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Castle vs The Mentalist: Comparing Two Addictive Shows

The Mentalist starring Simon Baker

The Mentalist starring Simon Baker. The guy can read you like a book. No point in hiding anything. His brilliance is not without a sense of humor either. Image from:

Castle starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic

Castle starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Well, maybe Castle and Detective Kate Beckett aren't as good at manipulation and reading people as Patrick Jane but they sure do have a unique way of brainstorming. Image from:

I love both of these shows and I wrote introduction posts for both of them on my blog. But being a big fan who refuses to miss even one episode, I decided to write more on this fun topic. And after realizing many similarities between the shows, I decided to make this joint post.

If you need background info, you might check out my posts on The Mentalist and Castle. So, let’s roll with the fun similarities:

  1. Both Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) are really good looking. They know it and they like it.
  2. Both men love mind games. They also have a wicked sense of humor and they love misbehaving.
  3. However Patrick is much less responsive to attention- since he lost his wife and kid a while ago.
  4. Both  men “consult” on the murder cases. Castle relies on his background information and his writer’s instincts.  Patrick Jane is an awesome “mentalist” who is just great at reading people.
  5. Both California Bureau of Investigation (CBI- assisted by Jane) and NYPD (assisted by Castle) have closed many cases, thanks to the main characters- whether their teammates accept it or not.
  6. Even though their teams don’t always agree with them, they like their unorthodox helpers and have gotten used to the situation.
  7. Both guys have very personal motives in helping the cases. Castle first needed to step in because a copycat murderer was committing the crimes as depicted  in Castle’s novels. Then he realized the female detective and these cases would make for a great inspirational source. Patrick’s motives are can be considered more noble. He is after the serial killer who killed his wife and child. He is assisting the other cases for redemption and to have a sense of purpose.
  8. Both Castle and Jane love being inappropriate: asking too direct questions, eating at the crime scene, enjoying the idea of being involved in a murder case… Both are originally good guys who just happen to like the thrill.
  9. Both get to get in the investigation room. Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane however gets to use more “inappropriate” methods such as hypnosis. Not that he is allowed but it does get confessions.
  10. They make a great team with the “boss”- the female detective in charge.
  11. In both cases, team members provide comic relief in addition to the lead characters’ fun behavior.
  12. Both men have a flirty/friendly relationships with the female detectives.

The Mentalist starring Robin Tunney and Simon Baker

The Mentalist starring Robin Tunney and Simon Baker. Robin Tunney's Agent Lisbon gets annoyed and shocked by Jane often but she does like him a lot. Maybe in the future episodes...who knows? Photo from:

Castle starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic

Castle's famous duo: Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic - Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. Will these two ever get it out of their system already? Well, we will see. Photo from:

The Mentalist starring Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeowan and Amanda Righetti

The Mentalist Cast. From left: Robin Tunney, Simon Baker, Tim Kang, Owain Yeowan and Amanda Righetti. You can call them team Jane. Photo from:

Castle starring Seamus Dever, Nathan Fillion, Jon Huertas and Stana Katic

Team Castle- from left: Seamus Dever, Nathan Fillion, Jon Huertas and Stana Katic. Photo from:

There are obviously many differences:

–          Such as Castle is a happily divorced man (yes, he couldn’t be happier he is divorced) and his only daughter is alive and well.

–          Castle provides the same amount of comic relief  in each episode. The Mentalist is more of a drama/thriller so some episodes can get heavy- especially if it is about the serial killer Jane’s after.Castle also gets the right idea about the case by brainstorming with her daughter or just simply through a conversation.

–          The attraction between Castle and Beckett is obvious. Jane and Lisbon are more friends than anything else. Jane is still mourning. Even though Castle and Beckett have feelings for each other, they just don’t act on it.

–          Beckett’s boss is fond of Castle and loves having him around. Lisbon’s bosses? They are not exactly crazy about Jane.

If you have anything to add, please comment away.


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16 Responses to “Castle vs The Mentalist: Comparing Two Addictive Shows”

  1. I love The Mentalist! I love the whole team, they’re all awesome people. Awesome show!

  2. zoey says:

    Mentalist is very entertaining. It is not as original or shocking as it used to be, but I still keep watching it. Although they need some more Red John episodes and/or get Patrick Jane a romantic life.

  3. Honey says:

    The mentalist is a great show. in season four there will probably be something going on between Jane and Lisbon becase he has now killed red john(or has he?) so he can get on with finding happiness.

  4. zoey says:

    I really hope so. For now it has been more friendly and brotherly/sisterly. But I think they will get stuck soon if they don’t give Jane some sort of romantic story line. I’d also prefer that line being with Lisbon. Lisbon is a lot more damaged than she lets on so I really think they would actually be a good couple.

