Miley Cyrus Type Plot on Castle Limelight Episode

Miley Cyrus Type Plot on Castle Limelight Episode

Season 6, episode 13 – Limelight – on the ABC comedy/drama Castle used a Miley Cyrus type plot which minimized the utilization of Nathan Fillion who is having issues with the network. Using the excuse of the Pi/Alexa subplot in order to use Molly C. Quinn to fill in for her screen dad Richard Castle.

The episode’s plot had to do with twenty-something popstar Mandy Sutton – played by Alexandra Chando – who started out in the business as Mandy Melody. The character Sutton portrayed on a kid’s show was a “normal teenager” by day and a crime fighting pop star by night, whose identity was protected by a pair of “Clark Kent” glasses. Certainly sounds like Hannah Montana.

The beginning of the show sees Beckett and Castle going to a crime scene where Mandy Sutton has been murdered. Speaking to Mandy’s mother/manager it turns out that after the pop star changed her image drastically, her old fans were very upset. Mom says that everyone wanted Sutton to be “Mandy Melody forever.”

While this characterization of the “murdered” pop princess type is obviously an allusion to Miley Cyrus, the Castle episode Limelight was also about the love/hate relationship between stars; their fans and paparazzi. The reliance on every part/member of this equation and the ramifications for those in charge when things change.

Miley Cyrus Type Plot on Castle Limelight Episode
Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana…Mandy Sutton – Mandy Melody…

Writers for the show took a leaf from the real issues of Cyrus, who is that little bit younger than “Mandy” on the show, and a few pages from older pop star Britney Spears, whose father controlled her via conservatorship awarded to Jamie Spears when she underwent her spectacular, very public, meltdown.

One could even make connections between the story’s young female entertainer with Justin Bieber. Sure Beiber did not start out on television as a “Disney-type” princess, but he did start out as a cute kid on Youtube. Justin has undergone a bit of a transformation as well and his transition does seem to involve too much partying and partaking of drugs.

The 19 year-old Canadian pop star has been going through his own version of a meltdown, standing accused of egging his neighbor’s house, using sizzurp and, allegedly, smoking weed. While Bieber’s meltdown has yet to cost him too many fans, the Mandy Sutton character in Castle has, at the very least, disillusioned hers in a manner similar to Miley Cyrus.

However, Miley Cyrus has not, thus far, undergone any type of meltdown; public or otherwise. She has, however, undergone a dramatic and, some would say, drastic image change. She started out her career in a fashion similar to the fictional Mandy Sutton on last night’s Castle. Both singers, the real and made-up one, have changed their image.

Sutton, in the world of Castle, changed hers and underwent a personal meltdown that consisted of partying and all that entails. Cyrus, on the other hand, has not been caught out misbehaving off-stage. Her shenanigans have been of the purely sexual sort that has to do with her stage act and professional persona.

Still, apart from the obvious parallels of the television character’s start on kiddie’s television, it is a bit of a stretch to make too much of a comparison. Apart from the beginning of the show, where Mandy’s mother/manager talks of her daughter’s fans being very upset with her image change, Castle’s “Miley” appears to be a conglomerate of youngsters in show business.

Of course the introduction of this temporary damsel in distress was a perfect way to keep Fillion’s participation to more or less a minimum. The show focussed instead on Molly Quinn’s character, Alexis, who interacted with Mandy/Miley/Justin/Britney. All this girl to girl talk and action led to a fairly satisfactory ending.

Miley Cyrus Type Plot on Castle Limelight Episode
The curse of Moonlighting?

Castle, has been more or less trudging along in its sixth season. Arguably, Nathan Fillion has been proven right in his objections over the engagement of Castle and Beckett, and their future marriage. The old “will-they-won’t-they” trope can keep interests up for a long time in TV world.

Ending the unresolved sexual tension between two characters often kills off a program. Even before the Moonlighting curse of Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis; going way back in television history, take the case of Bill Bixby in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. The show was a real winner, until, Eddie’s father (Bill Bixby) married the nanny/maid. The tension was gone and so was the show’s popularity.

It has happened before, and since, in television shows and history has repeated itself on other programs, like Moonlighting. The problem with any long running program is the danger of either repeating storylines or growing stale. This season of Castle seems to suffer from both.

Four day work-weeks aside, which is what Fillion’s tussle with ABC is all about, the show needs a boost of some kind. Having James Brolin guest star in episode 12 as Castle’s long lost dad only generated so much interest and is not the answer for a show trying to avoid the Moonlighting curse.

Using a Miley Cyrus type plot in the Limelight episode of Castle has not helped to turn the tide of a show that needs something to bring it back from the brink of cancellation. Speak to those “in-the-know” and they’ll say that Castle will most certainly be coming back for another season. ABC, however, has not promised a seventh season. It may take a little more than pulling a Miley Cyrus/James Brolin rabbit out of a hat to rescue this ailing series.

By Michael Smith




3 Responses to "Miley Cyrus Type Plot on Castle Limelight Episode"

  1. Jack   January 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    The Moonlighting curse does NOT exist. The only reason that show went down was because Cybill got pregnant during the show’s fourth season and was mostly absent. They solved that by shipping her character off to her parents for half of that season. When Maddie came back she was suddenly married to a guy she’d just met on a train. The way the writers dealt with Cybill’s pregnancy and the insane plots they came up afterwards were what killed the show. -_- Seriously, do your research before you start spewing nonsense like this.

  2. Susanne   January 23, 2014 at 2:57 am

    No offence Mr Smith but you are way off the mark. Not all shows should be like moonlighting! I am sick and tired of this argument…relationships and marriages are more than just sexual tension and whether or not they should be resolved. Relationships are hard to handle and maintain, drama and tension is there just like in any other relationship romantic or otherwise. The story should always evolve and change not stay on the same sorry note over and over again. Not only is that boring but is an insult to my intelligence.

    Castle has been one of the many modern day shows that have been able to charter a genuine story of how a relationship grows, develops and is often challenged. Also the main reasons why the show moonlighting failed was because a) the two main leads were seperated for the majority of the series 5 when the show came back on the air after the hook up, b) the female character married some random guy who she just met in order to keep up the tension even if it didn’t make any sense while also being out of character and c) the show went over budget, didn’t make schedule deadlines, the actors were not available and a writers strike. Please get your facts straight and do your research.

    Since the show is still getting high ratings (it was no.1 in overall ratings and among adults and women) and is focusing on other storylines and on other characters besides the romance then there is no reason why the show should get cancelled. It just goes to show that the audience is smart and have grown up since the 80s.

    This was a very good episode and it balanced out the comedy with the crime story.I also enjoyed Brolin’s story line very much because it fleshes out the character more and shows some darker aspects to him which knocks him off the pedestal that Castle has put him on. I hope to see more of Beckett’s background in the next batch of episodes. I for one cannot wait!

  3. paul   January 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    i think they need to explore more about castle’s past. so his mother had a child after a one night fling: castle. how about the possibility of an abandoned child from a still younger mother/actress. he has many of castle’s traits but grew up darker because he was bounced around through foster homes. but with castle’s fame he recognized a resemblance and did the background check to figure out his heritage and seeks revenge/justice. he becomes a kind of anti-castle and uses his intellect to become the lex luthor to superman or reverse flash to flash. could be enough for a season or two…


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