Castle’s Creator Responds To Continuity Issue Debate

Luciana Mangas April 9, 2011 20

Even though Castle is a show adored by millions of fans, we all know that nothing is ever completely perfect. The show is a tremendous success for ABC on Monday nights, but the lack of continuity has been a topic of debate among the fans for months now and it was something that had to be addressed.

Earlier this week, after talking to a group of fans over at ABC’s Official Castle Boards, I wrote an article about the lack of continuity that has been bothering a lot of people – I’m glad it wasn’t just me – for a while. They had a lot to say and I took all their points and turned into the article “Is Lack Of Continuity A Problem For Castle?”.

The debate has been raging on in the comments of that article for the past couple of days and even Castle’s creator, Andrew W. Marlowe, has joined in.

Andrew Marlowe says:

I hear you guys. Some of the stuff you mention is stuff we plan on following up on next season (3XK -Ryan having his gun taken and it being used in another murder, etc.), and some of it is stuff we just haven’t been able to find a place for organically in storytelling in subsequent episodes without slowing down the other aspects of the show. We do our best to balance the procedural and personal over the course of the season without going too fast or slow. But we appreciate the feedback.

So there it is, Castle fans. They are listening to what you all have to say about your favorite show.

  • Deanna

    I respect Mr Marlowe for responding to the fans. That said I have to say we were promised things this season that haven't come to pass (Beckett/Lanie outside of work scenes. Lanie centric episode). Personally I don't need a huge dialogue scene to convey what happened at the end of Countdown or the kiss in Knockdown. Nathan and Stana are two of the best non verbal actors on primetime. With one facial expression they can convey pages of dialogue, IMO. An awkward look in the following episode of Knockdown and Countdown would have spoken volumes.  Castle simply getting frustrated that they don't have a lead and saying "we can't let another killer get away" and everyone knowing who he's talking about.  A scene after they've caught the killer in said episode and Beckett acknowledging that she checked the BOLO (Be On The Look Out) bulletin and Jeremy hasn't been seen yet "but we'll get him" would suffice.

    As the original article stated and the quote by a fan said "Things seem to be done for effect, to have an impact on the viewer, rather than having a lasting impact on the characters”. I couldn't agree more. It feels like those Caskett moments are done to throw a bone to the shippers. It's an instant gratification moment which, of course, doesn't last long.

    This needs to change.

  • Issa

    The continuity between Castle and Beckett has been; I can't say all over the map because that's not true either. It's been a stop and start process. Example: From the second half of the season Nikki Heat until The Final Nail; I felt like the great chemistry of the leads was back and in full effect . . . . and then came that two parter and it was shot to Hell.

    I get the point of significant others and unlike some shippers, I understand their purpose. I cannot for the life of me figure out what Josh's purpose is in this story.  It was initially said that they (SO's) were supposed to teach us something about Castle and Beckett. The character of Gina did that, IMO. She taught Castle that he didn't want ordinary anymore, he wanted magic, he wanted extraordinary. There came his light bulb/ aha moment when he was building theory w Beckett in Poof Your Dead. He broke things off w Gina.

    I ask again what has Josh taught us about Beckett? Nada, zero, zilch, nothing. Josh is not advancing character development at all, if anything its harming the way some feel about the character of Kate Beckett. (You don't believe me? Go to the ABC Castle boards and look for the thread titled "Why Should I Be Rooting For Beckett?" and look at the responses).  We know nothing about Josh and we need to so we can at least know why he's worth the chance that Beckett so giddily gave him (just 5 minutes after her freezer experiences w Castle; that she seemed to forget about no soon after it happened).

    The Demming arc, while some fans may not have liked it, it taught us something. There was a purpose. We knew Tom Demming, we understood why Beckett liked him. He showed Beckett that she wanted to take a chance on Castle. That although Demming was perfect her on paper, he just wasn't Richard Castle. He was there for a point, the point was made, and he was gone. This Josh guy is doing nothing. He is, at the moment, a cliched roadblock. I hate to say that bc I love this show but until I'm shown the contrary that's what I'm getting from Josh.

    I hope the writers are really listening. There would be no show without the fans and sometimes I think writer/producers forget that in the hash of things.

     

    Sincerely,

    Issa

  • maryc

    At the beginning of any TV show's season, the writers and producers always have a TON of ideas of where they would like the story lines to go and what shows they would like to do.  They brainstorm these ideas in the writing rooms.

    When it comes down to the nitty gritty of the actual process of writing, filming, producing an ep? Changes happen.  Ideas they played with get put aside or tossed for a myriad of reasons.  Financial, logistics, actor availability, you name it.

    Writing rooms are fluid. Ideas are put out there, some are used, some can't be used, and some have to be put off until another season.

    Personally, I'm gonna enjoy the journey AWM has started, and let him decide which road to take and when. He's the driver. I'm just along for the joyride.

    • http://www.richcarlton.net Richard

      He may be the driver Mary, if so, its because the fans gave him  the keys.