  5. Patrick Gardener says:

    Getting Patrick Jane a love interest is going to make the show predictable like any other show. The essence of the show lies in the mystery that surrounds Jane’s character at present. Perhaps changing that drastically could give away the mystery. Sorry no offence to anybody, just an opinion. Thank you

  6. zoey says:

    Thanks for commenting, Patrick.
    I agree that “love interest” carries the danger of making things predictable. I think House’s romance with Cuddy ultimately hurt House, for instance. But Patrick Jane is a character that I like and really care about. And it has been many years since his wife and daughter were killed. I think he needs more than his obsession to keep him going. He should have fun in more ways than just annoying authority. Of course, I love it when he does it. He shouldn’t change. But a romantic female lead – a woman who is his match- could maybe not hurt the show. I’ll again go with the House example. Things were great in season 2 when Stacy was around. But of course this is also just an opinion. It’d just be nice to see him smile more;) Plus whatever happened to that psychic Red John kidnapped? She thought she was dead, and we never saw her again….

  7. Menaka Gentle says:

    I LOVE Castle!!!!!! My life revolves around it…seriously
    My friends are kind of concerned.
    I think Castle is soooo much better
    Just Saying.
    But if it is on i would watch The Mentalist

  8. Teddy Campbell says:

    “Castle” is awesome! The season finale of season 3 is incredibly heavy and intriguing. I love both shows but I think that the Mentalist has become less interesting over time. I also think that the Castle/Beckett relationship is far more entertaining.

  9. zoey says:

    @ Teddy:Yep, Castle is very entertaining. It balances comedy with drama and excitement so well! But although I loved the season finale, I have to say it was much heavier than the usual tone. I think one of my favorite episodes this season was the L.A. episode. Funny, sex, interesting and full of great one-liners & interesting stunts. The chemistry and love between the duo is really cool.

    I think there are two problems with The Mentalist. The show’s non-Red-John episodes aren’t that intense. And Patrick isn’t that shocking anymore. Remember the first episode? How he revealed the father was the murderer because he was having sex with his own daughter? Not all episodes should be that heavy of course, but they shouldn’t lack in big surprises either.

    Also, there is no interesting love connection. Yes, Patrick loved his wife. We get it, we respect it. But a romantic promise also adds a lightness and a fun element to the show. They should give Patrick more.

    So yep, Castle is more fun. Although I am still as curious as ever as who Red John is. After all, I am pretty sure the guy he shot wasn’t the actual one! 🙂

  10. zoey says:

    @ Menaka: Ha ha. Castle is more entertaining, because I think the audience would either want to be Castle, or want to be with Castle or around Castle. I mean think about it:

    – I am female, and I’d love to date a guy like Castle. He is cute, good-looking, a lot of fun and so original. He is also sweet and romantic.
    – I am also a writer so I’d love Castle’s career, and New York loft!
    – And as a mystery fan, each episode satisfies me.

    With The Mentalist, you really wouldn’t want to be a guy whose wife and daughter were murdered. You’d not want to date a guy whose wife and daughter were married. And with Castle, he is never really depressed, and he is happy most of the time. Patrick has a right to be depressed and obsessed, but he is not an easy character to relate to. I guess that’s why ultimately Castle is a lot more fun. But still, I love the antiques Patrik pulls on everyone:)

  11. chi_amaka says:

    The mentalist is the bomb… I love Patrick Jane and i hope something goes on between he and lisbon….

  12. zoey says:

    Yeah, they really need to give Patrick some romantic sub-story. I like their relationship, but it is the 4th season- he needs to date:)

  13. Brooke says:

    I’ve watched both shows and I honestly think Castle is a lot more fun to watch…. There are DEFINITELY some serious episodes that keep you waiting with the suspense and some episodes that are so…. fun that you start to laugh. The Mentalist though is mainly dark and depressing.

  14. zoey says:

    Actually, Castle started out as a great comedy/mystery and The Mentalist was a wonderfully dark and compelling mind game with some great quirky and entertaining behavior from Patrick. But along the way, both shows (after 2 seasons) lost their essence. Castle became darker and less funny, and The Mentalist became lighter and funnier – which transformed both shows from addictions to habits for me.

  15. Jez says:

    Castle is in New York and the Mentalist is based in Sacramento California and yet in castle series 2 episode 19 wrapped up in death and the Mentalist series 3 episode 16 the red queen the same location is used. Ie the museum the same one.

    Both have the stegasuras that’s a triceratops and a T. rex on the same platform and the museum has the same everything just look at the floor and pillers.

    So they have more in common than first thought as they use the same location even though based 3000 miles apart.

    How can they do that and not think that a sad person like myself wouldn’t spot it.

  16. zoey says:

    Maybe they thought people wouldn’t be paying so much attention when they are watching too many shows and both The Mentalist and Castle are getting less and less addictive. : ) I couldn’t get enough of either shows when they first started but after the first 2 seasons…It felt like Castle was getting darker and more serious while The Mentalist storylines were becoming lighter. How about you? Are you still addicted?

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