Wednesday 7 December 2011

OMG! I've turned into a Castle junkie!

Warning: The following posting is about the television series Castle. If you don't watch the show, this probably won't mean anything to you.

I admit before a higher power that my life has spiralled out of control these past few weeks. Are there twelve steps for my road to recovery? Have I now hit bottom? Of course, now that I have gone through every single episode from seasons one, two and three having already watched season 4 up to now, what else remains to be watched? Is there anything else I could possibly do to sink any lower? Oh, I know. I'll start from season one and watch all the episodes all over again. What!?!

As you may or may not know, I don't own a TV. And since I don't own a TV, I'm not paying for cable. Hmph, think about those monthly savings! On top of it, since I don't own a TV, I don't own a couch. This is bare to the bones, OTG (off the grid), minimalist living. When you have to reorganize your life, you have an opportunity to reassess your priorities and heck, wasn't I watching too much TV?

Nevertheless, the Internet does provide a lot of alternatives. (see my blog: Internet TV) If ever there was an example of the new world order, I'm living it right now. I have discovered that all the major networks have web sites offering up their latest fare. Yes, there are commercials just like regular TV but I'm not paying for cable and I haven't bought a television set. Of course, this isn't as nice as a fifty-five inch flat screen plasma TV in high definition but when it's free, you learn to accept compromises.

Over the past few years, I, like a zillion other people, have tuned in to the on-going comedy slash drama slash romance of the television series Castle. Some time ago, I had discovered some clips from the show on YouTube and was delighted to relive some of the funnier and romantic moments of this relationship between the protagonists, Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. Is Castle going to tease Beckett to death? Is she going to succumb to his roguish charms? And mixed up in all this is the weekly solving of a murder where the two of them unravel the mystery surrounding the episode's opening scene of finding a dead body.

Looking a little further, I found that people have posted entire episodes of the show. Heck, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I started rewatching some of the earlier episodes. After a bit, I started bookmarking the clips so I could track what I had watched and then systematically went through every single episode from seasons one, two and three. Oh boy was I hooked! Of course, all this was on YouTube and I can't claim any of these clips were high definition or even worthy of viewing at full screen but as I said, when it's free, you learn to make compromises.

But, but, but considering that I managed to view every single episode from seasons one, two and three, I was wondering and still wonder if there isn't a copyright violation here. It did turn out that some clips had been taken down with a notice from YouTube about copyright violation but there were many, no a ton, which remain up and accessible by anyone.

Rewatching the same thing over and over again
Okay, back to me turning into a Castle junkie. If you're an aficionado of the show - maybe diehard fan is a better term - you rewatch clips much in the same way anybody listens to a favourite song over and over again. You enjoy it, right?

The Association of Psychological Science in the August 10, 2011 article "Spoiler Alert: Stories Are Not Spoiled by ‘Spoilers’" talks about the phenomenon of spoilers, knowing how a story is going to turn out ahead of time but still enjoying the story.

A favorite tale can be re-read multiple times with undiminished pleasure. A beloved movie can be watched again and again.

“Stories are a universal element of human culture, the backbone of the billion-dollar entertainment industry, and the medium through which religion and societal values are transmitted,” the researchers write. In other words, narratives are incredibly important. But their success doesn’t seem to hinge on simple suspense.

Castle and Beckett have been playing a cat and mouse game of romance for the past four years. Everybody, and I mean everybody in the audience, in the precinct, in Castle's own family know that Castle and Beckett are in love with each other but still, they both hesitate to act on their feelings. And when one or the other does make some tentative move to declare themselves, something happens to put the kibosh on the proceedings. Oh my God, the romantic tension is so, well, delicious!

Some Favorite Scenes
First of all, having just gone through every episode probably more than once, I could list dozens and dozens of scenes which are funny, romantic or both. I'll restrict myself here to 3 specific moments about Caskett. FYI: Brad and Angelina: Bragelina. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez: Bennifer. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: TomKat. Castle and Beckett: Caskett.

The Kiss
In season three, episode 16, the "Setup", Castle and Beckett kiss for the first and so far, only time. I have this bookmarked and have watched that clip, oh let's say, about a zillion times. I'm sitting here writing this thinking to myself how much of a complete idiot I am. For crying out loud, it's merely a television show. I've turned into one of those stereotypical drooling fanatics who pines over every minute of a daytime soap opera then reading every magazine for further analysis of the inner workings of their characters.

