Opinion: Did ABC’s Castle break the Moonlighting Curse?

By Abbey Knupp

After four seasons of teasing, witty banter, and romantic tension, the main characters on ABC’s hit crime drama Castle shared a passionate kiss that moved their relationship from the early stages of flirting to a full-time commitment. At the end of the last season, famous mystery writer Richard Castle popped the question to his love interest, Detective Kate Beckett, and she agreed. Whenever the lead characters of a television show get romantically involved, replacing the witty flirtation with relationship management, viewers and critics alike worry that their favorite show will be overcome with the “Moonlighting curse.” The name for the curse spawns from a show that aired in the 80s, a high-rated show that experienced an exponential drop in ratings after the main characters became romantically involved.

Two seasons have passed since the couple hooked up on Castle and people still mention the curse, worrying that the newfound marriage proposal will bring the couple into a monotony synonymous with married life, which is a worry shared by Beckett. When season 3 aired and the couple shared a heated kiss without moving forward in their relationship, I was part of the group that moaned and groaned incessantly, urging the writer’s to end the torture and make Castle and Beckett a couple.

However, when they finally moved in that direction at the end of the 4th season, I was worried. My favorite part of the show was always the couple’s dynamic. I loved the snarky humor, witty comebacks, and the fact that they constantly gave each other grief. With romance taking the forefront, I was worried that the snark and sass would be sidelined. If anything, it has only increased. Now that the couple has become romantically involved (even moving towards marriage in the current season), they are more snarky than ever, never missing a chance to tease one another.

On top of the usual level of sass expected on the show, the characters are now facing relationship problems as they attempt to learn how to cohabitate and imagine a joint future. The issues are handled well on the show, never overshadowing the crime and humor that the audience loves, while still giving the show an element of realism and allowing the audience to root even more for their power couple.

The 6th season alone has featured cases involving faux ninjas, time travellers, and telepaths, along with the very real threat of mobs and bosses in the drug cartels. The season has also perpetuated some of the existing storylines, dealing with the murder of Beckett’s mother and the infamous triple killer. Each episode has a new, quirky case for the couple to solve with the subtle ring of wedding bells chiming in the background.

The wedding is rumored to take place at the end of the 6th season, but viewers are hesitant to believe that the writers would make it that easy. The ratings for the show are still high and the online fanbase is more than devoted, making a 7th season renewal seem more than probable.

After two seasons of developing a romantic relationship, while still being able to maintain the drama and humor that the audience desired, it is safe to say that Castle has successfully defeated the Moonlighting Curse. You can catch Castle on ABC every Monday at 10/9c.

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