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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Castle & Cupid: ABC Hits Bulls Eye With Love And Crime

One is a writer searching for godly inspiration for his new pulp fiction character, Nikki Heat. The other is a God playfully mixing and matching us mortals in order to please his fellow immortals once again.

Those would be short blurbs to describe ABC’s new hit comedies – with serious subjects – Castle and Cupid.

The leading men have their leading ladies panties in a bunch (if we drop the P.C for a second) over what these amorous, ornery and witty god-men decide is right in their pursuits.

Castle (Nathan Fillion, right) takes over where the Moonlighting series left off that ABC ran over twenty years ago. While the guy is slightly more controlled, has a charming young daughter and is much, much more successful, his partner, is more urban, East Coast-educated and refined, than the Cybill Shepherd model character ever was. Castle is playing cop – vicariously acting out his latent, if crude and unvarnished, detective ability stored in his prior novels – while driving the hard-boiled lady cop (Stana Katic)bonkers with his antics. “Children are so hard to control,” she thinks every time Castle interrupts any train of thought she has, yet she likes the child and man in him.

Will Castle’s inspiration like his future Nikki Heat version of her? Will the flames reach season two?

And with the arrow – he hits the mark. Cupid. Eros. The God of Erotic Love. A ‘Stimulus Package’ for your recession love life.

Just what America needs.

Charm and creativity is the name of the love game. Friction can be attractive. Unforeseen happenstance becomes Cupid’s (Bobby Cannavale) target and objective. Vocations in conflict become harmony in the bedroom. Only there’s a problem: Female psychiatrist(Sarah Paulson) thinks he’s crazy, and destroying people’s chances at ‘true love.’

Through Cupid’s imagination and rough-cut plan and her responsible actions and look-before-you-leap intervention, so far, the couples come home cheery. And only 98 more to go before he goes home to Olympus.

It’s Hitch on TV – and the psych lady has a thang for her Cupid – and the God has to fall for ‘Psyche’ sometime.

ABC put these male-female characters at odds, with the men providing the slapstick comedy and the women at the ready to shutdown their whims. It’s fun; and keeps one from dwelling on the recession. Or turning to just ‘reality TV’ that is not in any way reality.

These hour-long forays into the romantic comedies are nicely written and show potential for a 3-4 season run if given their head.

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