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October 13, 2015

James and Dule talk Psych

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 28th 2008 6:40PM

Psych is coming back! Starting on July 18th, the comedy starring James Roday and Dule Hill will be returning to USA Network with all new episodes. The third season of this series looks to be a very interesting one, as viewers will finally get to meet Shawn Spencer's long-lost mother as well as get to see a more dramatic side of the character ... something we got a taste of during the last few episodes of last season.

The two stars of Psych got together with the press last week to touch on a number of subjects. Topics included a preview of the upcoming season, a discussion about the duo's "Ebony & Ivory" commercial, Roday's appearance on the NBC anthology Fear Itself, and the never-ending 1980s references that the two spout during each episode.

The "Ebony & Ivory" promotion for Psych: Doing the promo was a lot of fun, according to Dule Hill, who plays Burton 'Gus' Guster on the show. They had very little time to memorize the song before shooting began, perhaps maybe fifteen minutes. Once the shoot began, Hill didn't realize that the Stevie Wonder portion of the song was so high.

For James Roday, who plays Shawn Spencer on the show, his main concern was that they were going to be making fun of these two rock icons. However, after he and Hill watched the original video, they realized that they were just emulating what McCartney did on the video rather than mocking it. And, for the record, the song still lingers in their memories since the shooting ended.

Cybill Shepherd: Roday says Cybill Sheppard, who will portray Shawn's mother in the season three premiere and will have a recurring role this season, was very professional and happy to be on the set with them. James was also impressed that Shepherd was able to anchor the episode in a dramatic way when she came in and really didn't know anybody on the set. According to James, Sheppard stepped up, had fun, and accomplished what needed to be done in the opening scene.

The upcoming season: "Our self-imposed mandate for this season was 20% more of everything", said Roday. "So, you're going to get 20% more action, 20% more comedy, 20% more drama, 20% more emotional grounding." James continued by saying that viewers will be seeing a few new layers peeled back on Shawn's character that will reveal a bit more about his family history. He will also be more serious, especially during the season premiere.

In terms of episode conten,t there will be one that features more stunts than all of the other episodes combined, and another, directed by James himself, that will pay tribute to the Friday the 13th series of films. As to guest stars, in addition to the before mentioned Cybill Sheppard as Shawn's mother, and Steven Weber as Shawn's uncle, actors Rachael Leigh Cook, Ted Lange, Jeff Fahey, Gary Cole, and Christopher McDonald will also make appearances.

Shawn and Henry: When asked about Shawn and Henry Spencer's relationship this season, Roday said that the appearance of Shawn's mother will shine a new light on the their past and reveal that some truths may not be as accurate as he once thought. After that, the two will take their relationship one day at a time. James thinks that he and his father (played by Corbin Bernsen) will still have their problems, but they will be moving towards a mutual understanding of each other.

Will Gus's parents be returning this season?: Hill doesn't know if Ernie Hudson and Phylicia Rashad will be returning as Gus's parents this season. However, there is a chance that viewers will be meeting one or two of his siblings this year.

Fears of messing with the current format of the show: When asked if there was a little fear when it came to some of the new stuff coming up this season, Hill believed that there wasn't much. "I think with any long-running TV show, you have to continue to challenge yourself to improve on what you've done," said Dule. "Otherwise, you'll get stale." Hill added that these changes were the only way to keep the show exciting for the audience as well as the actors.

The' 80s references: The writers definitely add their own references, said Roday. But, he added, by the time it reaches him and Hill they have some additional '80s references to throw in as well. In the end, they end up with a good mix of everyone's favorite references. James concluded by saying that there is a bounty of '80s references still available and they won't be drying up any time soon.

Improvising Gus and Shawn's conversations on Psych: While the shooting schedule is very intense, both Roday and Hill do have leeway as to how much improvisation goes into their dialogue. Roday says that this spontaneity is something that the fans appreciate and, if it's not broke, don't fix it. They will continue to take what is written on the script and mold it into the flavor that fans have come to expect of the show.

Shawn's flirtation with Jules (Maggie Lawson): The continued flirtation between Shawn and Santa Barbara Police Detective Juliet O'Hara will still remain a part of the show. They'll continue to dangle the question of "will they or won't they" in front of viewers until the cast gets too uncomfortable with it. At that point they'll pull back and see what happens.

Roday and Lawson on Fear Itself: "Fear Itself was just sort of a fun little gag that we did because John Landis directed it and he's worked with us a couple times on Psych," said Roday. "And, it was sort of an opportunity to do something that was very, very different than what we do on the show but still with John." Roday added that the roles that he and Lawson played on Fear were as far from Shawn and Jules as you could go from these characters.

Dule moving from The West Wing to Psych: For Hill, it was a great change of pace. "After being in the White House and working on the drama for seven years, I didn't really want to go do another drama. And Psych was exactly what I had wanted to do."

