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More on the Castle Mess
Question: With the recent casting shocker on Castle, and fans' displeasure that is sure to come with those exits, how likely is a ninth season now that this has come? (Also, I kinda lost interest in the show a few seasons back, but still I was shocked about the news.) — HC
Matt Roush: If Castle does return next season, in whatever format, it will be a reminder of the importance on any network's lineup of procedurals with a mainstream following. ABC has precious few dramas with this sort of staying power, including the ability to repeat episodes successfully (unlike serials such as Grey's Anatomy) which is why they're even considering moving on without its leading lady. Whether this is a good idea? That's the debate, which continues to rage.
Question: I was disappointed to hear that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones were let go from a possible next season of Castle. Both of them played a huge part in the success of Castle and both deserved better than to be abruptly dismissed. Without them, I think the show should sign off after this season, rather than limping along as a much-diminished show. For a long time, Castle was a fun, mostly lighthearted mystery show. What is disappointing is that, for whatever reason, once Castle and Beckett got together, the show got stuck and couldn't move the characters forward. Even though Castle was aging as a show, I still think there was a lot that could have been explored plot-wise to keep it interesting (e.g. time jump a few years, have Alexis join law enforcement, etc.). So I was wondering if you agreed, or if you think Castle just reached the natural end of a show's lifespan? — Brian
Matt Roush: I feel the show reached that end a while ago, once the producers kept throwing up obstacles in the Castle-Beckett relationship instead of just settling in for a comfortable long and happy run. But as long as the audience kept coming back, ABC would have been foolish to pull the plug on a franchise like this. I'm with you, though, that bringing Castle back as a shell of its former self is not the best way to go. It's all kind of sad.
Question: With all the chat about the Castle situation and the fact that Stana Katic's contract was up and the network was looking for ways to rein in the budget, how come there's not a lot of talk about this "feud" that's apparently been going on between Stana and Nathan Fillion, and how come it's all leaking out now? I know the show's called Castle and not Castle & Beckett, but maybe they should let it go. If it gets picked up for even an abbreviated final ninth season, do you think they'll kill off her character? Not sure how anything else would even work. As for NCIS: one of my favorite shows, and Michael Weatherly leaving will leave an immense hole, but I'm not going anywhere. Heck, more screen time for David McCallum! - Michael
Matt Roush: Backstage gossip is not my area of expertise, but tension on this particular set was not exactly a well-kept secret, though nothing I'd feel comfortable commenting on unless someone with authority went public. (And maybe not even then, although it may help explain why the couple sometimes has limited screen time together.) Once this announcement was made, it became open season for those analyzing the situation to bring this up. But all I'm really concerned with as a critic is whether it makes sense to continue without one half of the lead couple. Would The Thin Man be the same if Nick lost Nora? As for how Castle will write out Beckett: That's a corner they've painted themselves into, and I'll be curious if they can resolve it in a way more satisfying than, say, Matthew driving to his doom in Downton Abbey (still haven't gotten over that one).
And here's a sampling of more reaction from the mailbag:
Castle without Stana Katic won't be worth watching, since the core concept of the show is the relationship between Castle and Beckett. Bad decision, ABC!! — No Name
Matt Roush: Agreed.
If Castle ends, any chance Nathan Fillion could do another Firefly series? – Daniel
Matt Roush: You'll have to ask Joss Whedon that question. Might be a nice change of pace after those Avengers movies. But it kind of feels like the ship (Serenity) has already sailed on that franchise.
So give us the number, Matt. How many people will never watch Castle again? Seriously though, this couldn't have been handled any worse, could it? — Steven
Matt Roush: In a word: No. (And I won't even speculate about numbers, although Nathan Fillion's fan appeal may be more considerable than you think.)Ask Matt: Flashback Fatigue, Blacklist and Castle Fallout, RuPaul's Drag Race and More