(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.
Fab Five, based on a true story, follows head cheerleader and daughter of the principal Brooke and her clique. They break the rules and run the school until a new cheerleading coach comes in to whip them into shape. Ashley Benson stars as Brooke. Tatum O'Neal (Rescue Me) will play the principal, Brooke's mother. And Jenna Dewan of Step Up will play the cheerleading coach. I wonder if Dewan will show off some of her dance moves.
Jack is Henry's brother, although I don't see a big resemblance between Corbin Bernsen and Steven Weber. However, if the character is more like Shawn, that will give Weber a chance to play it wild and wacky. Maybe he'll be like his Brian Hackett incarnation on Wings.
According the TV Guide, this Psych episode sounds sort of like a Raiders of the Lost Ark/National Treasure adventure. Uncle Jack comes to town in search of a treasure. He has a map to a hidden Spanish cache of goodies and enlists Shawn and Gus in his search. Now you just know that James Roday will be pulling out a bullwhip and Fedora.
Weber, by the way, is expected back on Brothers and Sisters next season as Sarah's part-time lover. When the show wrapped, their romance was still humming.
I went to Universal Studios in Hollywood on Saturday for the revealing of The Simpsons Ride. Celebs walked the "yellow" carpet. The mayor welcomed the crowds and led the countdown. A human cannonball was shot into the air. And a yellow sheet dropped to reveal a 32-foot Krusty the Clown face at the entrance to the attraction.
Despite the launch being for The Simpsons, there were hardly any members of the cast there on the yellow carpet. Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) was there along with creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks but no other voice talents were anywhere to be found. See who I talked to and read more about the ride unveiling after the jump.
There's a fine line between charming and obnoxious, amusing and annoying, cute and cloying, funny and trying too hard. James Roday veers close to the line. He's a daredevil of a comic actor, daring to be almost too much to take. But like other actors of his ilk, he succeeds in flying close to the sun, but never burning his wings. Like Jim Carrey or Robin Williams, James Roday is willing to push the comic envelope. So far, he's proved to me that watching him is always interesting, arresting and fun. While he may never reach the box office glory of Carrey or cop an Oscar like Williams, he's definitely going to be a TV star for today, tomorrow and down the road.
1. Corbin Bernsen -- You know you loved him in L.A. Law, heck, you even loved him in Major League II. But Psych uses Bernsen's talents to the fullest, in creating one of TV's most obnoxious dads with a true tender side (from bubble baths to believing in his son, even though it is usually somewhat veiled). So, so glad they use him more each season.
2. The mysteries -- Yes, a grand part of the hoke, and sometimes painfully predictable. But I love a mystery, even of the lamest kind, and for me, a show that has some secrets not revealed until the end carries some clout.
The show, which is produced by BBC Worldwide America, is a contest to see which contestant can win the most money without being the greediest. The game begins with five "Money Clocks" ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000. In each round players secretly buzz in as the amount of money is shown on the clock in an attempt to capture the second-highest amount of money each time. Whoever rings in last, and scores the highest amount of cash goes home empty handed.
(S0E06) Victim's Wife: I never broke two stars.
I realized something just as this week's episode of Psych was about to air. We were looking at a mini (and I mean mini) West Wing reunion with John Amos appearing as Gus' Uncle Burton. For those who don't remember, Amos had a recurring role on The West Wing as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace. His character met an untimely end during Wing's fifth season when his vehicle was caught in an IED explosion. I don't recall if Fitzwallace or Dule Hill's character, Charlie Young, ever spoke to each other while on Wing, but at least they were on the show together.
(S02E03) Lassiter: What color is that suit?
Agent Ewing: Black.
Lassiter: Really? Really? It seems blacker than black.
Ewing: It's Washington Black.
Man o' man o' man, did Shawn have to work his arse off tonight! For the second week in a row Mr. Spencer really had to put his skills to the test to show both the Santa Barbara police department and the Federal government what he could do. And, if that wasn't hard enough, he had to compete with another 'psychic' hired by the Treasury Department. In the end he got the culprit, of course, but it was fun to watch him squirm and try to keep up throughout the episode.
(S02E01) Lassiter: We found prints.
Shawn: Was he driving a Little Red Corvette?
