Pineapples, puns, and snacks: the wild world of Psych returns to USA Network this December for “Psych: The Movie.”
Running on USA Network from 2006-2014, Psych ended its run with eight successful seasons full of laughs and ridiculous situations.
Psych is a quick-witted dramedy about a young police consultant Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who solves crimes with powers of observation so acute that Santa Barbara PD detectives think he’s psychic. It also stars Dule Hill as Shawn’s best friend and reluctant sidekick, Gus, and Corbin Bernsen as his disapproving father, Henry, who ironically was the one who honed his son’s “observation” skills as a child. Also featured are Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, and Kirsten Nelson.
As evident from the flashbacks and present-day situations on the show, you can see a lot of Henry in his son. Nearly every episode of the series opened in the form of a flashback to Shawn’s childhood, in which his father was usually in the midst of teaching him yet another valuable life lesson. As the series progressed, we learned just how much of an impact that his father had on his life. Though Shawn might argue otherwise, if it wasn’t for his father’s constant lessons in keen observation and problem solving, Shawn might not be the savant that he turned out to be.
A typical episode of Psych can really be described in one word: fun.
From week to week, viewers were able to dive into another absurd story line full of witty punography, tasty pineapples, and rather dramatic costumes. But it was the ‘good time’ feel of the series that brought viewers back for each episode.
The series cast exhibited a superb and quirky relationship that really defined the show as a whole. Shawn’s rocky relationship with his father provided a more personal form of comic relief while still keeping their admiration for each other in the light. It was no secret that the two shared a strong mutual admiration as Henry was usually a main source of help when Shawn was stuck on a case. Though Henry wouldn’t admit it for a long time, he was extremely proud of his son. This is something you see right in the beginning of the series when Shawn starts his fake psychic detective business and Henry clips the article about him from a newspaper. It was these small moments that really solidified their on-screen correlation.
“You are very important to me, Juliet. And I don’t always do the best job telling you that.”
Then there was Lassiter and Juliet, the real detective partners who always had each other’s backs. Despite Lassie’s constant annoyance toward Shawn, he was always there for anyone on the team. He might have been frequently grumpy and always angry, but he proved to be a valuable character in the ensemble. Even his marriage to an ex-con (whom he arrested and charged earlier in the series) was completely ridiculous–but yet it somehow worked perfect for him.
Chief Karen Vick, Woody the coroner, and Buzz the police deputy and later detective all fit into the cast in their own perfect places. What really made the show special was the emphasis that each character gained throughout the series. They all had their shining moments.
“Gus, don’t be a gooey chocolate chip cookie.”
But it was the connection between best friends, Shawn and Gus, that made this show. They were both practically one personality mashed into two different bodies. They were both terrified of literally everything, they napped in tandem, held several daily snack times, and understood each other completely. One of my favorite moments for the two was when they discovered a dead body that had two puncture wounds on its neck and Shawn and Gus composed a giddy and exciting tone and they announced it was a vampire! Instantly, the costumes, garlic, and silver were donned and the investigation had begun!
Their on-screen antics, protection for each other, and mutual admiration was something that will always be remembered about Psych. They were the life of the show and proved that their constant humor and alternative way of dealing with everything is completely effective.
As if the regular cast wasn’t enough, the series guest stars was the last bonding element to glue the show the together. I always enjoyed Shawn’s close relationship with the recurring guest stars, more notably, Pierre Despereaux. Despereaux was only around for a few episodes, but Shawn loved him so much. Though he was a renowned art thief, he was the kind of criminal that wasn’t necessarily bad. And Shawn knew this. The dynamic between the trio brought a new level of comedy to the series at Despereaux repeatedly used Shawn and Gus to help him to steal art, solve crimes, and just take them on an adventure. Despereaux truly was a valuable character.
“‘What are you doing?’ ‘Trying to shed tears for Lassie. They won’t come and I’m ashamed.'”
When the series came to a close, it wasn’t with a big reveal or a major death–like most series finale’s. It was a warm and fun ending–with jokes right up to the very end. Chief Vick left the Santa Barbara PD to work in San Francisco, taking Juliet with her. Lassiter was left as Chief of Police in Vick’s place and Henry decided to get back into the detective game. But Shawn and Juliet’s relationship was the front-runner of the entire season. The romantic tension between the two was evident since the first time Shawn laid eyes on her in the first season. Throughout the years, they came to be the couple to carry the show to the end. And in the end, Shawn closed up the Psych office and moved to San Francisco, to start all over again. Bringing Gus along for the ride as well.