We’re slowly catching up on our television watching now that our evening schedules are easing just a wee bit. We’ve decided that Castle is entertaining, thanks to winning performances by the leads. While we know Kings is doomed, we watched the pilot last night and were intrigued enough to stick with it until NBC decides they’re done with it.
As a result, I’ve had a chance to note some trends which I find quite nice for prime time. Maybe it’s the shows we watch here or something else, but to me, many of the best moments on the series tend to be moments of family, usually between siblings. Now, maybe this is a trend or maybe it’s something I’m more sensitive to these days but for whatever reason they resonate with me.
I began to notice this with the wonderfully supportive relationship Chuck has with his older sister Ellie. They’re there for one another, with Chuck doing whatever it took to find their missing father, and protecting her from the mess his life has become. (An aside: Deb and I are split over the revelation that Dad invented the Intersect which is now stuck in Chuck’s head. I think it’s contrived, Deb expected it.)
While the cases on Castle are fun, I really like the relationship between father and daughter. She’s so incredibly level-headed in contrast to his devil-may-care attitude but they love one another deeply. I look forward to seeing this develop.
Interestingly, Kings’ pilot did nothing to establish any sort of relationship between Prince and Princess while David was clearly close to Eli and his other siblings. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out.
Of course, the nifty family trend may have begun with the success of Brothers & Sisters. It’s often over-the-top and somewhat predictable but watching families come together and then spontaneously combust is quite enjoyable. We recognize traits from our own experiences so it rings true more often than not.
Too often our heroes, especially in comics and science fiction, seem to be solo folk, with few family ties which is actually a shame. While it works as motivation for Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, it would have been interesting if, say, Daredevil had a sister to lean on after Dad died. Any time a series debuts with siblings established early on, they feel different and it’s a rarity. In all the titles I edited, Roger Stern and I did this with Will Payton and his sister Jayne in Starman. I think it worked to differentiate the hero from other titles and wish more did this.