Shawn's dad in Psych, Henry Spencer (played with personality and perfection by Corbin Bersen), is tough on Shawn, yet has a tender side. Michael's mom in Burn Notice, Madeline Westen (played with obnoxious delight by Sharon Gless), is rough around the edges but loves her son like crazy.
They are fun to watch, sometimes a little bit annoying, but always entertaining. So who comes out on top as leading obnoxious parent? Who's the biggest embarrassment to their child? Read on ...
This really isn't stunning news, as both shows are loved my millions and get great ratings every week, but I think it will bring a smile to people's faces as we watch the Dow go down again.
USA Network has renewed Burn Notice for a third season and Psych for a fourth season. This means the new seasons that will begin in the summer of 2009, not the current season which had its summer finale this summer and will launch the second half of their seasons in January.
You know, TV seasons used to be a lot easier to figure out.
(S03E08) "Free hugs. Who's next?" -- Shawn Spencer, after saving his "kidnapper".
Woosh! Feel that? That was the first half of this season of Psych blowing right past us to this week's summer finale. As the show has done since its inception in 2006 it is taking the fall off and, save for a holiday special sometime in December, returning at the beginning of 2009. While one side of me understands the reason for this -- survive the onslaught of the network season premieres -- the other side is sad to see the show go so quickly.
Save for the episode entitled 'Daredevils', the first half of Psych has been pretty good. They've done some experimenting with the format, some character development, but have maintained the light touch that has made this show stand out in the crowd of ever-increasing first-run cable shows. With this week's episode we saw a further example of tweaks to the format as we had an episode that was equal parts drama and comedy.
If you were wondering just what that extra dollar buys you when you upgrade to HD in the iTunes store, you can get a free look. Our pals over at TUAW made note of a number of shows that have free episodes available, in HD. The files are large, with the HD versions clocking in at right around 1.5GB, so it will take a bit to download. Something that isn't helped by the fact that iTunes downloads the SD version as well.
I've been taking a look at them and I grabbed screenshots from Heroes, Life, and Battlestar Galactica to give you an idea of the difference in the picture. It's fairly dramatic. Those captures, and the full list of free episodes, with the iTunes links, are after the jump.
(S03E07) As we sometimes do with our reviews of Psych, let's start at the end rather than the beginning. No, not at the reveal, because that would be utterly daft of me. The end I speak of is the next to last scene of the episode. I don't know about you, but as soon as I saw Shawn wearing skates, waiting for Jules in the empty roller derby rink, my first thought was 'couples skate'. Lo and behold, a couples skate was announced, the spotlight was turned on, and 80s music began to blare from the speakers.
(S03E06) "I'm nobody's pawn, Shawn. I'm a queen." -- Gus Guster
Since the third season of Psych began there has been an underlying theme of family. During the season premiere the focus was on Shawn and his parents. Then, a few weeks ago, we got a chance to see the relationship between Shawn and his shifty uncle. With this week's episode we move away from the Spencer family and focus on a member of the Santa Barbara Police Department, Chief Karen Vick, and her older sibling.
Siblings are rare in the Psych universe. We know Shawn is an only child (unless they introduce a half-brother or sister in later seasons) and Henry has a younger brother, and Gus may have mentioned some brothers or sisters in the past, but that's about it. So, when we are introduced to a character's brother or sister it helps to not only expand the character, but it also shows another side to them that viewers may have never seen before. Such is the case of Chief Vick, who showed a mean and petty side to her that we have never encountered in previous episodes.
(S03E05) Methuselah Honeysuckle and Old Scratch Johnson -- The names Henry Spencer gave Gus and himself while Shawn was introducing them at the DA's office.
Ready for this? We are nearly three-quarters of way through the first half of the third season of Psych. After this week's episode there are only two more left until the season takes a break. Other than the annual holiday special that will air in December the next time we will see Shawn and Gus after the first week of September will be the middle of January. So, enjoy while you can.
Well, I kept wishing for an episode where Henry and Shawn would truly work together on a case. And, I got my wish this week. Not only did they work on a case together, but it was Henry's biggest case while he was still on the police force. So, there was really pressure on both the younger and older Spencer men to solve the case. Of course, this led to some tension between the two.