Gus: Under the Cherry Moon?
And so, with that reference to 80's pop culture, I welcome you back to the second season of USA Network's Psych. After watching this week's episode I have come to the conclusion that this show has replaced Gilmore Girls as the program with the most pop culture references. In addition to it's nod to American Idol this week there were references to Prince, Michael Jackson, A-Ha, Tears for Fears, Hall & Oates, David Lee Roth's song Yankee Rose, and so many others that I'm sure you, the beautiful TV Squad reader, will remember and point out in the comments.
(S01E15) Exactly twenty years later . . . give or take ten minutes.
And so, with heavy heart, we come to the conclusion of the first season of Psych. What at first seemed like a quirky little comedy-mystery hybrid (I call it mysterdy) featuring a Tom Cruise lookalike, the guy from The West Wing, and Arnie Becker, has become an amusing show full of snappy banter, decent character development and references to 227. Yes, Psych has come a long way in a very short time and I'll miss it while it's away on vacation. In the meantime, though, let's take a gander at this week's show.
Pretty strong for a final episode, although a bit different. That's because it was co-written by Shawn Spencer himself, James Roday, and directed by one Mr. John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers). The tone of the show was a little less humor, a little more tension. As Roday put it in his blog, it was a "thriller" episode of Psych.
(S01E14) You knew that a moment like this would eventually come up . . . a time where a father needed his son's help. I mean, even though Henry Spencer shows reluctance about his son's detective skills (especially since he masks them with a fake psychic power), inside he is extremely proud of how far his son has come. So, when an old friend of Henry's asks for help in finding his son the senior Spencer happens to drop Shawn's name. Ah, parents.
Shawn doesn't disappoint this client. In fact, he goes over the top in solving the mystery. By 'over the top' I mean going severely psychic in the presence of the father and his client. As I've mentioned in previous posts Shawn has been pretty subdued when using his psychic powers. Not this episode, though. He went whole hog just to put his Dad in an awkward position. Ah, children.
Smell that? It has the aroma of burning leaves. It must be me thinking about something again. Here's the skinny: I've noticed over the last few weeks that Shawn likes to tell people that Gus is his hero, that he looks up to his best friend. I think that most of that is just joking since it is usually preceded or followed by a false statement about Gus' skills. However, deep down, I wonder if Shawn really does look up to Gus. Gus is very intelligent (something we have just started to see), has a steady job, and seems to have his head straight on his shoulders. Meanwhile, until he began his detective agency, Shawn flitted around from job to job and girl to girl. Perhaps the younger Spencer wants to have just a bit of what Gus has. Then again, I could be blowing smoke out of my poopie chute.
I'm actually going to start off this week's review with a mention about Gus. I haven't spoken much about him even though this role on the show has expanded quite a bit over the last few episodes. I put him up top this time around because even though he was kinda, sorta missing in a few scenes this week the ones he was in he made some significant impact. One of the things I noticed is that he is starting to pick up on some of the detective skills that Shawn had drilled into him by his father. There were one or two occasions where Gus actually saw evidence first before Shawn. The other noticeable trait Gus is exhibiting is his intelligence. I couldn't really tell how smart he was in the first half of the season because he always seemed to be whining. In the second half the producers have fleshed Gus out a bit more to show his intelligence and use it in the process of an investigation.
(S01E11) Yes, the review is late. I'll apologize to each and every one of you individually. That should take a few years, and by that time you'll probably forget what I was apologizing about.
How do you connect speed dating with naked, fat guys found out in the middle of a field? I'm not too sure, but Psych did it and made it work quite well. Gosh, what a funny episode! I can't remember laughing out loud at this show so much as I did this time around.
The second half of Psych has seen a lot of changes. We've seen Shawn mature quite a bit, we've seen Lassiter mellow out, and we've even seen Henry Spencer going out on a date. This week we saw another change. This was probably one of the first episodes where all of the members of the ensemble cast were utilized. We've seen combinations on Gus and Shawn with one or two of the other players, but this week they all participated. Even Kristen Nelson was back as Interim Police Chief Karen Vick. With some of the attention off of Shawn and Gus, the show took on a different feel. The cast is really jelling together as a cohesive team.
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