TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Castle TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Light crime procedural offers less violence than CSI.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 53 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynorthernrain October 4, 2010

great premise, great scripting, great potential, but some concerns

Overall, a very good show, great premise, great scripting. Very useful to examine the relationship between story, character, and real life events. Positive re... Continue reading
Adult Written byDogcrazed June 29, 2011

Awesome show, need to tone the sex down a little

This show has a lot of sexual banter, and some very mild sex scenes, (about as mild as one can get). The main character although kind of playboy in nature, fal... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 28, 2011

Woah. Did Common Sense even watch one episode??

Oh. My. Gosh. Did I just read this review????And did it just rate Castle with only THREE STARS!? And did they say it isn't GORY???????????????????????????... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 5, 2019

Kids would be fine with it.

It's funny, sexy, action-packed (not over the top violent though.) It's a good show for families and will entertain people of all ages.

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love intrigue

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