Psych on USA Network is a clever show starring James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police who dupes people into thinking he is a psychic by keenly observing different things. The show also stars Dulé Hill as Shawn’s best friend and sometimes whipping boy of bad jokes Burton “Gus” Guster. The two bring a refreshing comedic tandem to the tube, referencing bad 80s movies and random book characters.
The show’s sense of humor is extremely sharp and I have often found that when watching reruns, I get jokes that went over my head the first time. The banter (which is sometimes downright childish) is along the lines of House minus the sarcasm and darkness. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have laughed out loud watching Shawn and Gus go at it, with Gus usually losing the verbal battle. I think that Dulé Hill is perfect in the role of a pharmaceutical distributor with a sense of humor. I felt on the West Wing he was a bit serious and didn’t show a lot of emotion. On Psych, he seems more natural, bringing the writing of the show to life by putting his own spin on lines.
One thing the show features at the end of every episode (and on its website) are outtakes called Psych-outs. These are extremely funny one to two minute clips of outtakes where someone messes up a line or does something goofy. It’s a microcosm of the show—the actors are faking their roles and when they make a mistake, they show their real side. Everything about the crime solving in Psych plays off duplicity.
Another unique part of the show is actually one of the commercials affiliated with the show. Each episode features an animated segment called “The Big Adventures Of Little Shawn And Gus”. It’s simple—it tells a quick thirty second story back when Shawn and Gus were kids. Of course some are better than others but for the most part it usually provides for a good laugh (and keeps viewers tuned into the channel during breaks).
The final, very distinct part of the show lies in a fruit. Yes, you read correctly, a fruit. As dumb as it seems, the producers feature a pineapple in every episode. The reason they do this is to force the viewers to do what Shawn is so adept at doing—making observations. Apparently, USA offers a contest online where you can submit your online entry of where the pineapple was in the episode. Sometimes the pineapple is out in the open, but recently they’ve upped the ante and have made it a bit more difficult. Not only does it make the viewer pay attention to the show for clues pertaining to the storyline, but also to find the pineapple.
Psych is a very, very creative show and I don’t think there’s another out there like it. Psych is on USA Network with new episodes airing Fridays at 10/9 pm.
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