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‘Psych:’ TV Review

Psych is like a fresh pineapple on a hot, summer day. Cool, sweet, and refreshing. (I'm sure Shawn would say that a pineapple a day keeps the doctor away.) The show centers around Shawn Spencer (James Roday), a "psychic" consultant with the Santa Barbara Police Department and his best friend and reluctant partner Burton 'Gus' Guster (Dulé Hill) or Gee Buttersnaps, Squirts Macintosh, Ovaltine Jenkins, or whatever odd/hilarious name Shawn makes up for him. With Shawn's photographic memory, detective instincts, heightened observational skills, and charming personality, he's able to convince people that he's able to solve cases with psychic ability. "Oh, so it's The Mentalist?" C'mon, son! The Mentalist came out two years after Psych. Plus, Simon Baker wishes he had Shawn's exquisite hair.

I've watched this show religiously since it premiered in 2006. I enjoyed Dulé Hill in The West Wing, so when I saw he was going to be in a new show, I thought I'd check it out. I was hooked after the first episode. Seven years later, I've watched every episode at least eight times each. The show is smart, funny, and, more importantly, original. It's sill, but can tug at the heart strings, as well.  (The Yang Trilogy, and the shocking season six cliffhanger, for instance.) James Roday and Dulé Hill crush it as Santa Barbara's Dynamic Duo. It's clear that everyone gets along when the cameras stop rolling, which helps make the performances come off as genuine and believable. Roday and Hill seem like they've actually been friends for as long as their characters have. Shawn and Gus work alongside Detective Juliet 'Jules' O'Hara (Maggie Lawson), Shawn's love interest, and Head Detective Cartlon Lassiter (the awesome Timothy Omundson) or "Lassie" as Shawn and Gus affectionately call him. At first it can be hard to like Lassie, but he grows on you. The chemistry between Shawn and Jules is off the charts. You want them to end up together. They need to end up together. Corbin Bernsen (Major League III: Back to the Minors) plays Shawn's gruff, but loveable, former cop father Henry who taught Shawn everything he knows. Kirsten Nelson plays the Chief of the Santa Barbara Police Department who reluctantly allows Shawn and Gus' unorthodox methods due to their pristine track record. Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II) joined the cast more recently playing Woody, an eccentric coroner with a doughnut-licking obsession. (We've all been there. There's a Doughnut Lickers Anonymous meeting every Sunday in the back of Randy's Doughnuts in Los Angeles, if you need it, Woody.)

Whenever I'm in a bad mood, Shawn skates in with his witty repartee, obscure references, quotable one-liners, and impeccable hair to cheer me up. The show is consistent, and one of the only shows to gain more viewers each year. When the show premiered back in 2006, I was two years into community college in Ohio. The couple friends I had were busy most of the time, so I spent a lot of Friday nights like Macaulay Culkin: home alone. Psych helped take my mind off that fact, if only for an hour. My philosophy is "an episode of Psych a day keeps the doctor away."

The show's writing is sharp, funny, and has heart and character. You're easily able to connect with the characters, because each of them has a rich back history, which the actors are able to bring out. The running gags between the characters remind me of the inside jokes between my friends and I. Sometimes, episode plots mirror something out of a John Hughes flick or a slasher film. The themed episodes that the show has become known for are some of my favorites. It's a shame that due to their schedule, we'll no longer have a Christmas-themed episode. The show has matured along with Shawn over the last seven seasons, which helps strengthen how great the show is. Not many shows can change gears and keep the fans happy at the same time. The writers' room on this show is one of the most consistently solid groups of writers working, and the actors all do a fantastic job bringing the show to life. Psych is also continually able to get the best guest stars: Cary Elwes (Princess Bride), Judd Nelson (Shawn's spirit animal), Tim Curry, the cast of Twin Peaks, Cybill Shepard (as Shawn's mom), crispy chicken lover Wade Boggs, the never-too-old Danny Glover, Lost Boy Corey Feldman, William Shatner ("There's . . . something, on-the-wing"), AND Ed Lover (C'mon, son!) to name a few.

Some men dream of owning the Batmobile or James Bond's Aston Martin DB5, but I, not unlike Gus, have more practical aspirations. I have a dream of owning my very own Blueberry, a Toyota Echo used in the show. The Batmobile and the Aston Martin guzzle gas like a kid who just had their first sip of a Capri-Sun. I've even read Psych expanded universe. After moving to Los Angeles and finding out that Santa Barbara (where the show takes place) was only a little over an hour away, I couldn't wait to go and fell in love with the city. It's my happy place, and where I'd hopefully be able to retire to one day. If I ever travel to Comic-Con, I'll be going in my costume as Shawn's superhero alter ego, The Catch. You know that's right. If you're a fan of delicious flavor, I highly suggest not being a myopic chihuahua and catch up on Psych on Netflix. I guarantee you'll be hooked. Oh, and if anyone at USA happens to read this, please keep Psych on the air as long as everyone wants to be involved with it. If you want a show that can help you escape, this is the show you're looking for.