If you’re not watching the hit ABC show Castleyou have some life choices that need to be reevaluated ASAP. The series is unlike anything else on the air right now – a clever mix of police procedural and dramatic comedy that is, at its very core, a love story between a murder-mystery novelist and his NYPD detective muse.

The show is well-known as the first vehicle to be a ratings hit for sci-fi geek actor Nathan Fillion (though the short-lived Joss Whedon series Firefly has become a major cult favorite in television). While Mr. Fillion brings ace comedic timing to the show, the real breakout star is his female counterpart, the stunning and talented Stana Katic.

After several TV guest spots and small film roles, Ms. Katic nabbed the lead female role in Castle and the fictionalized world of the NYPD has never looked the same. For six years, she’s artfully navigated the world of dramatic comedy, invigorating each new season as her abilities continue to grow.

As fans and viewers waited for Kate Beckett (Stana) and Richard Castle (Nathan) to get their act together romantically, they caught glimpses of Stana’s innate ability to say everything with a single facial expression as she tackled the task of playing a woman who was very much in love but reluctant to vocalize any of her affections.

Stana’s knack for drama is put to the test season after season as her fictional counterpart fights serial killers, navigates the ups and downs of a complicated relationship and most importantly seeks justice for the person responsible for murdering her mother.

Just this week, Stana knocked it out of the park as she went head-to-head with Scandal star Jack Coleman, who effortlessly embodies the role of a cold-blooded U.S. Senator-turned-presidential-hopeful who takes a hit out on Kate to prevent her from revealing a career-killing secret. Watching these two duke it out (which includes a pistol-whipping and a car bomb) is a special kind of television magic topped only by Katic’s electric chemistry with Fillion.

Her onscreen presence continues to be a force to be reckoned with, one that captivates from the moment she’s on the scene. Unfortunately, Castle is often overlooked at major award shows, as the series toes the line between drama and comedy so much of the time. We  can only hope that someday she receives the accolades she deserves, as she’s truly an actress ahead of her time who should be recognized by critics and peers alike.

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