Bad Boys and Sex Appeal

from CJ:

Monday night ABC debuted it's new crime drama, Castle. It features Nathan Fillion (always fun to watch, in any show!) as a bad boy, rich writer bored to tears with fame and fortune who's looking for a new story to write.

Enter tough, sexy cop Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) who just happens to be a huge fan of Castle's books. Add in a serial killer using his books as models for murder and you have an instant recipe for prime-time drama. Cue handcuff joke with wink-wink-nudge-nudge sexual innuendo.... much as I do enjoy watching Fillion and Katic spar, I couldn't help but thinking, gee, this all sounds very familiar.

Apparently the New York Times thought so as well, comparing Castle to the 80's Moonlighting and Remington Steele.

So we haven't found any new and interesting ways to interest our audience in twenty-five years?

I totally get the sex appeal of bad boys sparring with strong women. Who could argue with spending an hour with Bruce Willis, Pierce Brosnan, or Nathan Fillion?

Not complaining at all about the eye candy. Oh no. But surely in twenty-five years we've moved beyond the school-yard banality of bad boy feeling threatened by smart girl and needing to belittle her?

Surely audiences are smart enough to enjoy two adults exchanging intelligent, clever wittisms? Treating each other as more than sexual objects? Resorting to nah-nah-nah, I got the mayor on speed-dial 'cause I'm rich and famous vapid author-dude and you're just a hard-working cop seems like a throwback rather than a step forward.

Castle did have a few subtle moments which were promising--when he's interacting with his daughter (and yes, every hunky TV hero these days comes with a kid he's raising on his own and a cranky parent who let him down) and when he analyzed Beckett's motives for joining the force.

Hopefully future episodes will capitalize on those moments and leave the slapstick playground banter on the cutting room floor.

What do you think? Does this bad boy have a future?

Thanks for reading!

Images courtesy of

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a National Bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, was released January, 2009. Contact her at


  1. Hey CJ - Oh i missed the first ep of Castle - I wanted to watch it because I like Nathan Fillion - he just keeps getting sexier and sexier the more I see him! For a while now I've been wanting the networks to come up with a show like Moonlighting and Remington Steele - where the male and female leads have a great chemistry and lots of romantic tension - while solving crimes etc... but hopefully updated to suit our more enlightened modern day sensibilities. So I'm going to check it out and give Castle a chance - hoping it'll build into a great TV couple.

  2. Hey Joanna! Yeah, I'm a Nathan Fillion fan as well, and he had great chemistry with his co-star....they really didn't need all the juvenile quips, the chemistry was already there.

    Let's hope they let it build instead of forcing it!

  3. I've recorded the show and can't wait to see it!

    My current 'bad boy' vs. 'strong woman' fave is Burn Notice. Okay, so Michael Westin is really at heart a good guy. He takes on the villains and whomps their butts good. BUT he still has that dangerous appeal and Fiona may just be The strongest woman around!

    Here's a woman who scorns offers of help because she's ready to take on the whole lot of them. *laughs* She's the most kick-ass heroine I've seen for some time.

    Westin has the edgy coolness I love in a hero too.

    Now that hubby's home, we can check out the season premiere of Castle tonight!


  4. Chiron,
    Great example--I love Michael and Fi!

    And what's great is that the writers let their relationship evolve, knowing that both characters have a lot of growing up to do before they earn their "happily-ever-after"

    Love that!

  5. Hey CJ

    Not being from the US, I'll admit I haven't heard of Castle. But what you're talking about hits right on!

    One series that has me 'applaud' the characters - and while there is an undeniable attraction between them- is Bones. Temperance Brennan is a non-nonsense woman who finds out feelings do surface despite how deep down you've buried them. Seeley Booth is not a bad boy per se, he's in fact the perfect man you take to Mommy, but his character shows a vulnerability and a humanity that has astounded me. He's more normal than a 'normal' guy, if that makes sense.

    Of course, David Boreanaz who plays Booth is great eye candy, but this was just to point out that sometimes you do get clever interaction between a man and a woman on the screen.



  6. Hi Z! Thanks for stopping by!

    I love David Boreanz on Bones. Liked him even better on Buffy and Angel (showing my age now, I guess!)

    I'm not so fond of the chick on Bones--they try to make her somekind of clueless ultra-geek, but if she's an anthropologist, then she'd be very observant and in tune with people, not out of the loop.

  7. I LOVE IT!!! You posted my favorite bad boy character of all time....David Addison in "Moonlighting"! Fantastic.

  8. I am so mad at myself for missing Castle! I wanted to see it. I just love Nathan Fillion - he's charminG! :)

    Great post!

  9. Hey CJ

    Yup, you're right. They do make Brennan some sort of geek who lives in a bubble. But I like watching how she starts to doubt that living in a bubble is actually great. She feels something for Booth, and then there's her dysfunctional family as well.

    As for Angel, lol, bring him on anytime! Nah, not dating yourself! That's a man who'll fire the blood for many decades to come!



  10. I really enjoyed Castle. I didn't mind the banter at all, because those shining moments you mentioned far overshadowed them. What I liked most is that for the first time on TV I felt like they got the writer character RIGHT. This was one of the things that turned me off Bones. In the first season she told Booth that her publisher gave her a car, and I was like, "Come ON." The writer side of her wasn't real and it bugged me.

    Castle had ego, but just enough self-doubt that I kept smiling and nodding. The way he talked about writers being nosy and the way he tended to look at everything as 'story' had me grinning. I don't know how many times I've looked at a real life person and tried to figure out their story, and their motivations.

    And I liked the fact that the cop is a fan of his work, and that he was open about her being an inspiration. Plus, the fact that he's using her as 'research' was a relief, as I was afraid they were actually going to keep him on as a consultant, which wouldn't wash nearly as well for me.

    As for the relationship, I think it will be interesting, especially if they manage to build a convincing partnership. Then all that flirting becomes icing on a very yummy cake.

    But most of all, the first episode has me curious for the next, which hasn't happened in a long time.



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