The only parts of the show I ever hate are the parts with the mom. Alexis is alright and the scenes with Lanie are good. The mom reminds me so much of my mom and it drives me bonkers.
I know what you mean. But she does pull off the diva, high class, struggling actress character really well. I don't particularily like it, but she does have some pretty powerful scenes with Castle, especially in Season 3 and 4.
I have a feeling they will kill off Castle's mom this season.
As Beckett says, "So many layers to the Beckett onion...". So true. Every season she reveals a little bit more of herself (literally and figuratively ) and Stana finds a way to really develop the character to show how she evolves over time. It's much more subtle for Castle, he's still a child inside and a bit of a womanizer, but now he's on a leash.
I never doubted the chemistry between these two. Now that they are together it doesn't seem awkward or forced.
As for the season, I say "so far, so good". The first episode was the usual dark, dramatic Castle episode with some solid performances from everyone involved. It'll be interesting to see how the deal pans out between Beckett and her mother's killer. The only disappointing part was that it didn't feel like they just solved the whole damn thing when they figured out who was behind it all. They should have accented that part a bit more. Maybe it's just me. But I think the deal is just a temporary thing before the next big story arc (Castle's father for example).
The second episode was just good old Castle banter, with a bit of comedy, sexy Beckett and solving cases. It's something you enjoy watching without any high level of complexity in the story, character development or dialogue. I just hope they don't rely solely on the Caskett relationship to carry the show. That won't be enough.