(S01E09) After five long months Psych has returned with all new episodes featuring James Roday as Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill (The West Wing) as his trusty companion Gus. For those of you who watched and enjoyed this show when it aired over the summer on USA I say welcome back. For those of you who aren't familiar with this comedy-mystery hybrid (I call it a mysterdy) let me give you a brief synopsis of the plot . . .
The show follows Shawn in his role as a police psychic, solving crimes that they cannot (which are many). However, he really isn't a true psychic. In reality, he has an extraordinarily keen eye minute details, which he obtained through intense training conducted by his policeman father (Corbin Bernsen).
Got it? There will be a quiz at the end of the review, of course. With that out of the way let's move on to this week's show.
I know that we already have a 'Ask TV Squad' category to answer questions from our beautiful and intelligent readers, but that is usually meant for one question at a time. In this episode of 'The Five' I'd like to reply to a number of questions that have come to us over the last few weeks. So, without further ado . . .
1. Steph writes 'Please help! Is Psych canceled? I just discovered it and I've only seen reruns.'
Fear not, dear Steph. Psych is just taking a mid-season break, which is normal for cable shows to do. The USA Network comedy, which stars James Roday, Dule Hill and Corbin Bernsen, returns with new episodes in January of 2007.
(S01E06) Secretary: There's a Lieutenant Crunch here to see you.
Gus: Lieutenant Crunch?
Shawn: Actually, I've been promoted. It's Captain Crunch now.
At first I thought this wasn't going to be a good episode of Psych. There was a big focus on Detective Lassiter at the beginning of the show and it looked like it was going to be one of those team-ups where Lassiter learns a little from Shawn and Gus, and vice-versa. But, that was not the case at all. Once again, it was pretty much Shawn and Gus the whole way. Not only that, but it was one of the best episodes of the series so far.
(S01E05) Let's not dilly-dally around this week. Let's get to the best scene of the episode. This would be the one where Shawn is "channeling" a recently dead singer/dancer in front of the police chief. Well, to be truthful, he's "channeling" the dead woman via a "psychic connection" with a cat (who was previously owned by another recently dead victim).
Shawn is grooving and gliding along, singing in a husky female voice, trying to prove to the chief of police that four recent suicide victims didn't really kill themselves at all. Rather, they were murdered. It was all very surreal, like a nightmare version of All That Jazz. Bob Fosse would have been proud. It was also very funny, as was the entire episode.
USA Network is so proud of its new comedy Psych that it has decided to order up three more episodes for its freshman season. Including the 90-minute pilot that would make a total of 15 episodes for the series. In addition, AOL Entertainment News reports that the show is expected to be picked up for a second season in the near future.
The premiere of Psych drew 6.1 million viewers, a record for a cable series debut this year. Since then it has retained most of the audience of its lead-in program Monk. That series, which stars Tony Shalhoub as a compulsively obsessive detective, is averaging about four million viewers a week. Psych is averaging about 3.9 million per week.
Psych, which stars James Roday as a detective who dupes the police and the public into believing his keen observation skills are actually psychic powers, will most likely follow the split-season pattern of Monk. This means that new shows will run until month's end and then return with new episodes back in January.
(S01E04) Let me just get this first little item out of the way and we can move on. There was a scene early in this week's show where Shawn Spencer and his friend/business partner Gus are talking outside of their detective agency, which is at the beach. Behind Shawn we see the continuation of the beach and a seemingly large evergreen forest looming just above the water.
I'm pretty sure that there aren't any large evergreen forests near the beach in Santa Barbara, where the show is supposed to take place.You would find that type of stuff in the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver, British Columbia where, by coincidence, Psych is filmed. I only ask that the producers try to limit the amount of outside shots to avoid breaking the illusion that the show is based in Southern California.
There, I feel better now. So, let's get on with the review.
(S01E03) Shawn almost slipped up. Twice. Both times while talking to the chief of police. Luckily, Gus was there to move him back in the right direction; lying about his psychic abilities to everyone, including the police.
I believe that this is the way Psych will run for the time being. Shawn will slip up here and there with the people that he admires . . . people that Shawn believes (deep down) know that he's really not what he says. For others, including Detective Lassiter, he'll keep on pretending that his psychic seizures are real.
(S01E01 and E02) Henry Spencer to his son Shawn: How many hats?
The premise for Psych is clever and unique. Shawn Spencer (James Corday) was trained by his policeman father Henry (Corbin Bernsen) in the art of keen observation. Not only did Sean match his father's skills in this technique, but he may have even exceeded his Dad's abilities.
After you watch the fifth season premiere of Monk this Friday on USA, don't go to the Sci-Fi Channel to watch Battlestar Galactica. Why? Well, Galactica isn't on until the Fall, and you will be missing a new show following Monk that is actually pretty good.
The show is called Psych and, like Monk, it is a light mystery show. However, that's pretty much where the similarities end (other than the fact that it also takes place in California). This is a much faster paced show with a crime solver that is totally opposite of Monk in personality and ability. It stars fairly unknown actor James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a son of a cop who has remarkable observational abilities. Instead of following in his father's footsteps, he works at a series of jobs before his abilities land him in trouble with the police. I won't go into too much of how he gets out of trouble and where it leads him; I'll save that for the full review on Friday.
As the lovely and talented Anna Johns reported back in February, Monk will have a companion show when it returns with new episodes in July. The show is called Psych. It was previewed at the end of the Monk series finale, and is also being shown on the network's website, with information on the characters.
The show seems to be a combination of buddy comedy and mystery. Turns out that the main character, Shawn Spencer (played by James Roday, who has appeared in nothing very interesting) is a bit of a slacker. Cha, who isn't? Instead of going into the family business, being a cop, he goes from job to job and spends his evenings calling in tips to the police. One day that gets him in trouble and he ends up pretending to be a psychic to work his way through it.
Starring with Roday will be Corbin Bernsen as Spencer's father, and The West Wing's Dule Hill as Spencer's level-headed buddy. It will be good to see Hill back on a series after is disappearance from The West Wing this season. In the preview you can see a bit of his Charlie personality in this new character, but also a lot more emotion.
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