Common Sense Media says

Light crime procedural offers less violence than CSI.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The characters investigate plenty of heinous crimes, but the show has a lighthearted tone overall. Castle's unusual background gives him a unique perspective that often helps them figure out who did it. He's also a doting single father to a teenage girl, and he's a bit out of his comfort zone now that she's starting to date.

Positive role models

Castle is a clever outsider who uses his background as a crime novelist to help the police solve crimes, usually by coming up with the most outlandish theory possible and then showing how it’s the only possible explanation. He must be both thick-skinned and persistent to make his case when his colleagues insist his ideas border on lunacy.


Little on-screen violence, but most of the crimes on the show involve violence -- including murder -- and the crime scenes sometimes feature brief shots of corpses.


Castle is a charming rake who constantly flirts with his female partner and the women they meet during their investigations. They also sometimes speculate on the sexual habits of their victims and suspects when it's relevant to the crimes they're investigating.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters sometimes discuss drugs and alcohol as possible factors in the crimes they're investigating. Some social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this crime drama about a novelist (who also happens to be a devoted single dad) who tags along with a detective as she investigates crimes is much less violent -- and more lighthearted -- than intense procedural series like CSI. Many of the cases do involve murder, so some crime scenes feature shots of corpses, but there's little gore. Some episodes also include discussions about the sexual habits of both victims and suspects, and there's romantic tension between the main characters. Expect some social drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Suffering from writer's block, successful crime novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) tags along with an NYPD detective hoping for inspiration. Though his partner, Kate Becket (Stana Katic), repeatedly tells him that he's only there to observe, the irrepressible Castle can't refrain from offering his opinions. Given his lack of police training and his background as a fiction writer, his ideas tend to go against the grain -- but they still display a keen understanding of human nature. These insights often take the pair's investigations in unusual directions and sometimes lead to important breakthroughs.

Is it any good?


Fillion is the main reason to watch CASTLE. Charming and witty, his character brings some fun to what's otherwise a fairly standard cop procedural. As a fiction writer, his point of departure when examining a crime is to assume that the most unlikely, impossible-sounding explanation is what happened -- in other words, the exact opposite of his detective counterpart, who starts with the facts and moves on from there. Their interactions, as Becket dismisses Castle's outlandish suggestions and then slowly concedes he might have a point, are the best part of the show.

The weak points are the crimes themselves, which are often so formulaic that any veteran viewer of TV cop shows can immediately tell which suspects are red herrings and which minor characters will be back in the final act. Still, TV police squad rooms tend to be environments filled with stress and uncertainty, as the cops try to fit together meager clues; introducing a writer to mix up this well-known environment is a fun twist that elevates Castle from mediocrity.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this kind of crime show is more appealing than one like CSI. If so, why? Do crimes like murder seem less upsetting in this context? What's the impact of seeing violence on television?

  • Do you think Castle’s crime theories are believable or crazy? Even if you don’t find his ideas plausible, does the show telegraph the fact that his wild hypotheses will likely turn out to be true?

  • Families can discuss why so many TV shows revolve around "odd couple" pairings. Is it just a way to generate conflict? Do you think odd-couple partnerships are better for drama shows or comedies? Can you think of any real-life odd couples?

TV details

Cast:Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Castle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bymarajade6 March 29, 2011

Great Show!! But review the episode before showing children.

I absolutely LOVE Castle. Nathan Fillion was the reason I started watching and I absolutely enjoy it. I don't watch it with my siblings around because there is occasionally some sexual content depending on the episode. I admit that Season one was worse than the current one. I haven't seen ton's of explicit content in season three BUT, I do admit that I should rewatch them again.
All in all, I enjoy it, it's a fun break and often I find myself on the edge of my seat until the end of the show. I love the twists and turns that is included for the mysteries. And I love the romantic tension between Castle and Beckett.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN January 11, 2011

One of the best crime shows out there with it's own special flair.

Castle is a great role model for his daughter, often giving her advice. I watch it with my parents all the time and we can't stop laughing at all of Castle's antics and crazy stories. I love Beckett too; she's got that strong female independence that girls should look up to. This show is overall great. I can't miss a single episode.

What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old July 24, 2010

Good show, might give scares to some kids

I like this show as a good family show, however there are some moments which put down a scare (not for me, but noticed between my 5 yr. old sibling), and like I said in my Monk review, I don't recommend murder plots for those under 8...however this is pretty tame.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families