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Castle Season 4 DVD Review

The fourth season of “Castle” shows the writers are running out of ideas.

Author Richard Castle and NYPD detective Kate Beckett are back again for the 23 episode fourth season. The season, which picks up where season 3 left off, delves into the “who shot Beckett?” story arc. Of course, there are plenty of other ongoing (or stand-alone) stories throughout the season including a new Captain (Victoria Gates), a superhero vigilante, a severed head, murder investigations (including a casino owner, fairytale costumers, a celeb, and a dog trainer), an insurance investigator, a deceased ghost hunter, Castle’s daughter Alexis, a hostage situation, detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito, a sniper, Beckett’s PTSD, Beckett and Castle being handcuffed together, a diary, medical examiner Dr. Lanie, a linchpin, Thomas Gage, a bomber, Detective Ethan Slaughter, Beckett and Castle’s relationship, an alleged zombie, and Sophia Turner.

As with the past three seasons, the fourth season of “Castle” has its moments. Nathan Fillion, as per usual, manages to carry the series (as Richard Castle) with his great comedic timing, charm, and on screen presence. Why he isn’t a bigger star is beyond me. Additionally, there are a couple of truly memorable episodes here such as “Heroes and Villains” and “Headhunters.” ‘Heroes’ is a fun comic book geek-out episode that even includes a clever Derrick Storm comic tie-in that is actually available stores. As for “Headhunters,” “Firefly” fans get a mini-reunion here as Fillion is reunited with Adam Baldwin who guests on an episode.

Now, the big talk of season 4 has been the romance between Beckett and Castle. For shippers, this is a dream come true. For others, like myself, it feels like a bad move. Television history shows that a majority of shows that feature a relationship between two major characters fall apart. The problem with this move historically is that once the characters get together, there’s no longer a reason to tune in because the show becomes stale. The tensions and witty banter are no longer there because the character dynamics have changed. Now, obviously, it’s too early to say if this is the case with “Castle” as it enters its fifth season, but it’s apparent in season 4 that the show is starting to lose creativity. A romance this early almost feels like a desperation move. Time will tell.

Summary: “Castle” fans will no doubt want to pick up this fourth season DVD set.

Video/Audio:

The episodes are presented in 1.78:1. The picture quality is a little on the fuzzy side, but generally the episodes look decent enough.

I didn’t detect any issues with the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. It does the job.

Extras:
* Disney and ABC trailers.
* A dry commentary on “Rise” by Rob Bowman, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever and Tamala Jones.
* Commentary on “Cuffed” by Andrew W. Marlowe, Terri Miller, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. I expected more humor from Fillion, but this commentary is a little too serious.
* 8 deleted scenes.
* Commentary on “The Blue Butterfly” by Terence Paul Winter, Luke Reichle, Susan Sullivan, Tamala Jones and Molly Quinn. This is arguably the most lively and informative commentary.
* “Bloopers”- Nathan Fillion has some truly funny bits here.
* “Bowman, Bowman and Castle”- A featurette about Chuck Bowman and the film noir “The Blue Butterfly” episode.
* “Submerged: An In-Depth Look At Stunts”- A behind-the-scenes featurette about the dramatic underwater car stunt.
* “Fillion And Friends: Castle Goes Radio”- A 3 part extra. “Sparks Nevada: Marshall On Mars” and “Cactoid Jim: King Of The Martian Frontier” are two recorded “Thrilling Adventure Hour” episodes which are radio drama podcasts on the Nerdist Network. Also included is a “Making The Show” which is a Molly Quinn narrated behind-the-scenes featurette that features rehearsal and footage of the ‘Cactoid’ radio drama. As a big time radio drama fan, I have to say these 3 extras are the best part of this entire set.

September 25, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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