New Show, New Season, New Movie

New Show: Castle

The new show I started is Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. I'm a sucker for crime shows, and I am big sucker for crime shows that deal with one story per episode (instead of a continuing soap opera). So Castle is right up my New York alley.

I'm also a fan of Nathan Fillion although it has taken me awhile to adjust to him in the role of multi-millionaire, high-living writer. I think it took Nathan Fillion a bit to adjust as well--the first disc of Season 1, he's rather hyperactive--as if he is trying out the role of "debutante" New Yorker. By disc two, he has calmed down considerably. It helps that he is supported by the expert Susan Sullivan, the respectable Molly Quinn, and the flawless Stana Katic. Personally, I think Stana Katic is a better match for him than Morena Baccarin (from Firefly)--leather rather than lace.

The only oddly bothersome thing is the clothes Castle wears. Nathan Fillion is a really, really big guy. As a comparison, he is taller than Boreanaz and much heftier. As Castle, he wears multi-millionaire, hip writer clothes. Don't get me wrong--the clothes are nice and look good, but every time I watch an episode, I go, "Oh, come on, he looked much more comfortable as Mal."

One last note: ABC must recruit its actors from the East Coast. (Wasn't ABC based on the East Coast at one time? Is it still there? Does Castle actually film on location?) Canadian actors, like the folks from Nero Wolfe, keep showing up as extras. I love it!

New Season: Season 4 of Bones

Yup, that's Season 4, not Season 5. I'm a season or more behind everyone else.

And it's good--naturally. I was actually quite impressed by the massive rewriting of Zach's history in the first episode. It truly made no sense that Zach had ever murdered anyone, and I guess the writers wanted to redeem themselves.

I was also surprised by my reaction to Zach not being in the lab. I quite like the character, but I didn't think his absence would make that much difference to the show. The constantly changing research assistants are funny, but I feel there's a hole in the lab-dialog where Zach used to be. It's almost as if the writers need a more-Brennan-than-Brennan persona to bounce dialog off of. Without it, they seem to flounder.

However, the Bones/Booth dialog is, as always, right on the money. I must say that being able to do what those writers have done--create a couple who act like they are married without constantly holding out the possibility that they will be--is rather remarkable. It may come down to chemistry. One of my favorite scenes with Bones and Booth is when they are investigating the Beauty Pageant murder. When they enter the dance studio, they are muttering to each other like usual. They sit down side by side, a woman turns to them and says, "So which one is yours?"

Of course, Bones and Booth react in a flustered way, but the truth is, for those brief seconds, they look extremely natural together: not lovey-dovey, just husband-and-wifey. Unlike so many couples on television, I have no difficulty believing that Bones and Booth could actually make a marriage work. They may be different, but their chemistry doesn't come from warring opposites (however much they might believe that); it comes from two people who share an underlying world view, respect each other, and have little to no difficulty communicating.

New Movie: Twilight

After watching what has to be the longest movie in the history of movies . . . okay, that's not fair but it is a very, very slow movie that takes exactly one hour and twenty-two minutes to actually present a plot problem.

The very, very slow set-up does involve some good stuff: the misty setting is quite nice; the new-kid-in-town uneasiness is well conveyed; two television regulars--Michael Welch and Jose Zuniga--show up; Anna Kendrick as Jessica has good enough comedic timing to have her own show; and Robert Pattison does a respectable job as a tortured vampire. There's even a hint of Dexter: well, Dexter without an adult job, interesting internal commentary, phenomenal acting skills, and a well-balanced, if oblivious, girlfriend. I like my sociopaths to know they are sociopaths. (Dexter is surrounded by people who, if they knew who he was, would be horrified; he knows this and also knows that he doesn't really want to be around people who wouldn't be horrified.) However, in many ways, the movie is Edward's. (And Pattison's ability to convey self-amusement is a huge bonus here.) This is good because Kristen Stewart's acting skills are, shall we say, eh hem, very untried. Since I consider Bella the most boring character in literature, there may be some cosmic justice here. Stalky or not, both Jacob and Edward are more interesting. In fact, Jacob's interactions with Bella are quite teen-plausible; I spent half the movie, going, "Wow, it's so sad that this girl couldn't have a relatively normal life with one I-have-a-dark-past-but-I'm-still-a-normal-guy boyfriend!"

The other half of the movie, I spent going, "Why would anybody in their right mind go back to high school?" At one point, Edward says, "We like to start in a new place as young as possible." Have you thought of . . . being freshmen in college, maybe? (Newsflash, silly family, but people between 25 and 45 are much harder to place than people between 1-24.)

The suspension of disbelief was just too great. I don't know if I could have ignored it in the book; I couldn't ignore it in the movie. No matter how good high school was, anyone who voluntarily goes back to age seventeen has major psychological growth issues. It's creepy. Way high creep factor. Creepier than stalking. Made me appreciate Angel all over again.


Joe said...

My take on Castle is that he wasn't born and bred in the upper crust of society. He is an interloper who has used his fortune to his advantage, but doesn't really care to be part of the upper crust (though his mother does.)

For the record, Fillion is only slightly taller than Boreanaz, though I think Fillion carries himself differently which makes him look taller and heavier. (Boreanaz really slouches--rumor has it that it's partly due to a knee injury from high school.)

BTW, Boreanaz is two years older and if you watch the latest season of Bones, he's definitely hit middle age.

Oh, and Adam Baldwin, who has acted with both, towers over both of them.

Joe said...

When I was looking up heights, I ran across a very animated debate on Boreanaz's height. What cracked me up was how ignorant people are of the simply techniques photographers and filmmakers use to distort the height and weight of actors. Drop the camera, go wide angle and suddenly the actor in front is taller and heavier than the one in back. Or they just have one actor stand on a box.

Kate Woodbury said...

Don't forget heels! The Nitpicker's Guide guy, Phil Farrand, likes to point out how Nana Visitor suddenly grew three inches between seasons of Deep Space Nine. She 5'8", but she was in a cast of people who were all, including Terry Farrell, six feet or more. I guess she was feeling overwhelmed.

Katic, who is also tall for a woman, wears super stilleto heels.

The comparison thing makes a big difference in terms of perception. Deschanel, for instance, is much taller than Sarah Michelle Geller. Geller always appeared tiny next to Boreanaz. Deschanel doesn't so much. But maybe that's his youth!

And I have to mention my favorite duo: Mulder and Scully. Gillian Anderson is my height. Duchovny is 6' or so. She is obviously wearing heels in most episodes. My favorite height-related scene, though, is when Mulder starts complaining about her pulling the seat up so much.

Scully: I'm driving. Why do you always have to drive? Because you're the guy? Because you're the big, macho man?
Mulder: No. I was just never sure your little feet could reach the pedals.

Carole said...

You watched twilight.....I can't even read your review. Sorry. :)

Kate Woodbury said...

Well, recently a critic compared Angel Falling Softly (Eugene's book) to Twilight (favorably), so I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about the series :)