Tele-Tuesday: Astute or Psychic?

Which show can be described as a police procedural, detective drama, quirky comedy, and an ‘80s and ’90s throwback?

The USA Network’s Psych!

Shawn Spencer (James Roday, Miss Match) was an ornery young boy raised by his single cop dad (Henry Spencer played by Corbin Bernsen, L.A. Law).  Okay, Shawn is still a bit ornery today.  From a very early age, Shawn’s dad taught him to pay close attention to details; and, it’s this astute ability that has allowed Shawn to trick everyone around him into believing he is psychic.

Everyone, that is, except for his father and his best friend, partner, and pharmaceutical salesman Burton ‘Gus’ Guster (Dule Hill, The West Wing).

Each episode begins with a flashback to the ‘80s when Shawn and Gus were young boys.  Often times, this childhood scene depicts an observational lesson from Henry, or a direct memory from Shawn and Gus’ past (like remembering their old classmate, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) that will relate directly to the current week’s episode.

After assisting the Santa Barbara Police Department on a case, Shawn and Gus establish Psych, their psychic consulting firm.  Hired on a case by case basis by Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson), Shawn and Gus work alongside detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson, Judging Amy) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson, TV movies Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover).

Most of Psych’s fun spawns from the banter between Shawn and Gus, Lassie’s constant frustration and exasperation with the two Psych consultants, and the familiar (Shawn and Henry) and romantic (Shawn and Jules) relationships shared between characters.

Fan of the ‘80s? ‘90s? Look no further!  Psych not only casts familiar faces from the decades, but also includes puns on particular storylines.

Famous ‘80s and ’90s recurring guest stars include Phylicia Rashad as Gus’ mom (The Cosby Show), Cybill Shepherd as Shawn’s mom (Moonlighting), and Ray Wise as Father Westley (Twin Peaks).

Shawn’s nemeses are all ‘80s greats as well: Yin (Peter Weller, Robocop), Yang (Ally Sheedy, member of the “Brat Pack”), and Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes, The Princess Bride).

One of the best episodes to date was the Twin Peaks tribute in season five, “Dual Spires”.  James Roday outdid himself writing the episode: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and, he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the dead girl’s body wrapped in plastic found by the water, the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.

Psych even changed the opening credits to honor Twin Peaks.  This wasn’t the first time the program made subtle changes to the music to reflect the current episode’s theme (just a little fun-Psych-“I Know You Know”-fact).

Back to the blasts from the past, let’s not forget these additional ‘80s and ‘90s guest stars: Jaleel White (Family Matters), Rachael Leigh Cook from She’s All That, “Brat Pack” member Judd Nelson, C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show), Mena Suvari (American Pie), Carl Weathers (Rocky), and Twin Peaks alumni Dana Ashbrook, Sherilyn Fenn, and Sheryl Lee.

Need more? The new season promises to bring a few new faces from the ‘80s and ‘90s: Molly Ringwald (another “Brat-Pack” member), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block), Jason Priestley (the original 90210), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon movies), William Shatner (Star Trek movies), and Madchen Amick (another Twin Peaks alumnus).

Rumor has it that this season will also include an Indiana Jones themed episode.  No doubt this will be fabulous!

Psych returns this Wednesday, October 12th.

Do you watch Psych?  Shawn or Gus?  Lassie or Henry?  Who is your favorite guest star to date?  Do you look for the pineapple in each episode?  I’d love to hear from you! 

30 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: Astute or Psychic?”

  1. Psych is one of those shows I watch occasionally and always love. It’s funny and original, and like you pointed out, has great guest stars. I love that the guy isn’t really psychic but has so many people fooled, and Dule Hill always cracks me up.

  2. Used to love watching this show back when we had cable – one of the few I would look out for and watch on purpose (as opposed to flicking channels until I found something that looked fun). The interaction between the two friends makes it, for me. Definitely worth a watch for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

    1. I agree 100%, Cheryl. Shawn and Gus, better yet, Roday and Dule, have the best on-screen chemistry. They play off of each other perhaps better than any other duo on TV, IMO. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Geek time! I love that James Roday is representin’ for the Latin folks. What’s that, you say? His real name is James Rodriguez. That’s right. He is half Mexican.

