While I’ll never claim it to be my favorite, one of the absolute most entertaining television shows of the past decade, in my opinion, has been the USA hit Psych. Tomorrow evening, after 8 solid seasons, Psych-Os everywhere will say goodbye to their heroes, Shawn & Gus, as the series draws to a close.
But it was damn good fun while it lasted.
When Psych premiered in 2006, many didn’t really know what to make of it. The premise was kind of fun– a “fake psychic” fools the Santa Barbara police department into hiring him and his best-friend slash business partner to solve crimes –but, it really didn’t fit the mold of primetime hour-long television, and certainly, was not something to be confused with your standard L&O or CSI style procedural. More a comedy than a drama, the show relied on quick one-liners and reoccurring themes (such as the main characters’ fascination with the ’80s) to keep viewers entertained.
Shawn’s (James Roday) “gift” was more photographic memory than anything else, and the “crime solving” shtick on that premise wore off seasons ago; but, what kept the show alive, and bringing in viewers (a remarkable 4.2 million/week last season), was really the chemistry between him and Gus (Dule Hill), his former-detective dad Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and more straight-laced lead detectives Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and love interest Juliet (Maggie Lawson). The string of guest stars over the years, from Curt Smith to Ally Sheedy to Cybill Shepard, also added to the overall mystique and drawing power that Psych had.
Another interesting note: it is no coincidence that CBS’ The Mentalist, about a guy that used to pretend to be a psychic and began working for the police, started it’s run following Psych’s first two seasons. In fact, several episodes of Psych even mentioned the CBS “ripoff”, with Shawn referring to its star, Simon Baker, or the actual series by name. It’s also probably no coincidence that I just happen to be a fan of both (but, for very different reasons).
Saying goodbye to Psych won’t be easy, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Admittedly, I haven’t been as impressed with the show in the past few seasons, although recent episodes such as “Psych the Musical” did reinvigorate the series some.
The announcement of Psych‘s end, which came in February, did seem a bit hasty, and there have been reports that the show was indeed cancelled by USA. Whatever the case, there is little doubt that us hardcore fans, affectionately known as “Psych-Os”, will keep our heroes in our hearts for a long time to come, both through syndication & DVD sales. Psych‘s final episode will air tomorrow, March 26th, at 8pm, and will be immediately followed by a retrospective titled the “Psych After Pshow”. I look forward to hearing other fans’ reactions to the finale after it airs.