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Hercules Assails ABC’s New Nathan Fillion Dramedy CASTLE!!

I am – Hercules!!
The latest chunk of unfunny dramedy awfulness from ABC, “Castle” stars Nathan Fillion (“Slither,” “Desperate Housewives”) as a bestselling crime thriller novelist who starts (with he blessing of his fan and friend, the mayor of New York) hanging around a hot NYPD detective to help himself get over writer’s block. Screenwriter Andrew Marlowe (“Air Force One,” “Hollow Man”) is the show’s creator. A predictable yawn-fest of a poor “Moonlighting” knockoff. “Castle” is no less riddled with clichés than “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives” or “Ugly Betty.” Richard Castle is the kind of bore who thinks he made up this gag: “It’s not what you think. Okay, it’s exactly what you think.” He’s got a conservative teen daughter and a horny old mom. He’s irrepressible while the cop he’s shadowing is a scold. It’s all just too tired and mind-dulling. While one hates to root for series to fail, let’s hope “CSI Miami” and “Medium” overrun “Castle” quickly so Fillion can move on to projects more worthy of him. Entertainment Weekly says:
Nathan Fillion’s copious charm curdles in this cutesy series … “Castle” is just an implausible muddle.
The Los Angeles Times says:
… The problem is that in the pilot and an early episode, the crimes are nowhere as compelling as the characters. For a show like "Castle" that dares to launch a more classic version into an already saturated and tarted-up market, the murders have to be as complicated and compelling as the push-me-pull-you glances between the main characters, and so far, they just aren't.
The Chicago Tribune says:
… Nathan Fillion (“Desperate Housewives,” “Firefly”) is by far the best thing about “Castle,” ABC’s latest attempt to launch a procedural franchise. As mystery novelist Richard Castle, he brings frisky energy to the show, which almost makes up for the lack of chemistry between him and his co-star, Stana Katic, who plays detective Kate Beckett. Little about “Castle’s” lead characters will surprise you. … competent but mostly unexceptional …
The Washington Post says:
"Wildly famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is bored with his own success," says ABC publicity for the new crime series "Castle." Bored with his success? Poor bay-beee. As it happens, he won't be the only one. Viewers who stumble into this misbegotten "Moonlighting" imitation will likely be bored, too, but not because of too much success. …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… The trouble with "Castle" is that it's just so completely fluffy - which is annoying. True, not everybody wants to watch a gritty cop series as they unwind in front of the television. But to think that Castle's theories about killers and crime and personal behavior would hold New York detectives in rapture is ludicrous. Nor would he be allowed to follow along so closely - and invariably involve himself in the capture of said killers. Everything in "Castle" happens conveniently and with rote dialogue. Yes, "The Wire" and "The Shield" have made the common cop show pointless, and "Castle" is the antidote to their respective bleakness, but who knew that after the cops-and-detectives trope played out at such heights, the industry would circle back to "Murder, She Wrote" levels?
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
There's nothing in ABC's "Castle" viewers haven't seen a million times before, but the cast elevates the pedestrian material. … It's a tired premise but if the writers can give Beckett more personality -- and if Katic can imbue the role with more dimensions -- "Castle" might be a palatable program …
The Boston Globe says:
… With "Moonlighting" and "Murder, She Wrote" as the dominant influences, "Castle" is predisposed to be formulaic and stale. The show tries to get by on charm, hoping that we'll enjoy Fillion as a bad boy enough to overlook the half-baked plots and thin characters. …
USA Today says:
… None of the episodes is likely to keep you up at night puzzling out the intricacies of the mystery, but they won't bore you or insult your intelligence. Castle exists to exploit the appeal of its stars and the amusing byplay between their characters, and it does that with admirable efficiency. Whether that's good enough is ultimately up to you.
Variety says:
… has a breezy ease but, as a whole, feels a tad underfurnished. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… What stifles "Castle" is its separation from the way real people speak and behave, its rat-a-tat dialogue more cartoon-y than enchanting. It's tough to build much of an affinity for characters who are so madly in love with the sound of their own voice as Castle or as self-consciously controlled as Detective Beckett. The primary selling point for the series is the magnetism of Fillion, who knows how to carry off the masculine allure thing big time. But again, you feel the sense while watching the show that you're being conned rather than entertained, and that's hardly the stuff of which appointment viewing is made. …
10 p.m. Monday. ABC.

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