There was a time during the early days of television where what happened on a scripted show remained within the confines of the small screen. Then came the wonderful world of the Internet and the amazing potential that it had. Soon enough, reality and imagination began to merge. Now, it's a near given that a TV show will utilize the Internet to maximize its viewing potential.
Take Psych for example. In a conversation that took place during last week's episode Shawn made reference to the fact that his father Henry was angry because he didn't have as many friends on Facebook as his son. Of course, that signaled the purveyors of the World Wide Superhighwaynet to take a look to see if it was true. Turns out, Shawn was correct: he has more friends than his father does. Henry only has two friends -- Shawn Spencer and Shawn Spencer. Poor Henry! Meanwhile, Shawn has a total of 50 friends over two different profiles.
However, neither of them can compare to one Burton "Gus" Guster. When it comes to friends on Facebook good ole Gus has a total of 108 on two profiles. Now we really know who everyone loves on Psych!
(S03E04) "You keep a stun gun in the birdhouse? What do you keep in the garden gnome? An M-80?" -- Shawn to his dad, Henry, on his choice of weapon storage.
Ah, now the pieces of the puzzle that are Shawn Spencer are coming together! We've known for years that the younger Spencer has gotten his analytical skills from his father Henry. And, in the first episode of this season, we found out that he gained his recall abilities from his mother. Now we know where he got his sense of adventure and his ability to snow others with his "psychic" abilities.
Meet Jack Spencer -- role model, adventurer, historian...and con artist.
Ah, product placement. It's a subject that's come up before. We have an award for it, and even as far back as those care free days of 2005, Karina was writing about the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild Of America protesting it. The telling quote from that piece, "Our writers are being told to perform the function of ad copywriter, but to disguise this as storytelling." And isn't that where most of us have always drawn the line in the sand? The placing of products into sets was kind of an understood cost of doing business, but having the writers change scripts to incorporate them was a whole other ball of (Turtle) wax. Unfortunately, those (Foster Farms) chickens have come home to roost.
(S03E03) "Deboned. Killed and re-killed. How does that work?" -- Gus, while filling out stunt forms.
Hi all. Before I begin I want to give a tip of the hat to Allison who covered last week's review of Psych while I was waiting in line over at Comic-Con. There were some moments, as I was contemplating gnawing on a a $7 hot dog, that I wished I was home watching this show.
I want to start this week's review not at the beginning, but at the reveal. Don't worry, I'm not going to let you know who the culprit was before the jump -- that would be a criminal offense. What I want to talk about was how Shawn went about it this time around. Usually, young Mr. Spencer is quite boastful during the reveals, sometimes to the point that he rubs in the fact that he solved the mystery. This time around there wasn't much boasting. In fact, Shawn took a very dramatic route when he revalued who was trying to kill Dutch the Clutch. Hey, when James Roday said there was going to be 20% more drama on the show he wasn't kidding.
Want to know why he was so dramatic, then read on. If you don't want to know yet, then wait until you watch the show to jump ahead.
Overall, there was something lacking tonight. The setting came first, Gus and Shawn's class reunion, then the case. It was like Murder She Wrote, where Jessica Fletcher just happens to stumble onto a murder wherever she is.
It seemed an awkward arrangement. The show is better when Shawn and Gus horn in on a Santa Barbara PD case.
(S03E01) Ahhh! The Boys of Summer are back! No, not The Beach Boys, or the song by Don Henley, or the lineup for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. I'm talking about Shawn Spencer and Burton "Gus" Guster. For the last two summers this fake psychic and his over-excited friend have joined us on the crime comedy Psych. Now, they are back to tackle a third season that, according to stars James Roday and Dule Hill, should be a good one.
We have already provided an early look for the season premiere, so this review is more to flesh out the events of the episode. Plus, it is also a chance to continue last year's tradition of pointing out all of the pop references spouted by the characters. And, starting this season, to let you know where the pineapple is located in each episode. Please get your mind out of the gutter!
Let me put one thing to rest before I begin this review in full. For those of you who think Psych is going to get all dramatic and ruin the show with the introduction of Shawn's mom during the season three premiere (Friday, July 18th, at 10:00 p.m.) I want you take a deep breath and relax. There are definitely some serious moments between Shawn Spencer and the rest of his family, particularly towards the end of the episode. For the most part, though, it is the same Psych that fans have come to enjoy over the last two seasons.
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.
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