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April 18, 2014
CASTLE is taking a trip to the ’70s with Monday’s episode, “That ’70s Show,” and the hour lets viewers see their favorite characters in a way we’ve never seen them before.
To get a little insight into the making of the episode, I spoke with CASTLE star Seamus Dever (Ryan) about getting into the era, what Ryan will be up to, what era he hopes the show tackles next, and more…
What was your reaction to seeing the script for “That ’70s Show”?
Seamus Dever: [Laughs] It was a lot of fun! I was like, oh my god, it’s going to be so much fun when we get to do this, when we really dress up fully like this. And I think the audience is going to be surprised by how different Ryan and Esposito look in this episode.
How long did the process take to do hair and makeup for ’70s-era Ryan?
SD: It took about an hour to do the whole thing. Usually I’m done with hair and makeup in 15 minutes…we had a great time. That hair and makeup department, they’re used to doing cool and crazy stuff like this. They really got a kick out of doing it. It was a nice departure from what we normally do on the show.
What was the wardrobe process like?
SD: Surprisingly quick. I think I tried on four or five pairs of really tight pants. [Laughs] And then when the right thing comes along, you’re like, yep, there you go. Everyone gets inspired by what the look is going to be. Surprisingly quick. My sessions go really quick, because I’m a fairly average-sized person, so I have a lot of options available to me.
And so we did it really quickly. And you’re wearing these great clothes from the ’70s that are from these vast costume rental warehouses, where they rent from for things like this. So they have a lot of ’70s costumes, things that were probably worn on TV shows in the ’70s. So it’s like going back in time when you slip in them, because you put that turtleneck on, and you hope it doesn’t stretch out too far, because this thing is 40 years old. [Laughs] And the character falls into place because of it.
What can you tease about the episode itself?
SD: We have a cold case that comes out, a Jimmy Hoffa-style cold case where we try and track down these really old leads, and track these really old mobsters down to talk to. And it turns out one of the informants from the past — we got the awesome actor, Jon Polito, who is one of the Coen brothers regulars, he came on and I got to work with him a lot — he comes on the show, and he plays this character that thinks he’s in the ’70s, dresses like he’s in the ’70s, talks to people like he’s in the ’70s. And there’s one moment where Castle realizes we have to transform the precinct, ’70s-style, so we get rid of all the new desks, all the computers, everything’s gone. All of a sudden we have a picture of Jimmy Carter on the wall and it’s like 1977, 1978. [Laughs] And everybody, even all the background folks, are dressed up like that.
And Esposito and Ryan take on this persona of these two really well-known badass detectives in the ’70s, Snooky and Ray, and we get to interview him, and take him to a ’70s club to jog his memory. And in the process we solve the murder, of course. But the fun part is seeing how we do it.
What was the best part of the experience of this episode for you?
SD: Transforming is always so much fun. I’m really a character actor at heart, so it’s one of my favorite things to do. Completely transforming: the walk being different, the energy being different, the way you talk being different, the way you carry yourself, that was so much fun. I get used to playing Ryan all these years, so it was nice to breakout and do something different. That was my favorite: just breaking out and doing something way different than what we usually do.
Now that the show has done a noir/’40s episode and a ’70s-themed episode, is there another era you hope they get to visit on the show?
SD: Wow. Yeah, I guess so. Those are my favorite time periods. Maybe a ’50s episode, where some things are happening in the good ol’ swinging New York ’50s. But we did the ’40s and that was pretty close. It’s hard to say. Maybe the ’20s? the ’20s would be fun. I don’t know how [they'd do it], but it would be a lot of fun to do. Prohibition style!
There’s an article in next week’s episode of TV Guide. Click on the photo for full size!
CASTLE has been off the air for several weeks, but the show returns this Monday with “That ’70s Show,” an episode that finds the characters embracing the ’70s in an attempt to solve a decades-old case.
I had the chance to screen the fun hour, and while I don’t want to ruin what goes down, I do have a few teases about the episode…
- Every single series regular gets to have at least one ’70s-inspired costume. And, I have to say, they are pretty freaking awesome. (Stana Katic’s final era-inspired outfit of the episode? Absolutely stunning.)
- Castle and Beckett struggle to include Martha in the wedding planning…and, well, it goes about how you might imagine it would.
- Thankfully for C & B, Martha does have some useful skills that end up being essential in a crucial part of the investigation.
- CASTLE creator Andrew Marlowe already teased that the episode was different than the device the show used to show the noir scenes in “The Blue Butterfly,” and he was 100% spot-on. Castle, Beckett, and co. may be dressed in ’70s clothes, but they are wholly themselves in the present to try and solve a long-cold case. Unfortunately for them, the only potential key to solving it is a man who can really only function when he thinks it’s the ’70s.
