The Best TV Shows Like Castle

The demise of Castle was met with dismay by its many fans when the show was cancelled back in 2016.

Since 2009, Nathan Fillion had starred in the ABC show as Richard Castle, a crime writer who teamed up with homicide detective Kate Beckett to investigate crimes together.

The premise was unusual and interesting, and it led to many standout episodes across a seven-year run, but now, the world’s Castle has crumbled, so to speak, leaving us with a Castle-shaped hole to fill.

Luckily, depending on how willing you are to branch out a little, there are plenty of shows out there similar to ABC’s hit, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the best TV shows like Castle!

Elementary

If we’re talking detectives solving crimes, then there’s no way to make a list like this without mentioning Sherlock Holmes, one of the grandfathers of detective fiction.

Elementary transposes Holmes to the US, where he teams up with Lucy Liu’s Joan Watson to do what Holmes does best: solve difficult crimes effortlessly while the police force looks on in awe.

Unlike the BBC’s ambitious but flawed Sherlock (which may appear later on this list), Elementary knows exactly what it is, and it’s not afraid to simply be a great detective show with some clever writing and strong character dynamics.

The Mentalist

Unfortunately, The Mentalist is another show that’s reached the end of its run, but if you’ve never seen any of it before, you’ve got several seasons’ worth of great crime TV to catch up on.

The show follows Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane, a former medium (hence the “mentalist” of the title) who’s now a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation.

As you can imagine, Jane has developed some pretty impressive “mind-reading” skills over the course of his career, and he uses those observational talents to get to the bottom of mysteries.

Sherlock

We warned you that Sherlock might appear on this list, and here it is. This is definitely a show that will divide audiences; some will love its adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries, while others will think it’s a little too dated by today’s standards.

Still, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are endlessly watchable as modern-day versions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, who must team up to solve crimes around London together.

Fun twists include unique takes on A Scandal In Bohemia, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and A Study In Scarlet, although the stories have, of course, been updated to include modern technology and vocabulary.

Monk

Another crime show about a brilliant detective grappling with inner demons, Monk revolves around the titular Adrian Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub. He’s a detective who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This show is perfect for fans of Castle because it melds similar genres; it’s a police procedural, but it’s also a comedy that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself and its characters from time to time.

If you’re looking for something cosy and relaxing on the procedural front in a similar vein to Castle, then Monk will almost certainly oblige, and it ran for eight seasons, so there’s plenty here to watch.

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Rizzoli & Isles

Too few detective shows spotlight women as part of their central cast, but that’s exactly what Rizzoli & Isles does, so if you’re looking for a show that bucks the trend of male genius detectives, this is where to go.

There’s a little less comedy in Rizzoli & Isles than there is in the likes of Castle, but this isn’t always a serious show either, so there are some lighthearted moments scattered throughout its seven seasons.

Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander make for an appealing double act as they solve crimes together, and their dynamic, as well as the clever nature of some of the setups, make Rizzoli & Isles endlessly watchable.

True Detective

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: True Detective does not have Castle’s comedy chops, and it’s not trying to have them either. This is an altogether more serious prospect than Castle, but it’s still a thrilling detective drama.

At its core, True Detective fuses elements of crime drama, Southern Gothic fiction, and horror, interweaving the genres in clever and compelling ways.

The first season, which is still popularly considered the show’s best, stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives tasked with investigating a series of murders in a supposedly ordinary town.

Twin Peaks

Again, Twin Peaks might be a little further down the surrealist rabbit hole than you may be willing to go, but give the show a few episodes to get its hooks into you.

While Twin Peaks isn’t superficially similar to Castle, it does benefit enormously from the presence of Kyle MacLachlan’s Dale Cooper, an eccentric agent tasked with investigating the disappearance of local ingénue Laura Palmer.

Of course, things aren’t as simple as that, and Cooper is swept up in a sequence of events that threatens to swallow him in a tidal wave of darkness and surreality.

