questionable content. Yet this is exactly the kind of show that would never make it on network television. It’s too involved, asks too much of its audience. It’s a think piece. In its own way, so was Southland. Performances (particularly from Regina King, C. Thomas Howell, and Michael Cudlitz) were inspired, the writing was original, and the characters themselves grew in complexity every week. As a TV journalist, I refuse to join the chorus of those who snipe that network doesn’t do good work anymore—The Big Bang Theory, Castle, and House all disprove that, and that’s just one night—but I certainly understand the frustration. All we can do to counter the networks’ shortsightedness is to continue supporting the programs we love, write a few angry columns and letters, and hope that somebody gets it before their business model runs them into the ground. So let’s at least do one of the three and get to this week’s worthy programming. READ FULL STORY

'Castle' Halloween episode: Vampire fetish + costumes = promising!

Castle-Halloween-Fillion_520-1 ABC has released photos from the Oct. 26 episode of Castle title “Vampire Weekend.” Per the episode synopsis, “As Halloween approaches, Castle and Beckett are called to a graveyard where the body of a young man sporting vampire fangs has been discovered with a wooden stake driven through his heart. Their investigation takes them deep into the heart of New York’s underground Vampire Fetish Community, where they learn that the secret motive for the victim’s murder may be hiding within the pages of the graphic novel he was writing before his death.” I can hear Castle’s Buffy, Twilight and True Blood references now, and I like it.

What do you think of their costumes? I’m guessing Beckett is a classic femme fatale (or perhaps Nikki Heat), and Castle is Edgar Allan Poe. Then, I’m thinking we’ve got ourselves a Doogie Howser, M.D., a Cruella De Vil, a Catwoman, and the guy from The Hurt Locker?

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/ABC

Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: In which Wentworth Miller, Cromartie, and Benjamin Button crash our sets

Wentworth-Miller_lCome on, people, you never leave the perp with Wentworth Miller! That’s Article 96, Section 242, Clause 3 of the Procedural Code! Wait, wait. Before we get too shouty about last night’s Law & Order: SVU, let’s call the meeting to order and go over some Beat Cop business.

At our last meeting, commenter Judy Woodruff (let’s just assume that’s an alias, and the PBS anchor is way busy with actual news) asked if we’re going to loop Southland (tonight at 9 on NBC) into our discussions. This brings up an excellent point, Coppers: What counts as a procedural? The matter is open to a vote, but these are the general guidelines we’ll work under:

The series is typically one hour long.

The series is on a nationally recognized TV network (e.g., ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, The CW).

The series typically concludes with the resolution of a mystery (crime, court case, medical diagnosis, etc.).

The series is primarily focused on said mystery, rather than the personal lives of those involved.

The series is ghost-free.

What does that mean? That Southland totally counts, because it’s all about catching bad guys, just more cinematically. That Medium, Ghost Whisperer, and Supernatural all solve mysteries, but bite it on the ghost clause. That House weasels its way in because the show treats sick people more like Sudoku than soap opera. (So suck it, Grey’s Anatomy!) And that we’re going to talk about Castle, even though it’s arguably weighted as much on the charm and talents of one Nathan Fillion as it is on dead people, because Fillion is one of our many imaginary boyfriends. (Though apparently, we’ve got competition for his affection.)

Now that our Cop business is concluded, let’s get to it!

Law & Order: SVU

We begin with another man in our imaginary boyfriend stable, Wentworth Miller, late of Prison Break. I dug the episode, but here’s the quibble: You saw (nearly) all that coming, right? Once I got past the idea that there actually was someone employed by the NYPD that was ragier, jerkier, and more unstable than Stabler (Chris Meloni—and don’t you roll your eyes at me, you know it’s true!), Miller’s backstory unfolded like origami. He’s a jackass, but a tragic one! He’s terrible to women, but wonderful to kids! He believes in the law, but God forbid if you’re too stupid to realize he shouldn’t be taking a confessed rapist/murderer to the john. I admit, I thought it was going to be a “You know what? He totally slipped and smashed his head into the porcelain sink…twice,” kind of thing. But they got me on the defenestration. I imagine they got all of us on that sick little legal twist that keeps the innocent dude in prison. And will somebody please get Diane Neal’s Casey Novak back here before we do something unspeakably hinky to vicious new ADA Christine Lahti? It is SVU—we can get creative. READ FULL STORY

'Castle': Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic have an arresting season 2 premiere

castle-fillion_lIt’s a sign of this dramedy’s growth that we put Stana Katic’s name in the headline and not just Nathan Fillion’s. The season 2 opener was Det. Kate Beckett’s best episode yet. Even though she was cold to Castle, I wager that old (and, fingers crossed, new) Castle fans warmed to her. Could be the auburn hair, or the sweaters…something different, and I liked it.

As we quickly found out, Beckett had not forgiven Castle for going against her wishes and poking around her mother’s murder file. (He discovered that three people died the same way she did, around the same time: a former law student of hers, a documents clerk, and a lawyer for a non-profit.) But Beckett made him a deal: He could help solve one last case to look good for a magazine profile being written on him and the NYPD (pictured: the photo shoot), then he would go peacefully. The episode’s case was more intricate than we’re used to — a strangled man’s body was found in a tree, and on the way to the morgue, it was stolen from the medical examiner’s van. Turns out the guy had lost his job and gotten into serious debt playing poker in Chinatown with Russian mobsters who offed him before he could fulfill his fast-cash duty as a drug mule. But really, the murder was just a set-up for Castle being his charming self and Beckett getting to save his ass while using a fake Russian accent and looking hellahot. READ FULL STORY

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