‘Take Two’ is Castle 2.0, but With People Who Like Each Other

Yes, I said what I said. I said what you knew.

I said what I, as a Castle fan, didn’t really want to admit.

Look, I’ll be the first one to defend Castle first few seasons. It was always a procedural, yes, but it had heart and one of the best female characters the genre has given us. (All hail Kate Beckett) It also had a love story that made us engage and that, for a change, wasn’t dragged out so long that it felt like what we got was a pale imitation of what we could have gotten. Plus, he was a writer! I’m a writer. Instant click.

But I also remember the end, or even before the end, to that absurd last season where the writers had to come up with a ridiculous breakup plot because the two main stars reportedly didn’t want to film together. I remember ABC trying to move forward without Stana Katic, because hey, the show was called Castle so sure people would watch a season of just Fillion doing who know what. I remember thinking I could never enjoy anything by Nathan Fillion again, if he’d so quickly thrown his female co-star under the bus.

Don’t expect me to be checking out The Rookie, Fillion’s new procedural. I’m very good at keeping grudges. Veeeeeeery good. I can’t even enjoy that awesome Firefly Fillion gif these days. Ah, well. There are plenty of leading actors out there who respect women! No big loss.

See, I thought I was over it, but it seems I’m not so far removed from that pain that I can turn maudlin and remember just the good times, so allow me to go back to my point.

Take Two is, in a lot of respects, Castle 2.0, yes. It plays on the same dynamics, even though it actually flips them, with Rachel Bilson playing the Castle-like character, in this case an actress who just got out of rehab and needs a win and the cop (in this case PI) with a dark past being played by Eddie Cibrian.

Groundbreaking? No. But then again, it doesn’t have to be. It’s summer. You know what this show has to be, first and foremost?

Fun.

And it is that, mostly because Cibirian and Bilson just click, in the same way, maybe that Katic and Fillion did back in the day, before it all went south. It helps that the minds behind the good seasons of Castle, Andrew W. Marlowe & Terri Edda Miller are behind this show that feels more a nod at what Castle could have and should have been, than it feels like something new.

But then again, we liked that. I liked that. I just didn’t like what came after.

The secondary characters are also interesting enough that there feels like there’s a lot of room for growth here, but in the first episode, at least, this is very much all Bilson and Cibrian’s show, and that’s pretty much the way it should be. Whether you’re into this or not probably depends a lot on whether you buy into what they bring into their characters, on whether you can see their chemistry and on whether you like their banter.

I do, so hey fun summer show! How you doing?

Check out the trailer and show description below – and come share your thoughts with us in the comments!

From Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe, the creators and executive producers of ABC’s highly popular series “Castle,” comes this upbeat detective series that follows Sam Swift (Rachel Bilson), the former star of a hit cop series whose epic breakdown is broadcast to the public and sends her to rehab. Desperate to restart her career, she talks her way into shadowing lone-wolf private investigator Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian) as research for a potential comeback role. Though Eddie resents the babysitting gig, high-spirited Sam uses the skills she learned as an actor playing a cop and proves herself to be surprisingly valuable.
The cast also includes Xavier de Guzman, Aliyah O’Brien and Alice Lee.

Take Two premieres tonight at 10/9c on ABC.

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