Shooting Practice
In season three, episode 4 "Punked", there is an absolutely charming and hilarious funny scene at a shooting range. Beckett is having trouble solving a case and blows off some steam by doing some target practice. Castle follows her and what happens is just, well, really, really funny. It shows off Castle as the annoying and charming little boy having so much fun in the midst of what is supposed to be serious, very serious police business. But then, when it comes down to the crunch, when Beckett thinks she's going to put the little boy in his place by giving him a task he can't possibly perform, Castle turns around and shocks Beckett to no end by succeeding where by all accounts he should fail. Is this just blind dumb luck or is Castle really better than his little boy image?

FYI: At one point, Castle pulls the trigger early and completely misses the target. He says, "Whoa! Shot too soon." Beckett replies, "Yeah well, you know, we could always just cuddle, Castle." Okay, a premature shot: what better sexual innuendo could anybody want?

Love Letters
In season three, episode 5 "Anatomy of a Murder", Castle and Beckett are trying to solve a mystery by reading a boxful of love letters penned by a man and a woman. At one point, Castle reads aloud a letter written by the man to the woman: "I don't believe in much but I believe in us. And no matter the obstacles, no matter how hard you try, you'll never get rid of me. I love you."

The next part of the scene is, well, absolutely delicious. Beckett is listening to Castle with a look that says that she's enjoying the words. Beckett then looks at Castle. Castle has this sly grin which means that he isn't just reading the letter out loud; he's adding his own meaning to the words as a tentative declaration of his own feelings towards Beckett. Beckett then realises what Castle is trying to say and turns away slightly shocked. Castle, realising she has not accepted his indirect declaration, tries to cover up what he realises is a misstep with Beckett. What is so funny and so tender about this scene is that it would make you think about two teenagers trying to work out their very first love affair ever, in their entire life. Instead, we're watching two adults, two grown-ups, having exactly the same problems as anybody has. Funny, tender, and oh so delicious. Talk about a vicarious thrill. Ha, no wonder we like the movies, TV shows and yes, the soap operas.

One good thing about rewatching all the episodes is that I have discovered a lot of great songs. I had no idea how the makers had incorporated some really good music into the show all to great effect. I have posted some of my favourites with links to YouTube clips showing where in the show the music was used, that is, where I first heard the music. The following list represents my postings from the past couple of weeks showing the music video for the song with complete lyrics plus references about the song, the album and the artist. And I mention in which episode of Castle the song was used.

Amp Fiddler: If I Don't
What a fabulous song and the original music video for the song is just quite original. Ya gotta see it! - This was used in season 1, episode 4, "Hell Hath No Fury" at the very end of the show when Beckett gets angry at Castle about his choice of name for the female detective he's going to write about based on Beckett.
Beckett: What kind of a name is Nikki Heat?
Castle: A cop name.
Beckett: It's a stripper name.
Castle: Well, I told you she was kind of slutty.

Colbie Caillat: Fallin' For You
My discovery of this song did not come from the show itself but from a fan video. Somebody put together clips from the series showing this on-going romance between the show's protagonists along with the music. I thought it made a good montage.

Bitter:Sweet: Get What I Want
In season 1 episode 9 called "Little Girl Lost", an old flame of Beckett's shows up and stirs the pot with Castle and Beckett. The clip (you're a mysterious woman - castle 1x09) shows the very end of the episode when Beckett announces she has a date but does not give any details. When Castle is intrigued by her reticence, she replies, "Maybe there's more of Nikki Heat in me than you think." This song by Bitter:Sweet is the fade out and perfectly captures the feeling of the moment.

The Daylights: I Hope This Gets To You
This song has an interesting story to itself. The composer posted this on YouTube wanting to see how long it would take for his girlfriend to run across it. Apparently it took 48 hours.

In season 3 episode 9 called "Law & Murder", Castle pretends he has never seen the movie Forbidden Planet to trick Beckett into taking him to the movies, an unofficial date. The clip (Castle Beckett 3x19 "That's it, I'm taking you") shows the two of them getting on the elevator with this song playing in the background. It certainly captures the hope of something happening between us and the hope that message gets to you.