The Rookie

Finally, let’s bring this list to a close with another show that stars the walking charisma tornado that is Nathan Fillion. The Rookie is another police drama with Fillion at its core.

If you’re a fan of Castle, you’ll appreciate Fillion’s character in this; when he’s caught up in a bank robbery, the subsequent rush of adrenaline causes him to join up with the police.

However, he swiftly comes to realise that being a police officer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially for the oldest ever rookie to graduate from the police academy.


FAQs

What made “Castle” a show worth watching? “Castle” captivated audiences with its unique blend of crime-solving, the chemistry between a crime writer and a detective, and its humorous yet thrilling narrative. The dynamic between Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, brought to life by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, was a significant draw for fans.

Is “Elementary” similar to “Castle” in terms of its humor and character dynamics? While “Elementary” offers a modern take on Sherlock Holmes and delves into crime-solving with a brilliant detective duo, it stands out for its own clever writing and strong character interactions. It’s more straightforward as a detective show but shares the crime-solving thrill that “Castle” fans love.

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For fans of the mentalist aspect of crime shows, is “The Mentalist” a good choice post-“Castle”? Yes, “The Mentalist” is an excellent choice for fans who enjoyed the intellectual and observational crime-solving in “Castle.” Simon Baker’s character uses his mentalist skills to solve complex cases, providing a similar appeal with a fresh twist.

How does “Sherlock” compare to “Castle” in terms of updating classic detective stories? “Sherlock” takes classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories and brings them into the 21st century with modern technology and new interpretations. While it may be more divisive among audiences, it offers a contemporary edge and complex storylines akin to “Castle’s” more unusual cases.

Why might “Monk” appeal to fans of “Castle”? “Monk” combines the elements of a police procedural with humor, much like “Castle.” Adrian Monk is a character with quirks and personal challenges that add depth and comedy to the crime-solving narrative, offering a similar genre-melding experience.

Does “Rizzoli & Isles” offer a similar vibe to “Castle” despite having female leads? “Rizzoli & Isles” shifts the focus to female leads solving crimes, providing a refreshing change while maintaining the engaging crime narratives that “Castle” fans would appreciate. While it may carry a more serious tone, it still includes lighthearted moments throughout its run.

Is “True Detective” a good option for “Castle” fans who are open to a more serious drama? For fans willing to step away from the comedic aspect of “Castle” and dive into a darker, more intense crime drama, “True Detective” offers a rich, genre-blending experience. Its deep storytelling and complex characters can provide a different yet gripping viewing experience.

What links “Twin Peaks” to “Castle,” and why should fans consider watching it? Though “Twin Peaks” ventures into the surreal, it shares the investigative thread and an engaging lead detective akin to “Castle.” Its darker, more mysterious atmosphere provides a unique take on the crime genre that can be compelling for viewers seeking depth and intricacy.

How does “The Rookie” bring Nathan Fillion back to the world of crime shows? “The Rookie” is a must-watch for “Castle” fans primarily because of Nathan Fillion’s return to crime television. His portrayal of a new police officer brings the same charisma and nuance that made Richard Castle such an iconic character.

Conclusion

The void left by “Castle’s” conclusion can be partially filled by a variety of shows that capture some of the essence that made the series so beloved. Whether it’s the sharp wit of “Elementary,” the mental acrobatics in “The Mentalist,” or the comforting procedural format of “Monk,” there’s a wealth of options available. For those seeking strong female leads, “Rizzoli & Isles” offers a compelling choice, while “True Detective” and “Twin Peaks” cater to those who crave a deeper, more cerebral drama. And for the loyal fans of Nathan Fillion, “The Rookie” presents an opportunity to see a familiar face in new, yet somewhat familiar, territory. Each of these series carries a piece of the spirit that “Castle” embodied, ensuring that the legacy of the show continues in various forms across the television landscape.

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