How do you fix Castle?

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Saving Castle will require big changes to show structure

Saw this on the ABC boards and since I detest message boards (often filled opinionated and unforgiving folks who don’t like it people are negative and want only positive discussion—no dissing TPTB), I’ll share my thoughts on how Castle can be fixed.

Like with baseball teams, you can’t fire the players so you fire the manager. And for Castle, firing the manager seems the best option going into the seventh season. I would remove Andrew Marlowe from his duties as showrunner. He can still be an executive producer and he can still write, but his day-to-day executive duties are removed.  So who would I like to see replace him? Either David Amann or David Grae should take over as showrunner. Firing a showrunner is not uncommon and it happens far more frequently than people might think.

Marlowe to his credit did a fine job of setting the table. But once he opted to put Castle and Beckett together, the dog jumped up onto the table and destroyed the place settings. That left the rest of the writing staff to clean up his mess. They brought in three new writers, one of whom is already gone. The two remaining, a writing team, wrote two of the better episodes this season. They get the show. It’s almost comical that the newbie writers are able to recapture the essence of the show while the veteran writers are trying to adapt to a changed formula to which no one has a clue how to handle.

Fixing Castle requires key structural changes to recapture the show's earlier seasons flair.

Fixing Castle requires key structural changes to recapture the show’s earlier season’s flair.

The second thing I would do is follow-through on the big stories. In looking back at the hiatus, a lot was made of Beckett’s decision to take the federal job (which I felt was a brilliant way to take the show into bold new direction). But by episode three she was done, fired effectively. I get you can’t operate a show like Castle in different cities. But you could have brought Beckett back to NYC, made her liaison with the NYPD spend the bulk of her time helping the boys with her arsenal of fed tools and Castle in tow. Then you can switch it up with the boys helping Beckett on a fed case. It works. Or, another brilliant move would be to have promoted Beckett and see what happens when Beckett truly is their boss.

There’s been no growth with Beckett’s character this season, at least in the professional sense. The D.C. arc gave the writers an opportunity to enhance Beckett’s investigate skill set but instead they went back to their formula and guess what? It hasn’t helped the show at all. I’m often left wondering what was the point of the D.C. arc.

Following through on episodes brings me to my next suggestion: solve the JB murder case and burn 3XK and the plastic surgeon at the stake. The Mentalist dragged the Red John saga on for six years before finally ending it this fall. It’s about three seasons too long and CBS is set to cancel the show in May.  Bones fans complained about the Pelant business and they finally ended it this season as well. It’s time to put Beckett and Castle’s enemies in the ground and create new ones. Hint, they had an awesome opportunity to do with “In the Belly of the Beast.”

Another change would be to move the show to another night. After six years, if people can’t find the show then they’re not going to find it. This harnesses on the promotion of the show in general. Yes, ABC could do a better job but it won’t help. Since the beginning of the series, Castle has always trended older in terms of audience. Capturing that key demo is not an option for the show anymore. That ended with season three. Promoting the show, not promoting the show isn’t the problem. And I really, really wish fans would understand that.

The same goes for the lack of Caskett moments. I doubt having the two of them cuddle more and kiss more are going to increase the ratings. Audiences connect with characters on many different levels that it doesn’t come down to just one thing. Yes, the romance is what attracted people to the show but it’s the manner to which they connect (the cases) is what hooked them into the show. That’s been missing this season. And people have noticed.

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