Browsing Tag

At the end of last season back in the beginning of 2008 we last left Psych with Shawn opening the door to be greeted by his unseen mother. Similar to the excellent casting of Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) as Gus’ parents in the mid-second season premiere, Shawn’s mother is played by the very capable Cybill Shepherd, a psychologist who arrives in Santa Barbara to talk to some police offices, funny enough, Detective Lassiter, oblivious to her relation to the much maligned Spencer.

The third season sticks with the show’s procedural pace, although the case plays second fiddle for once with the characters taking center stage. More surprising is the episode’s reliance on actual character drama rather than comedic timing, as has been the show’s staple. The third season premiere was written by show creator Steve Franks and propels a lot of information that shifts the show’s dynamic into the relationship between Shawn and his father.

The B-story, as mentioned above, is the actual case that Psych takes on for one of Gus’ bosses at the pharmaceutical company. The boss in question is played wonderfully by Christopher McDonald who basically plays Shooter McGavin as the head of a drug company. His description of Dutch hot chocolate is perfect for a few laughs. Over all the story’s big twist ending is unseen, but not very surprising considering the context and circumstances, however it is entertaining.

Lassiter and O’Hara are barely in the episode, although the flashback to the mid-1990’s and seeing Shawn as a rebelling teenager (complete with Kurt Cobain’s wardrobe and hair) and Lassiter as a bumbling, rookie desk clerk do provide a few laughs. More is spoken about Lassiter’s estranged wife and their pending divorce with the knowledge we’ll finally meet her later in the season, something that should be fun to watch.

Psych comes out of the gate swinging with the introduction of Shawn’s mom and the paradigm shift between Henry (Corbin Bernsen) and Shawn (James Roday), and Gus’ new found independence at his day job while continuing to work with Shawn. The rest of the season looks to be set up pretty wonderfully, and while not the show’s strongest episode by any means, it certainly keeps the trademark sense of humor with a light dusting of drama for good measure.

Before Psych returns for its second season in January on USA, the fake psychic, real detectives have to spread some holiday cheer in a very special Christmas episode focusing on the murder of a grumpy old man, but its who the suspects turn out to be that hits close to home.

Starting well enough, the Gusters invite Shawn (James Roday) and his dad (Corbin Bernsen) to dinner for the holidays, but after caroling turns up a dead body staged to look like a suicide Gus and Shawn take on the case to prove to Gus’ overbearing parents that Gus has really grown up, and that Shawn isn’t a negative influence.


Credit to the casting director of this episode for bringing in Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) in as Gus’ parents who want to protect their soon so badly from the world that they pull Gus’ nursing home bound grandma to look over the 29 year old when they are both arrested as lead suspects in the case. This isn’t much of a spoiler as most of the episodes running time is Shawn and Gus’ attempts at clearing the elder Gusters of any wrong-doing.

In typical, albeit creatively funny, Pysch fashion the investigation takes numerous dead ends before locating the killer and ousting them in front of a large group with the customary “psychic channeling” Roday’s character is so well known for on the show.


Not to leave the holidays behind, there’s a B-storyline focusing on O’Hara (Maggie Lawson) inviting the snow globe hating Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) for dinner with her family, only to realize that the overzealous Lassie ends up being loathed. The B-story provides something for the two characters to do besides working on the case; however they are more out of the loop than usual in this episode and their story is forgettable at best.

Other than the Christmas theme to set up Shawn having dinner with the Gusters there isn’t anything special about this episode other than to let the viewer new that new episodes are coming in just a few short weeks (something everyone needs in this strike afflicted world). The story is thin (as usual) but it’s the characters that really get you involved with the show, and as the rapport between the four principles increases the comedy flows much easier and you’ll find that you are coming back week after week for more.

Returning for the second half of its first season is USA‘s Psych, the story of Shawn Spencer (James Roday), a twentysomething with a gift for perception who convinces the Santa Barbara Police Department that he’s a psychic solving cases from missing persons to murders in the quiet coastal town. The first season of the series was a bright spot at the end of the summer season balancing a great level of humor along with the standard drama of a detective show, much akin to USA‘s Monk.

As the series returns January 19th for a second run the show brings back the familiar scenarios in unfamiliar circumstances as Shawn and his childhood friend Gus (Dule Hill) strive to make their town a safer place. The subtly of the shows humor is not lost as sight gags blend well with wordplay. The second season premiere also keeps the routine of flashing back to Shawn’s childhood in a situation that impacts the outcome of the crime in some way, usually for the better.

Much to the dismay of the police department, Shawn continues to show them up in many of the cases they are assigned as Detective Lassiter (Timonthy Omundson) fails to believe Shawn’s “gift” at every turn while his open-minded partner Juliet O-Hara (Maggie Lawson). Providing additional foil for Shawn’s antics is his father, a perfectly cast Corbin Bernsen still channeling Roger Dorn from Major League.

When I reviewed the first part of the season last summer I did question whether the series would have enough steam to keep up the farce that Shawn was a psychic long enough to make it hold up over time, but as the season went on, and now into the new batch of episodes, Psych seems to be hitting its stride with fun stories, and excellent dose of humor making the show a pleasure to watch.

This run’s debut, “Forget Me Not”, guest stars Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show) as a former police captain attempting to tie a twenty year old cold case to a recent mountain lion mauling. In the typical Psych fashion things aren’t always as they seem, and a series of misadventures and predicaments await our heroes in locating the true killer. What more could you ask from an entertaining Friday night program?

Psych’s first season continues Friday, January 19 on USA. Check your local listings for time an appropriate channel.