tek's rating:

Psych, on USA Network
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Okay, there's this guy named Shawn Spencer (James Roday), whose father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), was a cop in Santa Barbara. When Shawn was a kid, Henry trained him to notice things. Like, everything. So he developed a photographic memory. Episodes usually begin with a brief scene of Shawn as a kid; as well as his father, and Shawn's best friend, Burton "Gus" Guster (Dulé Hill), is sometimes in these flashback scenes. Now, as an adult, Shawn has had lots of jobs, but never became a cop like his now-retired father. But he does often phone in tips to the police, when he solves crimes by noticing things on news reports about the crimes. Finally, the police become suspicious, and think he may be a criminal himself, with all his apparent inside information. So to keep from being arrested, he decides to tell them he's a psychic. He then helps them solve a case, and opens a detective agency called "Psych" with Gus.

Gus is reluctant to be involved in this, after a lifetime of Shawn getting them both in trouble with his crazy schemes. But he does sometimes seem to enjoy himself, anyway. Shawn, for his part, thinks he's finally found his true calling. He really throws himself into the role of psychic, and hams it up quite a bit. He's never grown up, really. Very flippant and funny and stuff, frequently making pop culture references. Meanwhile, Henry claims not to approve of what his son is up to. But the chief of police, Karen Vick, is willing to take a chance on Shawn, as long as he gets results. There's also a cop named Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), who doesn't believe in this psychic stuff, and really can't stand Shawn. (To get a sense of who Lassiter is, try to imagine Joe Friday wishing he was Clint Eastwood, and mix in just a dash of Harris from the "Police Academy" movies.) Shawn often makes fun him, always calling him "Lassie," but his disrespect is just part of how he acts in general. Anyway, Lassiter hasn't got much choice but to accept Shawn and Gus's help on cases Vick assigns to them as consultants. Lassiter's partner, Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson), seems a bit more willing to accept their help (and will eventually become a love interest for Shawn). Though even she can be frustrated by Shawn and Gus's... unorthodox methods. Perhaps I should also mention a couple of recurring characters. There's Buzz McNab, an officer in the SBPD. He seems to get along well with Shawn and Gus, as well as wanting to please Lassiter. He's usually of no real important to the story, but he's always around. Though it doesn't seem like anyone has much respect for him, he's a reasonably likable guy. I guess. There's also a coroner named Dr. Woodrow "Woody" Strode (Kurt Fuller), who first appeared in season four. He gets along well with Shawn and Gus, because... well, he's even odder than they are. I dunno what else to say about him, but he's funny. Um, we've also seen Shawn's mother, Madeleine (Henry's ex-wife, played by Cybill Shepherd), a few times.

And I'm not sure what else to say, but the show is pretty funny, and wacky, and quirky, and entertaining. Though actually sometimes Shawn can get kind of annoying, the way he doesn't take anything seriously, and generally doesn't seem like he truly cares that much about Gus's (or anyone's) wishes. But while it's sometimes hard for me to understand quite why Gus would remain friends with Shawn, there are also times it's pretty clear they've got a good friendship. Anyway, I should mention the "Psych-Outs" they sometimes do during the closing credits, with like Shawn and Gus singing, or outtakes, or whatever. And you can see extended versions of the Psych-Outs on USA's website. And I guess there have been some webisodes. I suppose I should also mention that I didn't watch every episode of the show, the first couple seasons. But I always enjoyed it whenever I watched, and in later seasons, I did become more consistent about watching it. Oh yeah, also the theme song (I Know You Know, by The Friendly Indians) is pretty catchy, and I love how certain episodes use different versions of the song for special occasions. Anyway, over the years my opinion of the show has steadily improved, along with my appreciation of the work all the actors do.

Oh, and at the end of season 7 there was a special, Psych: The Musical. And then... season 8 was the final season. There were some changes, but I suppose I don't need to talk about that. There were already some changes earlier that I didn't mention. Whatever. Um... but the series finale was pretty awesome. There have also been some TV movies. (The first aired on USA Network, like the series. The others streamed on Peacock.)

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