There are a few shows I keep track with: PTI, Ed, Pushing Daisies, and live sporting events. On most shows, I’m on a wait-and-see approach like a Breaking Bad, Mad Men, even The Sopranos. The only show I currently talk about that is ending this week is Psych.
To summarize, Psych is about Shawn Spencer, who had no direction in his life, but with his unique skill of observation and deduction, he created a fake detective agency with his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster. They were consultants to the Santa Barbara Police Department, where Shawn’s father, Henry Spencer, was the head detective back in the day. Henry always pushed Shawn to work for the Police Department, hence why Shawn always had a love-hate relationship with his dad.
There are two reasons this show was an instant classic, and to some of you, an under-appreciated TV show.
The first is the chemistry between Shawn and Gus:
Shawn and Gus make the show go as they understand one another. Shawn as the adventurous rebel, who is willing to break the rules to get to his destination. Gus was the uptight, straight guy who tried to keep Shawn in-check. This was the 21st century version of The Odd Couple. The contrast of styles makes for great comedy. In addition, the other cast members joined in. Juilet was once an understudy detective who played it straight, but loosened up because with his relationship with Shawn. Head Detective, Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter was hamstrung to be chief of police, but was the second banana to Shawn. As years gone by, Lassie has now respect Shawn’s “extraordinary” skills, plus he’s chief of police and a better perspective now that he’s a husband and father. Even Woody and Henry joined in on the fun. The cast was one tight group.
The second reason why Psych resonates to the audience is their pop culture references and themes. They use a lot of ’80s references, horror themes, tribute shows like Twin Peaks and Clue, Sherlock obviously, and many others. Their nostalgia connected to us because we’re also nostalgic of our past. It is also nice the themes blend to the storyline, not just spoofing them at random.
Let me be personal here; Psych actually inspired me to open up my own recruiting firm in 2008. I really like that Shawn Spencer was bold to go on his own and help the police department solve crimes. I wanted to do the same thing: trying to do new things, going to events, and use my instincts and observation to study people and see where they fit…plus my pop culture references. Amazingly, my company lasted over 5 years and Psych has been on for eight seasons. We both had good runs.
To the life of me, Psych doesn’t get the press of other comedies like Girls, Parks and Recreation, and New Girl and I don’t have a good reason. Was it too procedural? Too inside? The USA Network? Not sophisticated enough? Whatever the reason, I’m going to miss the show and doing live-tweets because Psych was a show that lets anyone in and you won’t miss a beat if you’re a newcomer and it was a good throwback show where you just kick back and enjoy the ride. Farewell Psych and Suck It!
My Top 5 Psych Episodes:
5. Deez Nups
4. Truer Lies, just for the introduction of Quatro Queso Dos Fritos
3. 65 Million Years Off
2. And Down The Stretch Comes Murder
1. Last Night Gus