Thursday, October 29, 2009

How much is Castle really like Bones?

A couple of days ago Hart Hanson tweeted the this message:

My first reaction was to chuckle.

But that didn't last long. I actually love Castle. And Warehouse 13. And I missed the X-Files train but I like watching it too when I can. I used to watch Law and Order: SVU. And I love Sam and Jack from Stargate: SG-1. Heck, I even watched Moonlighting growing up!

Do I think Bones does it best? Definitely. Do I think Bones owns the rights, lock stock and barrel, to evil-fighting male/female partnerships? No.

What makes the Castle/Bones comparisons so persistent? If you actually watch the show do you think to yourself "I'm watching the same thing I do on Thursdays?" I know I don't. I am just curious what people use to define the idea that these two shows are exactly the same and that Bones 'did it first' so why watch part deux?

27 comments:

olivia said...

Actually, the X-files did it first :) In fact, I didn't start watching Bones until later as I was such an X-files devotee. Of course, now, i am obsessed with Bones, and think it is best thing on TV currently. But, no, they didn't invent this genre...

Anonymous said...

Rica here...

I watch and love both "Castle" and "Bones" and though they have a male/female leading duo that solves crimes, that's really about where the similarities end. The characters are all vastly different, the action, the story-lines, the additional characters, the way crimes are solved...they are both two separate and distinct shows.

I love both shows, I love the cinematography, the music, the cases. I think they are handled as differently as you can handle similar crime-show procedurals. They are both very character driven, but that's one of the reasons that I love them both so much.

Teri =) said...

I also love them both & don't really think they are all that alike....... but I'm biased. I wish every TV show had either David or Nathan on it!

Jeannie said...

I just watched the first episode of Castle last night and it didn't strike me as a Bones clone.

Maybe this is like Psych and The Mentalist - the latter is basically a Psych ripoff, I guess, although much more successful (why is beyond me, I love Psych and The Mentalist bores me to death). Psych is dealing with it rather funny now, they are making Mentalist-references in almost every episode now, like having the leading character a website called 'thementalist-spoiler.com' on his internet history and such. I thought that was a clever way to handle the situation. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone. I actually started watching Castle before I fell in love with Bones, but the characters are really what make both shows worth watching and they couldn't be more different from each other. bones is definitely a lot more like x-files than anything else i've seen, with scully being the logical, evidence driven one and mulder running on his feelings. and speaking of castle, I started watching it because i was a firefly fan and completely loved the shout out to the old fans at the beginning of this weeks episode. i agree that there are similarities, but each has its own unique vibe and i very much enjoy watching both shows.
PS. i love you terri for loving psych. it was my favorite show before i saw the light aka started watching bones

Anonymous said...

sorry jeannie, just realized that was you who likes psych. sorry for the mistake :)

Anonymous said...

I really don't think Hart's implying he invented the male-female crime/mystery solving duo ;-) Or that both shows are similar in execution. I think he's just being snarky about both shows' high-level identical premise: Best-selling author teams up with law enforcement official to solve crimes.

melanie said...

I didn't start watching Bones until half-way through Season 3 (and quickly gobbled up everything that was out!), and started watching Castle this season.

I agree that the whole best-selling author & cop is very similar...but the relationship between the characters is so different. Brennan & Booth are very subtle in their UST. Castle...well...is it just me or does he blatantly hit on her in every episode? And she regularly gives it right back. There's UST, but it's so much more obvious.

BB Shipper said...

I love both shows with different level of intensity (I just love Castle, I'm am "obsessed" with Bones ;0). BUT these two shows are nothing alike outside of the male/female partnership dynamic.

There is definitely a greater focus on individual character development in Bones as opposed to Castle... And personally I think the writing in Bones is better ... But to be fair they have been at it longer.

Stephanie said...

I watch both shows, and I actually think there are a lot of similarities. When ABC first started showing promos for Castle, I remember thinking, "Hey, it's a new Bones!" because that's how they seemed to be promoting it. Now that I watch both shows, I don't think "Oh, I just watched this on Monday/Thursday," and I don't think they're clones, but I do think the two are alike.

