As the more dedicated fans of ABC’s Castle know, the books that lead character Richard Castle writes during the series are actually available on the marketplace. The latest of the three is the same book as shown in the series premiere: it’s called “Heat Rises,” and has a mysterious nod during the show’s first third.
Sitting as close to each other as the unresolved sexual tension will allow, Castle and Beckett share some terse, awkward pleasantries. Castle even checks his watch. Beckett lightly compliments him on his book, in particular the touching dedication (don’t look at me for spoilers, go buy the book if you’re so antsy!). She then says, “That ending must have been hard to write.”
Well. Those of us used to those questions being set up for reveal during the rest of the hour surely thought that, by minute 59, we’d get a shot of that dedication, or an explanation of the ending. It was only later, when I reminded myself that these books exist in the real world, that I realized it wasn’t a plot point at all. It was a clever, clever shenanigan. How clever? I now own “Heat Rises.” (That is, I own it a bit sooner than I would have owned it previously. The books, rumored to be written by one of the show’s writers, are pretty fun, passable fare, full of dialogue that might as well have come right from the show.)
How do you feel about this kind of nod? Is it OK to leave plot pieces dangling in the pursuit of a spot on the bestseller lists?
Of particular note: in the scene previous, Castle sits in front of a big, honkin’ HEAT RISES sign, dispassionately signing books for giggly girls who certainly come from some alien universe where being a Bieber is nothing compared to being an almost-middle-aged mystery writer. So here’s my question:
Is this just clever and harmless marketing? Or is it that insidious product placement? Does it detract from your viewing experience, or do you just not care?