      I'm tired of the up and down and seemingly useless dead ends.

      It was a joyride until Countdown, now I am not so sure.

    • taymuria

      First: I'm a bit tired of this "enjoy the journey" metaphore. The fact that we are on the road doesn't mean we are on the right way. Maybe we just simply lost the track and wandering round and round.

      Second: no matter who drives, if he wants me to enjoy the ride I expect them to drive it in a way I do not have to use the barf bag and do not be surprised if I ask "do you know where are we?" when we pass the same distinctive building the third time.

      With all of this I have to express my respect to Mr Marlowe to feel him personally obliged to answer the complaints. It is a pity that he addressed only the plotline questions, though obviously those are the less important – the multiple part cases are very well sequenced, it is not disturbing. He didn't addressed the emotional jumps, and those are the real cause of frustration to the viewers.

  • Kate K

    One of the (many) things I like about this show is that the producers seem to treat the viewers with respect and to listen to us, unlike the producers of other shows (David Shore and Hart Hanson being particularly stupid in this).

     

    I haven't had a problem with the continuity of the two killer arcs (Beckett's mother's murder and 3XK) because I can understand the advantage to both of these being played out over more than one season. What has bothered me more than anything is the "full speed ahead / jerk to a stop / back up" pacing of the Castle/Beckett relationship.  That's the one thing I'd like to see on a consitent continuity track.

  • Toni

    Initially I would like to preface this post by praising Mr Marlowe and his cast and crew for their genuine respect for the fans and their interactions with them. It’s a very rare thing in fandom to see a cast and crew so obviously comfortable talking and listening to fans, so for that I will forever praise you all to high heaven.

    However, I have to agree that this season of Castle has fallen short for me for many of the reasons mentioned in this article. Emotional continuity is a tricky, and often subjective, issue for a lot of people, but as long as that is tempered with realism it usually has a much wider acceptable swing. I do feel though that Beckett in particular has been badly serviced this season, culminating in a choice that just felt wrong to me, for both the moment and the character in general. As someone mentioned above, Josh has been nothing more than a convenient road-block. He should have been removed from the equation in Countdown, it was a mistake to keep him longer. (and as a huge fan of Victor Webster, saying that pains me)

    I do understand that in a show like this there isn’t always time to address issues and fallout as the writers would prefer, especially given the time between final draft and shooting to screen schedule this show keeps. However the engine of this show is, and has always been the Castle/Beckett dynamic and right now I sense a lot of fan frustration with Beckett in particular and also with the ‘virtually friends’ vibe that seems to have been coming through lately.

     

    Again, as others have said, it isn't so much the proceduaral continuity that irks me the most as time and schedule will allow some of those 'forgotten' points to come back and haunt the characters later as time allows. It is absolutely the 'emotional continuity' for me that has started to become a larger issue. Most especially in my appreciation of Beckett.

  • cc

    Pure Class…..Marlow and everyone involved in Castle.

  • skylark66

    Aw, Castle fans, I so feel for you being a veteran of Booth & Bones wars. At least your showrunner treats you with respect. Enjoy the stop and start, it could be worse, you could have no show, it will all be worth it.

  • ctf

    Like most people have said, I have just had trouble understanding Beckett this season.  Particularly with Josh…Going from the freezer scene where she almost tells him that she loves him. To, ok, their out, and now she's so happy that she may have a chance with Josh.   Of course I just want Castle&Beckett together, but I could be more patient if I understood it a bit more.  This is why i have been begging for just a good girlfriend talk between Lanie and Beckett – just so I can know where she stands.  Because this Josh thing just makes no sense to me.

    I also don't have a problem with the lack of the 3XK or other murder plot continuity, because in real life it could happen that way – it could be a while before he would show himself again.  And frankly, while i do enjoy the murder plots and thinks Castle does it better than any show (i've never ever been a fan of cop/murder show, until Castle) – i watch it for the relationships – as I believe Marlowe intends.  Although i would of liked to hear something about her visiting the sniper from knockdown – like she said she was going to do EVERY week.

    So let's just please lose Josh, and get this moving, because honestly, with maybe one or two exceptions – i don't think i have EVER rooted for a couple more.(part of me feels that they have just been stalling and stalling so they can get to the end of the season, and have a good cliffhanger/finale) .     The chemistry between them is just unmatched.

     

  • ctf

    I will add that I really, really have enjoyed this season.  There have been some great Caskett moments.  And Knockdown may be my favorite hour or tv, EVER! :)  Was just hoping to see some progress with Caskett from that episode – but … nothing.

  • http://www.myspace.com/stanakatic Pam

    There are to many road blocks, stop and go I am in Castle traffic to much and not let loose on the Castle freeway, if Andrew & company are driving me around let's get out of bumper to bumper traffic and hit the open road. It's time for Kate/Rick to enjoy eachother not as friends, partners or friend-partner three years and counting – lets get them driving in the same car together at the same time heading to the same destination – HOME together! I love Castle it's the only prime time show I watch but I have little patience when it comes to road blocks, Ill eventually find another GPS route and just drive myself  in another direction.