Golden State: Love Song
In season 2 episode 12 "A Rose for Everafter", Castle runs into a former girlfriend played by Alyssa Milano. Beckett may be jealous but it turns out there's nothing to worry about; Castle and former part friends. The final scene, though, has former leaving the precinct and saying to Beckett, "He's all yours now". This telling moment in this on-going cat and mouse between the two protagonists of the show is nicely accompanied by this song.

OneRepublic: Stop And Stare
In season 1 episode 1 called "Flowers From Your Grave", we have the very first episode of the television series which introduced our cast of characters and the comedic and romantic interplay between crime novelist Richard Castle and New York Detective Kate Beckett. The end of the show has this sexually and romantically charged scene  between Castle and Beckett that sets the viewer up for the rest of the series. Now tell me how you could in any way not tune in next week, the week after that, and now for the fourth year to see the build-up of one of the greatest (longest?) romances in primetime TV?

Lady Antebellum: Need You Now
This a fan video of various romantic scenes between the show's protagonists set to music. It captures the heartache of longing for somebody you're not sure you're ever going to get. Hey, is that an apt description of this on-going game of cat and mouse between Castle and Beckett?

Sara Jackson-Holman: Into The Blue
In season 2, episode 24, Deep in Death, the final scene of this season finale has Beckett realizing she shouldn't hesitate to tell Castle how she feels about him. In fact, these feelings are so strong, she dumps her boyfriend.

However, romance demands tension and tension we get. Just as Beckett is about to spill her guts, Castle's ex-wife shows up and we all discover Castle is going away with her, the ex-wife. What? Congrats to the actress Stana Katic for portraying Beckett's confusion, disappointment or sense of loss. Geesh, imagine you're at the point of declaring your feelings for somebody and they announce they're running off with somebody else?

Just as an aside, this makes for a sad season two finale but makes for a great season three opener.

Il Divo: Caruso
This is another fan video, clips from the Castle show set to music. What a great song, though and what a story. Il Divo ("divine male performer" in Italian) is a multinational operatic pop vocal group created by music manager, executive, and reality TV star Simon Cowell.

Jules Larson: You Know It's True
In season 3, episode 5, Anatomy of a Murder, this clip has Martha, Castle's mother saying getting somebody out of prison is a sign of true love. At the very end of the show, Castle presents a hypothetical situation where he is in jail and Beckett says she would get him out. Obviously this is interpreted by Castle as a sign of true love. For us, the viewers, we just sit in front of the TV screaming, "You dummies! You love each other! Admit it!"

Colbie Caillat: I Do
A fan video using this song to highlight the Caskett romance. Geesh, have I become gaga about this television romance?

Jason Mraz: Lucky (with Colbie Caillat)
Another fan video using this song to highlight the Caskett romance. Caskett? The author of the video uses the term "Stanathan". Ha!

Hitler and Castle
A 2004 epic war film, Downfall, about the final 10 days of Hitler in his bunker has been the source of hundreds, if not, thousands of extremely amusing parodies. The "author" takes a clip from the film, usually one where Hitler realises the war is lost and goes into angry tirade, and puts in his own subtitles. The original audio is retained and thank goodness I don't speak German or I'd probably be going nuts trying to reconcile the actual dialogue with the subtitles. These subtitles have covered just about every topic under the sun from politics and sports to the latest headlines about Hollywood or computer games. It makes for some funny, funny stuff.

Of course, somebody just had to do something about Castle and here, we have Hitler going ballistic about Castle and Beckett not professing their love for each other. It is so damn funny watching Hitler, yes Hitler of all people, claiming to be so involved in the television show, he's furious that everybody else can see that Castle and Beckett love each except for Castle and Beckett. These clips really deserve the hashtag #LMAO.

Hitler finds out about the ending of Castle 2x24
Just to fill you in on a little detail. In the 24th and last episode of season 2, "A Deadly Game", Beckett realises she doesn't want to commit to her boyfriend Demming because she admits to herself she has feelings for Castle. She dumps Demming. However just as she's about to say something personal and revealing to Castle, Castle ex-wife and publisher Gina shows up and she and Castle announce they're going to get back together by spending the summer up in the Hamptons. As you can imagine, this news is devastating for Beckett. Heck, she was just about to say something, confess something (Who knows what exactly?) to Castle!

