Polite ninjas. Pharmaceutical detectives. Hipster ex-cops. This may sound like a Mad Libs game gone wrong or a bad acid trip, but really, these are just some of the things you can expect to see in “Psych: The Movie.”
It’s been nearly four years since the world said goodbye to the zany goodness of cop dramedy “Psych.” But this past Thursday, fans were treated to an early holiday present. For 90 minutes only, the cult-classic show returned to its old network to give all of us who missed it a look into the meaningless banter and absurd shenanigans we’ve been thirsting for.
Three and a half years after they left our TV screens, Shawn Spencer (James Roday, “Pushing Dead”) and Co. have barely changed. Besides relocating from their beloved Santa Barbara to the streets of San Francisco, the “Psych” gang is still dealing with the mishaps that the show left off on. In the opening scene of the movie, Shawn is dressed up in a head-to-toe Hagrid costume, borrowed / stolen from best friend and detective partner Gus (Dulé Hill, “Suits”), of course. He’s at a black market looking for his grandmother’s engagement ring, which just so happened to be stolen off of him in the last scene of the series’ final episode, right as he was proposing to Juliet (Maggie Lawson, “The Great Indoors”). From here, the movie launches into its main conflicts, with Shawn obsessively searching for the ring while also helping Juliet and police chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson, “Versus”) hunt down vengeful prisoners from their past.
Yet, in true “Psych” fashion, the plot is secondary to the characters and dialogue. “Psych” has always thrived in its absurdity. Its magic is founded in how truly ridiculous it is. So while the movie is filled with predictable plot resolutions and cheesy lines, these elements play into the comedic trademark of the show that sets it apart from anything else. It really is the only show that could have a bizarre dream sequence with the ghost of Princess Leia and a gruesome fight scene accompanied by “Deck the Halls” playing merrily in the background, and still get rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
So for such a beloved show, “Psych” creator Steve Franks had the difficult task of crafting a movie that would satisfy fans after more than three years of silence. This proved to be even more difficult after Timothy Omundson (“Castlevania”), who plays the stern-yet-loveable Carlton Lassiter, suffered a stroke right before shooting was set to begin. Though the absence was noticeable, Omundson managed to make a poignant cameo and delivered probably the most perfect Lassiter speech to his old partner, Juliet. It was just 45 seconds long, but Omundon’s appearance tied the entire movie together, ensuring viewers that nothing from the original series would be left untouched.
Of course, when something you love goes away and comes back, nothing ever feels like enough. “Psych: The Movie” was as perfect a gift to fans as could be, but saying goodbye once was hard enough, how could we possibly do it again? Luckily, the movie ended on a note that might just suggest this isn't the last we’ll be seeing of our favorite goofball crimefighters. But until we know for sure: embrace the deception, learn how to bend. Your worst inhibitions tend to psych you out in the end.