  • Fedefromitaly

    Hi Andrew,

    just wanted to let you know that I appreciate SO MUCH your kindness, your humility and your great stories. I actually understand why you chose not to address many things during the episodes, sometimes I don’t like it (especially Beckett’s long denial and her relationship with Josh) but I understand. 

    That’s the first time in my life I join a conversation on the web and I’m doing it only because you really impressed me and I wanted to thank you and tell you I truly respect how you deal with stories, writing and fans’ opinions.

    Thank you so much, honestly.

    Fede

  • Casologist

    This problem has been discussed on the ABC Boards, on which I post regularly. The lack of continuity bothered me most regarding the Post Freezer scene, the epp where Castle saved Beckett's life twice, and after he defused the bomb. Life threatening scenes, moments of truth and there was absolutely no follow-up whatsoever. They didn't even have to talk about it but some type of emotion could have emerged in other ways. I understand that our dynamic duo have some psychological hurdles to overcome and I realize that it takes time to work it out. But, by not offering any explanation for their behavior, Mr. Marlowe has given the impression that these two characters' problems are far more serious. They appear to be emotionally challenged and need professional help. How else can you explain such lack of response? In my mind, Castle and Beckett have become NOT believable characters. I was ready to cut Mr. Marlowe some slack. His job is to build up anticipation but I expected that he would tie these very loose end up by the the finale. His comment on the lack of continuity was disturbing. He admitted it, which tells me he agrees but he is making light of it by allowing the lack of continuity continue into next season. In that respect, his answer added insult to injury. A good writer doesn't need to leave embarrassing gaps in the storyline to bring back viewers in the fall!

  • Linda

    Listen, It is our car, it is our trip and we have the keys.  yet somehow they have changed the TripTik on us and we are lost!  This show has tanked in my view and to hear Andrew mention that the episode with the freezer was his BEST writing also tells me he still does NOT hear our grumblings.  My God, their lives were in jeapordy 3 times in one episode and yet Josh still manages to be the one Beckett chooses?  If this is your best writing—-there is no hope for change Castle fans!  Sorry….I give up and am changing cars for a new ride.

  • Shirley

    I think sometimes we forget they only get about 44 minutes a week to (1) address any continuity issues, (2) create a new murder mystery that gets solved, (3) shows most of the characters and "moves them forward" in some capacity, (4) re-addresses issues that have "long-term" stories–such as sig others, Beckett's Mother's murder, etc., (5) includes the week's theme (whether it's a play on soap operas or Grey's anatomy, etc., (6) most importantly shows the growing interaction between Castle and Beckett.

    In other words, as Andrew indicated there's only so much time and sometimes things get cut out because they don't work organically with the current story or story arc. 

    I think it is amazing that a creator/writer/producer of a series takes the time to address issues raised by fans.  Castle has to be the classiest show on TV, thanks to it's writers, creator, and actors who address fan issues. 

    • Casologist

      Sorry, but if a story lacks continuity it falls apart. It is the glue that keeps the story together. If you can't make time for continuity then you don't have a story, you have a bunch of skits! There are many ways (i.e. through subtext) that could have been used to explain much of the confusions we have about our dynamic duo.

      How one claasifies Castle – procedural, comedy, drama, – it's academic. Judging from Boards, interviews, and Youtube videos the main attraction is Castle and Beckett's chemistry. If you ignore that dynamic in an episode, viewers will be disgruntled. They have to be balanced. Viewers are more concerned about  Caskett than they are about Ryan's gun. Yet, Mr. Marlowe uses that as an example of lack of continuity. I think he should take the criticsm to heart (he says he's heart, not Hart) rather than merely giving it lip service!

  • Kate

    Reading these comments, it struck me how much everyone agrees — they love the show, are okay with the delaying continuity issues, but don't like how the Castle/Beckett relationship has been handled this season.  I think this is the first time I've seen just about everyone agree about a TV show.

    I hope the Castle producers are reading this.

  • Kristina

    I love this show! It is literally my favorite! I really hope it goes on for at least another 2 or 3 seasons. I like how the writers wrote the Castle and Beckett scene's and especially at the end of "Dead Pool".

    I LOVE the idea of the 3xk coming back. What i think should happen is Jerry go after Jenny. I think it would be interesting to see Ryan in that state. Seamus (Ryan) has really good potential to live up to that type of role.  I think that this would show, 1. How much Ryan really cares about Jenny, and 2. Just give us some suspense to see if she would be OK!

    Anything that goes on in this show, i know about. I look things up like 24/7!

  • Debbie

    AWM says Castle is about a great love story.  If this is his goal, than he does need to pay close attention to Becketts character.  I'm confused as to why she's still with Josh, she almost slept with Castle in the  Love and Die in LA ep., and returns to NYC still seeing Josh.  Why?  AWM needs to look at his Great Love Story and build on it keeping the storyline true to his characters and not gimmicks to keep another season going and going and going.