Psyched for the Return of “Psych”


A Review of the USA Network’s “Psych” by Tiffany A. White

Which show can be described as a police procedural, detective drama, quirky comedy, and ‘80s and ’90s throwback? The USA Network’s Psych!

Shawn Spencer (James Roday, Miss Match) was an ornery boy raised by his single cop dad (Henry Spencer, played by Corbin Bernsen from L.A. Law). From a very early age, Shawn’s dad taught him to pay close attention to details; and it’s this astute ability that has allowed Shawn to trick everyone around him into believing he is psychic.

Everyone, that is, except for his father and his best friend, partner, and pharmaceutical salesman Burton ‘Gus’ Guster (Dule Hill, The West Wing).

Almost every episode begins with a flashback to the ‘80s when Shawn and Gus were young boys. Often times, this childhood scene depicts an observational lesson from Henry, or a direct memory from Shawn’s and Gus’ past (like remembering their old classmate, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) that will relate directly to the current week’s episode.

After assisting the Santa Barbara Police Department on a case, Shawn and Gus established Psych, their psychic consulting firm. Hired on a case by case basis by Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson), Shawn and Gus work alongside detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson, Judging Amy) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson, TV movies Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover).

Most of Psych’s fun spawns from the banter between Shawn and Gus, Lassie’s constant frustration and exasperation with the two Psych consultants, and the familiar (Shawn and Henry) and romantic (Shawn and Jules) relationships shared between characters.

But it doesn’t stop there… Are you a fan of the ‘80s? How about the ‘90s? Look no further! Psych not only casts familiar faces from these decades, but also includes perfectly placed puns on particular storylines.

A few of the famous ‘80s and ’90s recurring guest stars include Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as Gus’ mom, Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting) as Shawn’s mom, and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) as Father Westley. Plus, most of Shawn’s nemeses are all ‘80s greats as well: Yin (Peter Weller, Robocop), Yang (Ally Sheedy, member of the “Brat Pack”), and Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes, The Princess Bride) to just name a few.

Perhaps one of Psych’s greatest facets is not the crime solving, the familiar faces, or the constant laughs, but the writers’ abilities to pay tribute to popular movies and TV shows from the past. Take season three’s “Tuesday the 17th” as an example. Co-written by the actor who plays Shawn Spencer himself, “Tuesday the 17th” is the perfect combination of Psych’s own version of the horror movies Friday the 13th and April Fool’s Day. The horror theme seems to be the most popular with the staff (like season six’s twist on The Shining with “Heeeeere’s Lassie”), but the writers have also taken a few comedies and made them their own (like season six’s take on The Hangover with “Last Night Gus”).

One of my favorite episodes to date was the Twin Peaks tribute in season five, “Dual Spires.” James Roday outdid himself writing the episode: he perfected the oddities of the characters from David Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the dead girl’s body wrapped in plastic found by the water, the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie. Psych even changed the opening credits to honor Twin Peaks. This wasn’t the first time the program made subtle changes to the music to reflect the current episode’s theme (just a little fun “I Know You Know” Psych theme song fact).

But if you’re not quite sold yet, let’s get back to a few more blasts from the decades past and mention these additional popular ‘80s and ‘90s guest stars that we’ve seen throughout the seasons: Jaleel White (Family Matters); Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That); “Brat Pack” members Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald; Outsiders C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio (also from The Karate Kid); Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show); Mena Suvari (American Pie); Carl Weathers (Rocky); Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie); Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys); Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block); Jason Priestly (the original 90210); Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon movies); William Shatner (Star Trek movies); and Twin Peaks alumni Dana Ashbrook, Sherilyn Fenn, Madchen Amick, and Sheryl Lee.

The list goes on and on…

So what can we expect from Psych in the new season? Rumor has it that the upcoming episodes will include Clue and Blair Witch themed shows with guest stars including Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, and Anthony Michael Hall. No doubt this will be fabulous!

Psych returns Wednesday, February 27th on USA.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

We Fund Your Projects! We have Off Market Closed Sale Properties and Revenue Generating Businesses for Sale! kellencapital.com

Get the Funding Your Business Needs! AmeriFunding.Net Get Business Cash Now! amerifunding.net

What Next?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment