by Ali Burden |
James Roday and Dulé Hill steal hearts along with a lovable cast of characters in this hilarious comedy-drama, which first aired in 2006. Catch Psych streaming on Amazon or Netflix.
Several episodes, including the outstanding and shockingly well-written pilot, open in the 80s, where a young Shawn Spencer (Roday) is often learning some sort of lesson or skill from his father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), a police officer at the time. Henry teaches Shawn to home his observation abilities through a series of games and challenges designed to test him and make him think. Normally these “flashbacks” hold the key to the climax and theme of the entire episode.
The pilot episode opens with such a scene before flashing forward to Shawn calling in a tip to the police station, solving a crime he saw on television. When his call leads to the closing of the case, the police, such as the intense, quick-to-anger head detective Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), are suspicious and take Shawn into custody. Using some quick thinking, Shawn realizes he can use his incredible hyper-observation skills to get out of trouble.
That is, until Chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson), commandeers his help on a high-profile kidnapping case, warning him that if he’s lying about his “powers”, he’ll be prosecuted.
With no choice but to keep up the act, Shawn drags his reluctant best friend since childhood, Gus (Hill), along for the ride. Founding a psychic detective agency, appropriately named Psych, the two begin aiding the police with seemingly unsolvable cases. Lassiter, while secretly impressed by Shawn’s ability to close cases, proves to be incredibly skeptical and eternally begrudging when Shawn is called in. This hardened, by-the-rules, no-nonsense character is just what Psych needed to play the perfect opposite to Shawn and Gus.
Shawn and Gus are a truly lovable pair—between the two of them, the contrast of Gus, playing the classic straight-man to Shawn’s comical theatrics, keeps the banter moving at just the right pace.
While in the earlier seasons Shawn is more childlike Gus more mature, as the years progressed Shawn finds himself maturing and Gus, loosening up a bit. This creates a truly hilarious, fast-paced back-and-forth that will keep you cracking up.
After the pilot episode, Lassiter’s partner is swapped out for Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson)—fans found her a much better fit and far more plausible to keep up the romantic tension between her and Shawn. Juliet is portrayed as an enthusiastic believer in Shawn’s ability. In season five, Shawn and Juliet begin their official relationship, but experience a bit of a rough patch during season seven when Juliet discovers that Shawn has been lying about his “psychic abilities”. However at the end of season seven, Juliet and Shawn resume their relationship. In season eight, Juliet moves to San Francisco to be Karen Vick’s head detective and Shawn realizes he can’t live without her. In the final episode of the series, titled “The Break-Up”, Juliet accepts Shawn’s marriage proposal.
Psych is an engaging and charming whirlwind of emotion—from going to war with serial killers and debunking ghost stories to balancing their personal lives, Shawn and Gus will be your favorite comedy duo in no time at all.
This cleverly written comedy-drama will keep you on the edge of your seat and laughing out loud—and you can find Psych streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video today.
TV HACK Rating