The Books
As a tie-in to the television show, ABC has now released three books supposedly written by Richard Castle paralleling what has happened on the show. If you're a follower of Castle, you know that writer Richard Castle has gotten permission from the mayor, a good friend, to follow Kate Beckett, homicide detective, to research his new novels. Those novels were to be about Nikki Heat, a female NYPD officer. In the series, Castle writes three books and guess what? ABC publishes three books. I mean for real.

The joke about all this is that the books do not show the ghost writer, they only show Richard Castle as the author with, of course, pictures of the actor Nathan Fillion who plays the character. Nowhere in the books can you find anything about who the real author is. I did, however, do some research and speculation has it that the show's original developer, Andrew W. Marlowe is the most likely candidate to be the writer.

I purchased and read the first book, "Heat Wave" and am now reading the second book "Naked Heat". It is funny to hear during the show Castle's publisher refer to book number one as a book-length love letter to Beckett. In season 3 episode 11 "Nikki Heat", a movie is supposedly being made based on Heat Wave and the (fake) actress Natalie Rhodes comes to the precinct to follow Beckett to research her role. At one point Rhodes says to Beckett that Castle is fantasizing about Beckett and the sex scenes in the book are akin to verbal masturbation. Quite amusing.

Final Word
Am I going to have to get a sponsor? Holy crap, I innocently watched a couple of clips about the show specifically about this slowly developing romance between writer Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett and now I'm hanging around with bated breath for the next episode like some love-struck teenage groupie. Oh my God, the word fan has turned into fan-atic! Sometimes I can be intelligent, sophisticated and somewhat classy and then other times I can turn around on a dime and be such a goofball. While I like Star Trek, I've never been to a convention and I've never dressed up as one of the characters. You could start to worry about me in regards to Castle if I start dressing up like him. Wait! Richard Castle is a good dresser. Hmmm, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. It would beat walking around dressed up as a Klingon.


Wikipedia: Castle (TV series)
Castle is an American comedy-drama television series, which premiered on ABC on March 9, 2009. The series is produced by Beacon Pictures and ABC Studios. On January 10, 2011, Castle was renewed for a fourth season. Season four premiered on September 19, 2011.

Wikipedia: List of Castle episodes
This is a list of episodes for Castle, a television series on ABC which was created by Andrew W. Marlowe. The show premiered on March 9, 2009, the second season started on September 21, 2009, the third season started on September 20, 2010, and the fourth season started on September 19, 2011, on ABC.

my blog: We always come back to Hitler
This posting is more about politics and Hitler. Godwin's law? Reductio ad Hitlerum? How about the Tea Party? Eventually, everybody ends up comparing whatever to Nazism.

Wikipedia: Downfall (film)
Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German/Italian/Austrian epic war film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's life in his Berlin bunker and Nazi Germany in 1945.

One scene in the film, in which Hitler launches into a furious tirade upon finally realizing that the war is truly lost, has become a staple of internet videos. In these videos, the original audio of Ganz's voice is retained, but new subtitles are added so that he now seems to be reacting instead to some setback in present-day politics, sports, popular culture, or everyday life. Other scenes from various portions of the film have been parodied in the same manner, notably the scenes where Hitler orders Otto G√ľnsche to find Gruppenfuhrer Hermann Fegelein, and where Hitler discusses a counterattack against advancing Soviet forces with his generals. By 2010, there were thousands of such parodies, including many in which a self-aware Hitler is incensed that people keep making Downfall parodies.

The film's director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, spoke positively about these parodies in a 2010 interview with New York magazine, saying that many of them were funny and they were a fitting extension of the film's purpose: "The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality. I think it's only fair if now it's taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like." Nevertheless, Constantin Films has taken an "ambivalent" view of the parodies, and has asked video sites to remove many of them. On April 21, 2010, the producers initiated a removal of parody videos on YouTube. There was then a resurgence of the videos on the site.

In October 2010, YouTube stopped blocking any Downfall-derived parodies, and is now placing advertisements on some of them. Corynne McSherry, an attorney specializing in intellectual property and free speech issues for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stated, "All the [Downfall parody videos] that I've seen are very strong fair use cases and so they're not infringing, and they shouldn't be taken down."


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yachi said...

hey thanks for the songs... GOD, i was really looking for those songs but i really dont know the title as well as the singer... hahaha this is just great.... ^_^

by the way i am as well a castle fun.. ^_^

Anonymous said...

darn, I'm German so it's impossible for me to watch those parodies :( But welcome to the OCD-club. I love obsessing about that show because it's just so awesome!