Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 54

mystery novelist. Kate Beckett was a tough, glamorous NYPD detective. They both had personal baggage. Her mother’s murder left Beckett emotionally isolated. Castle had two ex-wives, lived with his mother, and was a single parent. Despite their differences, a palpable attraction was there. At the end of the first episode, Castle invited Beckett to dinner, to “debrief.” After she declined, Castle remarked, “It’s too bad. It would’ve been great.” She whispered enticingly in his ear, “You have no idea,” and walked seductively away to the OneRepublic song “Stop and Stare.” Castle stood there, in that moment thoroughly flummoxed (“Flowers for Her Grave” 1.1). One simple definition of popular culture is something that “many people like and favor” (Storey, 6). This certainly applies to Castle. Lead actor Nathan Fillion earned a Best Actor Award and the show won Best Crime Drama in the People’s Choice awards. Castle was one of the top fifty shows in America for eight years. It developed a loyal fan base that participated in sites, blogs, wikis, tweets, and trivia contests. Canadian born, Fillion (Rick Castle) brought credibility, a fine sense of comedic timing, and a solid fan base to the show. He was an accomplished actor in film and TV with notable roles in Joss Whedon’s cult classics Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Fillion related that when he first read for the lead in Castle, he said, “I am this guy” (“Bonus Feature” 1.1). Stana Katic, also a Canadian, personified beauty, style, and wit. She was one of 141 who auditioned for the role of Kate Beckett. She had problems with her blouse before tryouts. Fillion cut her blouse with a pair of scissors to the length she desired. Thus began the magic chemistry that animated the show (Castle Trivia). Andrew Marlowe, a graduate of Columbia with an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, created and produced the show. Marlowe built a solid cast around Fillion and Katic. He fashioned a police procedural series that showcased popular music, fashion, and guest appearances of famous actors and writers. His formulaic plot featured stand-alone episodes driven by the act of solving a murder mystery and the burgeoning relationship between the two leads. Every episode followed a familiar pattern; a crime scene, followed by an investigation, and closure with the apprehension of the culprit. This paper examines three levels of discourse: original sources, the critique of reviewers and fans, and academic analysis. It examines relationships, introduces the cast, reviews the show’s eight seasons, and analyzes narrative devices, but its true focus is on cultivation theory in the 21 st 49