For instance, Castle & Brennan are both successful crime novelists with a sort of franchise based around a female character. Castle & Brennan both think they should be able to be involved in every aspect of a case, from everything to crime scene investigation to interrogation, etc. even though they are not cops. Beckett and Brennan both have a parent who was murdered. Booth and Castle are both single parents. Some of the banter on Castle is reminiscient of Bones, though I agree that the relationship is mostly different. Both had a case very early in the series about a prestigious private school (not saying that that's bad or wrong, but it does provide another comparison.) They're not identical, and I don't think anyone's really implying that Bones invented or the owns the rights to the male/female crime-fighting partnership, but the comparisons between Bones and Castle definitely aren't out of nowhere.

All that being said, I still watch Castle because it's fun and entertaining. To me, they are similar shows, but not to the point of "Oh, this is exactly the same; no need to watch both."

Rolywa said...

You know what show I can't watch? "Fringe"- as a longtime "X Files" fan it is tooooo similar!

I haven't tried Castle yet...but it's on my list!

Jessica Curtis said...

Actually, I think of Bones and Castle as two sides of the coin. On Bones, we get the technical side and the science of discovery, and we skip over the bulk of what the FBI does (unless Booth is investigating something himself, he "calls it in" and we go from there). On Castle, the forensic technician is there to give us the scientific details, but we get no procedure about how they came to that conclusion. The focus is on the police and their footwork.

Are there snarky characters and complex emotional relationships in both shows? Yes. Do the shows hold to a higher intellectual standard than, say, some of the CW shows or reality TV available? Of course they do, which explains their shared viewership. But they are not remotely the same show - they are ketchup and mustard, not coke and pepsi.

Stephanie P. said...

I think there are some similarities between the two, but then both Bones and Castle could also be compared to a lot of other shows as well. I do watch Castle, though I enjoy Bones far more. I feel like Castle is just now starting to get good, whereas I enjoyed Bones from episode 1.

On a side note, I am excited to see there are some other Psych fans here! Psych is probably my second favorite show after Bones

Jeannie said...

I love the quirkiness of Psych. The cases are usually horrible but they are not meant to be the main focus of the show, in my opinion, and often seem outrageous on purpose.
Great to see that there are others here who share the love. ;-)

yolio said...

The comparison is obvious. They are both a comedic/romantic spin on the police procedural. They are both driven by character and rapid, snappy, almost overwritten dialogue. But Bones is better done, in my opinion, and it got there first.

Yes, Moonlighting did the rom-com detective show first, but they really didn't take the detective part of the equation very seriously. And X-files was a serious detective show with a romantic subplot, but not at all the fast-talking comedic style of Bones.

The real original is Nick and Nora from the old Thin Man movies. If you haven't seen these, you should! They are very funny.

Anonymous said...

I love Nathan Fillion so I enjoy Castle. I think the reason I watch and enjoy Castle but I am ... okay, obsessed with Bones is that Bones is so much more layered.

It isn't just the murder mystery and the UST between the main character couple. It is all the squints as 3 dimensional characters as well, and all the story lines above and beyond the murder story and how well they wind them all together.

Castle's daughter and mom and the 2 other detectives and the forensic dr ... they are shadows that flesh out the murder mystery and the relationship between Beckham and Castle, but that's really all.

I enjoy Castle. It's fun and well done. But Bones just has a lot more going on, and I LOVE how they do what they do.

alexandra said...

I agree with you. Bones is not the first "male/female leading duo with UST" show, but I have to say that it's the only one that from the Pilot has caught me for the tension between the two carachters. I think that ED and DB are great. I used to watch Moonlighting as well (20 years ago...sigh!) and the tension between the two carachters was very strong as well, but in Bones it is kept fresh every episode, it's never boring and the pattern that Booth and Brennan are following is very interesting. Of course all the dinamics between all the carachters of the show are good and funny and for me this is the magic that makes Bones unique.
I used to watch X-files as well but I was more interested in the case (And I stopped watching very early...sorry for the other fan) and I've seen only the Pilot of Castle. Well it's a good show, no doubt, but it didn't give me the same emotions as in Bones.

Ps Sorry for my english.

Anonymous said...

