Okay, feel free to chime in if you’ve heard this one before: a procedural detective show starring Nathan Fillion and a love interest as a crimefighting duo.
If you found yourself thinking of “Castle”, where Fillion plays a mystery writer who falls for Stana Katic’s Detective Kate Beckett, you’re thinking of the wrong show.
Proving that originality in Hollywood is a laughable concept, Fillion will soon be appearing in “Newbie”, a show that follows essentially the same plot, but without the mystery novelist angle that made “Castle” so (to begin with at least) unique.
This time around, though, in order to mess with the original formula, Nathan Fillion will be playing an actual cop instead of a writer with delusions of grandeur. His character, the unimaginatively named John Nolan, will be a middle-aged man who retrains to become an LA cop.
While learning the ropes of his new job, Nolan will kick off a workplace romance with his new love interest, tentatively named Lucy Benitez, who is also a new cop.
ABC is currently looking for a woman to play the role of Lucy, and apparently, they’re looking for someone in her twenties, because apparently the network is fine with the central dynamic of the show being inherently creepy, as Fillion’s character strikes up a romance with a woman that’s half his age.
It’s worth pointing, by the way, out that the actor Molly Caitlyn Quinn, who played Fillion’s daughter Alexis in “Castle”, is currently twenty four. That’s the kind of age difference we’re going to see in this romance.
Nothing about this feels comfortable. It’s as if every element of “Castle” were twisted to make it gross and disturbing.
“Newbie” is going to have the same showrunner as “Castle”, Alexi Hawley, so what we’re looking at essentially is Nathan Fillion and his producer buddy teaming up to remake their previous hit, but replacing Stana Katic with a younger, more compliant woman.
Meanwhile, does Katic get her own new show that exactly copies the formula of “Castle”? Of course not!
While this show sounds really weird on every level, it’s not entirely a surprise. The plan for “Castle” season nine had been to fire Katic (rumor has it she had run out of patience with Fillion’s ego at some point over the past decade), and allow the show to continue with Castle all by himself.
Perhaps the plan had always been for season nine to introduce a new, much younger love interest. Either way, it feels like “Newbie” is an attempt to rebrand the new version of “Castle” as an entirely different property.
So, if you ever wanted to see the long, drawn-out demise of an increasingly tired show, but wanted it to come with an extra dose of problematic sexual drama, good news: “Newbie” might be the show for you!
If, on the other hand, you’re kind of tired of Nathan Fillion’s entire goofy schtick, or you just don’t have it in you to watch a show about a middle-aged cop trying to seduce a twenty year old, feel free to skip this entirely.
That said, there would be one perfect way to continue the legacy of “Castle”, and it wouldn’t involve Nathan Fillion at all.
What if the show was allowed continue with neither Kate Beckett or Richard Castle, as Castle’s daughter Alexis takes over his PI agency and starts solving crimes on her own?
Come on, ABC, this is the real show that we all need in our lives.