- Unfortunately for Beckett, their guy isn’t really impressed by the idea of a female cop, so he mistakenly thinks Castle has way more power than he has — which leads to Castle being granted a title/nickname he enjoys a lot. (And, I’d wager some fans will get a kick out of it, too.)
- Ryan and Esposito get inspired by footage of two ’70s cops, but trying to pass themselves off as them is a little more difficult than they originally planned.
- If you’ve been missing the Esposito/Lanie romance, the duo share a cute moment.
CASTLE airs Mondays at 10 PM on ABC.
“Castle” returns from its final hiatus of the season next week and ABC released a screener for the upcoming 70s themed episode on the morning of Apr. 15. I had the opportunity to view the episode in its final air version yesterday and, while I’ve been pretty upfront about the fact that I wasn’t too keen on the 70s theme, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by most of it.
Like every good time period-themed episode, there are a lot of nods to pop culture of the era, such as Foxy Brown and Starsky & Hutch, and Lanie, Ryan and Esposito stepping into the roles of similar characters are a great source of entertainment throughout. The case of the week itself is built around a Jimmy Hoffa-esque mystery with a twist, and it’s actually done rather well and interesting outside of the pathological grief aspect of the plot kicking into overdrive. Things turn a little absurd after that.
The time warp to 1978 is, naturally, our titular character’s idea. It starts small in the morgue, but snowballs from there with Castle allowing his mother to sink her teeth into making a production of the 12th Precinct (because like hell can they let her anywhere near planning their wedding.) Hilarity ensues, but the premise is not without its flaws. Fortunately, the good did seem to outweigh the bad, making for a viewing experience that wasn’t terrible, but not exactly their finest hour, either.
Now to field a few questions from the Twitterverse.
Castle’s April 21 installment “That 70?s Show” is a fun, camp, sometimes sentimental and surprisingly romantic look at the last days of Disco.
The action centres around the discovery of the body of a notorious New York mobster (think Jimmy Hoffa) whose disappearance in the late 1970?s became the stuff of legend.
Who shot Vince Bianchi? Castle and Beckett’s only lead is one Harold Leone (Jon Polito), a mentally unstable former lieutenant of Bianchi, whose memories of that fateful night are clouded by his permanent state of ‘pathological grieving.’
The upshot? Harold may know what reallyhappened to Bianchi, but only if nothing upsets his fragile belief that it’s still 1978, hair is big, clothes are loud and the disco balls are spinning.
It’s a set up for a solid hour of disco fun with larger than life characters, costume changes galore, our favorite characters playing at being actors (badly) and a reveal that a modern audience can get behind.
We’re just fresh off an advance screening of the episode and have 5 teasers to share which won’t outright spoil you (promise!) but will set the tone for April 21.
Check it out below.
A Little Project, They Said
Oh dear! It looks like Rick and Kate are regretting asking Martha to handle the flower arrangements for their wedding. With each of her ideas grander and more horrific than the last, the happy couple decides that she needs a “little project” outside of their nuptials to keep her busy.
However, Martha’s larger than life vision may just help solve the greatest mystery of the disco era. Keep thinking big, Martha!
To 70?s TV … With Love
Let’s be honest. This episode is really a love letter to 70?s TV. Look out for Kojak and his lollipop, Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown and Ryan and Esposito’s Snooki (Snuckie? We’re not altogether sure of the 70?s spelling on this one) and Ray – Castle’s version of Starsky and Hutch. FYI, we would totally watch this spin-off series. Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever are hilarious as Esposito and Ryan as Snooki and Ray.
Rick and Kate’s number one suspect would never buy that a woman, even one as tough, smart and independent as Beckett could possibly be in a position of power, and it takes a lot of resolve for Kate not to react to Harold’s terms of endearment, ‘cupcake’ being the least offensive in his repertoire. However when Harold infers that Rick is ‘Captain Castle’ it may just prove one straw too many.
Take a Bow, Precinct
The star of the show is the precinct itself, which undergoes a complete retrofit transformation when the case necessitates that Harold should come down and make a statement. Why can’t he do it from the comfort of his 70?s-themed home? Who cares! Just check out those typewriters and rotary phones and the muted brown and grey decor and that cast of thousands … wait! What? Yes that’s right. It seems the precinct isn’t 70?s enough without a cast of actors taken straight from an episode of The Rockford Files, Kojak or The Rookies. Prepare to hear a lot of people calling each other “pig” and “fuzz” and getting both mixed up while doing it. And catch Stana Katic’s Beckett in a delightful comedy moment playing the role of a 70?s cop and getting the lines in her script wrong.
A modern Twist
The heart of this episode may be beating in the 1970?s but the twist (Who shot Vince Bianchi?) is one that would almost certainly never have played out on 1970?s TV. Prepare for a touchingly romantic reveal, viewers!
Castle’s “That 70?s Show” airs Monday April 21 on the ABC Television Network.