Castle and Beckett – Caskett! And the ‘extraordinary’ Stana Katic.

Catching up on this series after being unable to watch it for the first three seasons, all I can say is, wow. I wondered out loud back in May of last year whether the Clark Kent/Lois Lane screen presentation by the exquisite Erica Durance was perhaps the deepest on-screen love story so far told on the tube. There is absolutely no doubt that Erica’s portrayal of the perennial comic book heroine was brought with immense passion to screen by her in a full 7 year blossom. It was, and is, a classic storybook heartfelt romance, beautifully, beautifully played.

But our Superman heroine has some competition in Stana Katic (St~ah~na please, she’s fussy). The quirky TV dramedy Castle, now in its 5th season, is a masterwork of character development that is competent, fun, emotional, and in your face real, gritty and passionate. Over-the-top at times (and why not? Love stories need to be over the top, that’s what makes Love what it is!) the skillful development of these anti-protagonists has been magical, and the series is seducing people all over the world. This isn’t a cop show, it’s a beautiful love story.

“Caskett” (the name, a la “Brangelina”, from season 5 episode 4, after heavy hinting from their fans) is New York detective “Kate” Katherine Houghton Beckett, played with the drop-dead sensuality of Winona peach Stana Katic and the puppy-dog pixishness of successful playboy crime novel writer Rick Castle (ne “Richard Alexander Rodgers”), played by Edmontonian hunk Nathan Fillion, it’s a wonderful romp between two strong character performers that has just the right blend of flirtation, drama and seductiveness. An absolute treat to watch.

But, if, like me, you’ve come to the series late, you must grab the early season videos and follow the character development forward. Strongly written by Andrew Marlowe and crew so that you can come into the series at any point and not feel lost, you nonetheless would miss the wonderfully artistic development of these two, from their severe Art Deco/South Beach early engagement to the modern maturity that both time and acquired history bring them to. As Kate comes out of her shell, and Castle grows up, both characters attain the mantle of real people in a real relationship as they transition from the initial caricatures they started out as.

But its not just the writing; Kate and Castle are perfectly cast. Katic and Fillion are good at their roles; their personal chemistry is electric. They’ve grown into these people, become them, made them real. Fillion plays the perfect foil for Stana Katic to showcase her magnificent acting chops. I literally can’t wait for each new episode, just to watch them together.

I don’t know if Andrew Marlowe, when casting Stana, understood the gifts of an actress he had just signed up. Maybe it took this role for her incredible talent to mature. If you spend time watching some of her interviews, you see a woman who is open, unassuming and somewhat shy, and yet, on the screen she can project deeply into the character without overlaying too much of herself, and yank perfectly, whatever gut-level emotion demanded by the scene. What an absolute treasure for a series creator to have stumbled on. And what a treat for viewers and fans to have the pleasure to share her abilities in such a well-written and engaging show.

The following excellent youtube fan trailer will give you a grand overview and insight into the character of Kate Beckett, the complexity of the series, and more importantly, into the quality of Stana Katic as an actress. I’m not sure why Canadian actors and actresses can bring such believable romance to the screen, but then, we’ve been one of the world’s best-kept secrets for a long time. Maybe its having to spend 6 months of the year locked up together inside in the winter. Enjoy.

Watch the third video too. If you don’t know this about Stana…:

Her own original work, known simply on the ‘net as “Stana’s Song”. Engagingly shy, blisteringly competent. What a sweetheart.