Thursday, May 26, 2016

About that Castle finale...

I finally got around to watching the series finale of Castle last night, and feel the need to vent a bit.

First, let me admit that I've watched a lot of Castle over the years. But I didn't watch it out of any conviction that it's good. It wasn't. Rather, I watched it because it was simple fun. At its best, the show took a familiar formula (the police procedural), approached it with an appealing balance of drama and comedy and then let its charismatic leads (Nathan Fillion and Stana Katić) carry the show. All in all, that made for an enjoyable, if somewhat forgettable, hour long diversion.

Sure there was the ongoing story about an increasingly convoluted and opaque conspiracy, as well as the love story between Castle and Beckett, but at its heart Castle was an episodic show. And now that it's gone, I realize how few watchable episodic dramas are left on TV.

Which brings me to the finale...

As soon as it was over, my wife turned to me and said "Poochie died on the way back to his home planet."

Let me explain the reference. In 1997, an episode of The Simpsons aired called "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show." The marketing executives in charge of the network decided that Itchy & Scratchy wasn't "current enough," so they created a new character to appeal to the youth of the day. The result was Poochie, an amalgam of hackneyed '90s marketing cliches (i.e. "the Kung Fu Hippie from Gangsta City.") Unsurprisingly, everyone hated Poochie, so the network decided to kill him off.

Here's how they did it:

Over the years, "Poochie died on the way back to his home planet" has become a sort of code between the two of us for any illogical, tacked on resolution to an on-going plot. And that's exactly what we get at the end of Castle: a bizarre 30-second scene showing Castle and Beckett's domestic bliss seven years later--this after both are shot in the chest and clearly dying.

My best guess is that the season was supposed to end on a "will they/won't they survive" cliffhanger--until there wasn't a 9th season in the works anymore. So instead of shooting a new ending, or perhaps because it was no longer economically possible to do so, the show runners decided to just throw in whatever closure they could come up with on short notice.

I recognize that the producers and writers were put in an impossible situation by the network, and this was probably the best we were going to get. But it was nevertheless a deeply unsatisfying way to end an eight-year time commitment.

Turns out Poochie was an alien after all.


POSTED BY: The G--purveyor of nerdliness, genre fanatic and Nerds of aFeather founder/administrator, since 2012.