Psych official poster

Adventures in Binging: ‘Psych’

I’d always been vaguely aware of Psych. Not because I’d seen commercials or clips of it, but because my younger cousin and her family watched the show when it was on the air. But for some reason, I didn’t. At least not until recently.

For the record, I didn’t just watch all eight seasons of Psych. I also watched both movies (Psych: The Movie and Psych 2: Lassie Come Home). And part of me still wishes there were more. The show, in its entirety, is a great buddy cop show with cultural references comparable to Gilmore Girls while paying homage to classic films. Not only through overall tones of episodes but (most of) the main cast of The Breakfast Club guest starred throughout multiple episodes. As an avid TV and film watcher, that type of attention to detail was very much appreciated.

For anyone that doesn’t know what Psych is, it’s a show about Shawn and his best friend, Gus, who work with the SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Department), under the guise of a psychic. In reality, Shawn just has really sharp investigative skills (thanks to a lifetime of learning from his cop father, Henry) and photographic memory.

The Yin/Yang Episodes

A still from "Mr. Yin Presents" with Juliet (played by Maggie Lawson) tied to a a chair with a clock tower shown behind her with serial killer Yin in all black, even concealing his face, wearing a black fedora and holding a piece of paper.

I, as I presume many other fans, tend to favor the big episodes. AKA the Yin/Yang episodes as well as the musical episode. And I guess the musical episode counts as a Yin/Yang episode as well because Yang play a pretty big role. Yin and Yang, in this case, is more than just a concept, but instead, a serial killer. Or rather, two. It begins in the third season’s finale episode and even goes on to play a part in the first movie.

I won’t spoil the whole thing but “Mr. Yin Presents” from the fourth season is definitely my favorite iteration. It plays homage to a whole collection of Alfred Hitchcock films and is beautifully shot.

The Musical Episode

(from left) Shawn (played by James Roday Rodriguez), Juliet (played by Maggie Lawson) and Detective Lassiter (played by Timothy Omundson) posing on a staircase during a musical number from the musical episode of Psych

The musical, though a little long (length-wise), is also fun. And knowing that it took seven years to make (in culmination) is clear. The episode itself involves tracking down a criminal and mental patient that was also a playwright. So, the theme of the entire episode being a musical works well. Plus, “Santa Barbara Skies” has been stuck in my head for the past two weeks. Though, it probably doesn’t help that I listen to it every now and then.

Another few episodes that I like to rewatch are the Despereaux episodes. Pierre Despereaux to be more specific. Shawn and Gus go after an art thief that Detective Lassiter has been after for years, and even the conclusion episode still opens the door for more Despereaux episodes in the future.

Final thoughts

Maggie Lawson and Timothy Omundson in "the episode titled, 1967: A Psych Odyssey", playing Scarlett Jones and Archie.

All in all, Psych was a great show to watch and continually rewatch. The cast can bounce off each other expertly through a lot of improvisation. That paired with the great writing makes the show the perfect smorgasbord of weird. Which is right up my alley.

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