Any crossover opportunities with other USA shows?: Hill certainly hopes so. He mentioned that their have been talks about crossing over with Monk, but there is nothing set in concrete yet. Roday added that Monk would be the obvious companion for them since both private investigators are based in the same state.


Will the pineapple be showing up this season on Psych?: A resounding "absolutely" from both actors, with Hill adding, "We love our pineapple."

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Let's not disect this show too much. It's fun and I look forward to it in the summer. I kinda wish it would start sooner in the summer. I get really tired of summer reality shows, etc.

I would love to see more episodes per year, but I'll take what I can get. This is escapism at it's best. The characters are totally charming. It's lighthearted and fun. I love it because it makes me laugh and I also enjoy little mysteries. I think that shows like 24 or Alias or Heroes have their place, but I really like that these shows resolve their little mysteries each week.

I don't need a bunch of expensive special effects to make a show interesting. If that's low-budget, well, whatever.

By the way, we (my husband and I) always laugh at the 80's references, but we agree that Shawn and Gus are just a tad young to really have experienced first hand the stuff they refer to. We are a few years older than they are and we were young to remember some of the stuff they refer to.

July 26 2008 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With shows like this, I would rather see more than just 13 episodes. This isn't the type of show that you need to watch the first one or you don't get the rest at all. I like having a full set of hour long episodes of things like this. It gets tedious with shows like 24 or Alias as you really have to pay attention for all 20+ shows. But for something like this which is just fun and campy and you don't have to pay all that much attention to the details, I think it's a great way to have new shows all throughout the year.

Now, getting the writing to not be stale, that's where the problem lies. Oh well.

As for crossovers, I would love to see a Monk/Psych cross over. And I think it would be hysterical to get the Mythbusters in there as well! Think of how Shawn and Jamie would get along?!?

June 30 2008 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like Psych's format and length, 16 episodes? It's as good as Doctor Who's 13. I cannot stomach 24 episodes of hour-long shows, because things will drag on and on, like Heroes. At least it keeps it nice and tidy.

June 29 2008 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

I would rather see half seasons of Monk and Psych, than a full season of some of the junk on network tv. I look forward to the seasons. Same with Eureka. You appreciate the shows. Cheap? Oh, please. There is more quality to Monk and Psych than many shows. They are good shows that are enjoyable to watch, that make me laugh, and that I will watch again. There aren't many shows I want to watch repeats of. And there aren't many shows that I not only KNOW the words to the theme songs, but that I sing, with the opening of the show, and just for the heck of it.

June 29 2008 at 6:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mj green's comment

Nice retort. I guess you can compare anything to crap to make it look good.

I mean seriously. You just shat on "Psych" more than I did by saying you'd rather have that show than any other crap on TV. If you go by that standards you could just turn on white noise and be happier than you would be watching "Flava of love".

I made fun of parts of the interview where it seems as if they were talking about a show that you could really screw up in any way. They've been using the same formula for all of the episodes they did up until now. Funny enough you named one of the extreme favors of that formula: re-watchability. Both shows are almost perfected in the way that you can watch them again and again - out of any order and without knowing what happened before. They are the prototype of a cable network show. Done cheap, done quick, with B-List celebrities to attract viewers, with stories that are forgettable.

I mean seriously, name a couple of scenes that pop into your mind that weren't repeated to death in the promos from the show that you thought were totally priceless.

I too think the show is pretty darn funny but I also know that this is just TV that you can take in while you easily can do something else. I've been reading while "Psych" was on and I didn't miss anything. And if I did then I caught it the second time I watched the show. There's no big revelation at the end anyway so you can just watch it again. It's like watching "Columbo". Not very engaging. You don't have to think at all. It's like a snickers bar. A lot of sugar, no nutritional value.

June 29 2008 at 8:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"long running" *snort*

Yeah sure. 13 episode seasons cut in half. Epic.

Can't wait for the day when they do two episodes a year and call it "Spring" and "Fall" seasons. The only thing that makes this show "long running" is the huge amount of time that passes between their six week runs.

I know this all has real benefits because this way you can avoid filler episodes. But seriously I think you should compare their problems with keeping the high level of production value with "Dexter", "The Closer" or even "Damages".

"Psych", like "Monk", is a very cheap produced show with a very limited amount of episodes a year. It's very very hard to screw things up on a show like this if you ask me with so much time on your hands to refine plot lines and to get former stars on board for guest roles.

It's just funny when you hear him say "long-running" when you know he already made 31 episodes and are really getting close to what one and a half seasons of "The West Wing" were. Whoa. The sheer amount of storyline they had with this continuing arc of... nothing. :-)

Being sarcastic is fun ^^;

June 29 2008 at 3:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my favorite show on tv right now!

June 28 2008 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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