Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is in a Name?

[NOTE: Thanks to Michelle for her input on this topic. As always, I'm glad you're around.]

Sometimes I think about starting a separate blog for my TV posts... but I'm too lazy. That means everything is going to stay the same. :)

Okay, today's post is centered around ABC's Castle. And, as the title states, we're going to be discussing names. More specifically, we're going to be discussing the use of certain surnames as opposed first names.

Why is it that on all cop shows it's normal to call everyone by their last name?  BONES: Booth and Brennan. Law & Order Criminal Intent: Goren and Eames. Criminal Minds: Hotch[ner], Prentiss, Morgan, Garcia... Castle: Beckett, Esposito, Ryan... Castle. You get my point? 

Michelle has an answer (not to this exact question but I felt this was fitting for our current question):

"The names that we use when speaking to people define the relationships that we have with them. In school, we refer to our teachers by their titles: Mr, Mrs, etc. in K-12, and Professor or Dr in college. Using titles, rather than referring to our instructors by their first names, is a symbol of respect between student and teacher. It also draws the line that clearly says, “I understand that you are in charge and that I am your subordinate”.  This extends to other titles (i.e. Detective Beckett), and distances us from becoming equals, like the friends we meet on the playground in grade school."

[SPOILER ALERT!] Castle (the character) announced his "undying affliction" for Beckett... okay so he told her he loved her as she lay dying in his arms. If you've been paying attention, you'll know that she didn't actually die. And she "doesn't remember anything". *coughliarliarplantsforhirecough*

Ever since the season three finale, (the episode where Castle confesses his love) name dropping has been happening at a rapid rate. In the first three seasons, we hear Beckett call Castle "Rick" like twice and we hear Castle call Beckett "Kate" like five times. (Just so you know, I didn't sit down and count- these are all hypothetical numbers.) Then in Knockout (3:24) suddenly the name dropping is EVERYWHERE. Mostly on the part of Castle. He is very worried for Beckett and it seems to drive the seriousness of the situation when he calls her "Kate". In a particularly tense scene, Castle questions their relationship and Beckett gets upset and calls him "Rick". Which is very rare. I think it threw Castle for a loop when she threw out his name so angrily (and casually).
So what is in the power of a name? There is a certain intimacy in a person's name, first or full. (Example of full: like when you get in trouble with your mom and you get called by your full name.) As for Castle, when a character who is only referred to by their surname gets called by their first name, it creates an intimacy (not necessarily sexual) that seems absent from before. An example is when partners Esposito and Ryan call each other by their first name- usually it's in a high intensity moment for one or both the characters- there is an intimacy, a friendship, an bond that was seemingly absent from before when they were just "Esposito" and "Ryan".

That's not to say that the bond, the intimacy, isn't there to begin with. Continuing with Ryan and Esposito, they are friends as well as partners. With Castle and Beckett, they are partners, friends, and whatever else they are (a question posed in Knockout in that aforemention tense scene). But the intimacy is made known/acknowledged/heightened by the use of their first name.

I'm not entirely sure where this post is going aside from the point I was trying to make that names are important and intimate. Also, I LOVE it when Castle calls Beckett "Kate" BUT I love it even more when Beckett calls Castle "Rick". The reason being that it's more rare for Beckett to call Castle by his first name than the vice versa.

Okay. So I think I've accomplished what I sort of set out to say on this topic. Basically, I love when Beckett and Castle call each other by their first names because it seems to intensify their relationship/the situation.

As usual, I always wonder if my posts make sense but then I realize that sometimes (most of the time) these posts are more for me than for you.

Oh! And before I leave, let me get you excited for February 6th noir-esque episode entitled "The Blue Butterfly" with this...

Love Nathan Fillion's hair like this!!

A Noir-ish Castle. Yes, please!

She's clutching at his arm!
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. :) I got the pictures from and there are more on that site if you're interested. I was!

Until Next Time,

 The Hopeless Romantic

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous, as always :) And thanks for the direct quote! Wowzers!