By Rebecca Godwin, Daily Arts Writer
Published April 8, 2013
I love USA’s show “Psych.” I’ve loved it ever since it began in 2006, and I could barely contain my excitement when the long-awaited seventh season finally started back in February. But when I tried to share my love with a group of friends, they stared at me in confusion. They, like so many other people, had no idea what “Psych” was, which is a complete shame — because it’s easily one of the most entertaining shows on TV.
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The show centers around Shawn Spencer (James Roday, “Don’t Come Knocking”), whose father, a former police officer, trained him from a young age to have remarkable powers of observation and retention. Shawn uses these skills to call in tips to the police, a good deed that ultimately results in him being accused of a crime. He manages to avoid jail by claiming to be a psychic and offering to help the police. The lie proves so successful that he decides to open his very own psychic detective agency — thus begins “Psych.”
If the premise sounds a bit ridiculous, don’t worry. It’s supposed to be. There is very little about the series that isn’t silly, but that’s what makes it so fantastic. There are so few shows on TV right now that are willing to poke fun at themselves, while “Psych” rarely stops.
One of the best parts of the show is that jokes are never overblown and obvious. Too many other comedies rely on overused or outrageous gags to ensure no one misses the punchline, but the writers on “Psych” don’t care if you don’t understand every joke. This refusal to pander to the masses means the show has a greater variety of humor, ranging from run-of-the-mill slapstick, to elevated satire, to obscure movie references (usually from the 1980s).
A major source of humor on the show is the many continuing bits the cast has implemented that viewers have come to expect and enjoy. One of the best bits revolves around Shawn’s inability to introduce his business partner and best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill, “The West Wing”), by his real name. MC Clap Yo Handz, Doughnut Holschtein, Jonathan Jacob ‘Jingly’ Schmidt and Hummingbird Saltalamacchia are just a few of the many names Shawn has come up with over the years.
Some of the funniest jokes, though, are created when the writers address events happening in the real world. A prime example can be seen in the countless jabs at CBS’s “The Mentalist,” a show that was created after “Psych.” That show’s main character, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), just happens to possess many of the same abilities Shawn has.
Each episode is also 100-percent unique, and while story lines between characters carry over every week, you will never find Shawn and Gus in the same situation twice. In just the first few episodes of the seventh season, the pair has already joined the circus, hunted for Bigfoot and stopped a serial killer on an online dating website. Not to mention the many homage episodes, the most recent of which was a shout-out to the cult classic “Clue,” the 1985 movie based off of the board game.
But the best part about the whole show is how dedicated and thankful the cast and crew are to their fans. Many of them connect with fans on a regular basis through various social media platforms, often live-tweeting an episode. In 2011, the show even had its own “Fan Appreciation Day” in New York City, where they had a Q&A panel session as well as tons of contests and giveaways. They even allowed fans to choose the ending to the highly anticipated 100th episode.
There are dozens of other things I love about “Psych,” and if you tell me you’ve never heard it, don’t be offended if I tell you to “suck it” and then follow that up with a “don’t be a rapid porcupine.” You’ll just have to watch the show to figure out what I mean.