What I think HH is referring to, it's not that male/female leading duo was born with bones, but is the way characters interact while the case is developing itself. I mean, i's clearly different the UST in the X-files and in Bones, the way they react to each other, the focus on an episode is how it impacts one or more of the characters in the show, the bickering (we know how great that bickering is) is fluid and natural, and I could go on but I think I did my point stating what bones puts out on tv that is different from other shows.
castle uses some of these elements although the show is not a bones replica. And hart is saying that if we want all that stuff, why don't we watch the show that knows best???
sorry about my english though

Anonymous said...

I like Castle. It is a good show. Although Nathan Fillion is an attractive man, there is NOBODY as handsome,sexy with also a great body as David Boreanaz.

Dijea said...

I started watching Bones, because I loved the books. I LOVE THE SHOW. I also enjoy Castle but I don't see them the same at all. Yes, the outline, but different feel. Castle & Booth are different. Booth is serious and a stand up guy. Castle is the comedic sexy bad boy. Both are appealing in their own way.

I'd rather watch Bones than anything else! Fringe is awesome too.

Dijea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Mary said...

The fact of the matter is that there are only about 4 tv show ideas and everything is just some variation...therefore we are going to see some overlap. Bones is by far my favorite procedural but I can't even count the number of times something has felt "familiar" between shows. Certain cases, characters, suspects, or even bits of dialogue seem to have counterparts on NCIS, CSI, House, Castle, Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, JAG, even on non-police shows...there seems to be overlap...

My point is...

Is this really such a bad thing?

Aren't so many books just like one another?

How many disaster movies have we seen recently? How many times can Will Smith save us from aliens? Have you seen how many novels there are with Fabio on the cover?

Isn't immitation the most sincere form of flattery?

Each of these shows is trying to take aspects of real life (granted with a healthy dose of poetic license) familiarity is a given...

I have friends that are similar to each other...do I stop being friends with Sarah because she is too much like Lila?

There is always room for another- smart, funny, UST-filled, mystery...


At least that is my opinion....

sorry...rant over...

lyssie said...

side comment....
i was watching serenity last night and cam was in it!
and whoever out there who is a firefly/castle fan, i know i wasnt the only one who practically squeed when i saw castle in his mal costume for the halloween ep.

Anonymous said...

some times i cant tell the difference i from the land down under and Bones and castle r right after one another on Sunday night. We are up to about three eps into each (Bones 5 castle 2) season. But bones is definitely better because they are further along in there relation ship and they would practically die for each other and booth kills any one who touches her and castle... well yeah and bones has those sweet but frustrating moments ( just say it already be a man) good thing they are both just as funny. Its kinda funny how the ones that are writers are the name of the show in both... random.... I <3 BONES and booth... swoon... XD

Anonymous said...

same person as above... i think... the one from down under any way

also did i mention they are on the same channel its so cool <<<3

Laura said...

The first episode of Castle is very much like the episode of Bones where the serial killer carries out crimes from Brennans book. There are even the same phrases used e.g. in Bones, Cam says 'I deal with crime and death during the day, why would I want to go home and read about it after work?'. One of the cops says the same thing in Castle. It makes me feel like its copying not just in general characterization, which is okay, but in more detailed sentences and reactions.

On the other hand, I think that Castle's characteristics do not exist on any character on Bones. There is no character who is as flippant and irrelevent. His mother is also a great source of comic relief. I particularly liked the concept of 'grey-dar'.

Grace said...

Hey Grace here, watcher of Both shows as for a few years now in Aus they play them one after the other on Sundays.

Yet I got a hold of all Bones seasons and decided to watch before season 7. Over the short time of castle and the doubled time of Bones iv seen some small similarities in victim's deaths.
What astounded me was, Bones Season 2 Ep 12 I think. It was the "Brennans fan makes her fiction fact story because she's an author situation"
So I found out season two Created in 2007.

Sound similar, hey actually that's how castle started...Wait that's the same thing. Thinkin oh maybe for once Bones took from Castle. Made in 2009...they based their show on Bones...The castle producers lost my respect.

Thankfully the chemistry, smart words and humour of both will keep me watching if they keep creating.

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