    Also, his romantic interest in the show is his real life lady. The chemistry between the two is the real deal.

    Added info aside, I love this show, for many of the reasons you list. The inside jokes are very specific to not only a decade but even within a small window of that time period.

    1. Amber, did you know he’s Texan? It seems that all of the men that I adore on TV today are from my beautiful state! Matt Bomar, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki…..Ian Somerhalder isn’t from Texas, but Louisiana is close enough. LOL

      Roday’s stock went up in my book when I learned that he writes a lot of the Psych material. I relate to so many of his inside jokes and tune in because of it. I’m very excited for the new season.

      But, I really do love Guster….he cracks me up! 🙂

  4. I liked Psych. My husband didn’t. Guess what we don’t watch anymore?

    We had the same disagreement with Monk, which we also no longer watch. We operate on equal rights in this house, though. Hubby liked Necessary Roughness. I didn’t, though, so we no longer watch it.

    Great review on Psych. I didn’t realize they ran an 80s flashback theme. Very cool and right up my alley. 😀

    1. Ah, this makes me sad, but I do understand the importance of compromise.

      I definitely watch more TV than my guy. We have his/hers and ours on the DVR. It’s hard to find the necessary time to watch everything, but somehow we make it work! Thanks for stopping by, Catie!

  5. Oh Catie, come on over & we’ll watch Monk & Psych together!

    Roday & Hill may be the best buddy team on TV right now. You know I LOVE this show, Tiffany! I’m eager for its premiere. But the Twin Peaks episode went right past me, since I’d never seen Twin Peaks. Corbin Bernsen is one of my favorite parts of the show. (I’m actually to that age where the elder Spencer is more appealing to me than the younger one. It happens.) I love the upcoming guest star list. Thanks for giving us the preview.

    That’s all. Gotta go watch Castle online now – another fave.

    1. I agree completely about the duo of Roday & Hill, Julie! I wonder if we can convince Catie to give it another try….glad you enjoyed the post!

      Guess what I just read – Psych is moving to NBC in April. I need to go research and potentially update my post!

  6. Fun post! I havent seen Psych but want to – now I must. And I love Dule Hill from the West Wing, just finishing watching the last episode of it again on NetFlix so need a new show now!

  7. I LOVE Psych SO much! It is one of my favorite shows. Shawn is absolutely brilliantly hilarious (and he reminds me a lot of my brother, which is kinda terrifying), and I LOVE all the 80s references. But I think my favorite character would have to be Lassiter. Partly he’s simply an awesome character, and partly it’s just that I love Timothy Omundson. I cannot tell you how excited I am for the new season!!!

    @Piper: You DEFINITELY need to watch this show!

    1. Amanda, it’s always nice to meet another HUGE Psych fan. Amber West too. 🙂 I started watching because of the general premise, and the fact it was on USA, but I watch now because I love the chemistry between all of the characters – especially Roday and Hill – and the ’80s references. I didn’t really know Omundson before, but agree that Lassie is great. I enjoy following Hill on Twitter, he takes a ton of production photos. It seems Omundson is as goofy in real life. LOL Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I had no idea what a large cast of big names this show had. How will I ever get to all these awesome shows you tell us about?

    Side note, have you seen previews for Grimm? I’m curious about that one, even if it is ANOTHER paranormal tv show.

    1. Psych is fun, Jess. Nothing too serious, even when Shawn is battling a serial killer. Each episode is light and comedic – and you will love the characters (IMO).

      I am looking forward to Grimm. I’m a bit bummed it was pushed back a week by the network. I hope that’s not a bad sign? Now it starts 10/28. I’ll definitely be checking it out! I hope it’s a darker take on the fairytale world. It seems like it will be…

  9. Yes! I shoulda known you’d know. Whaaaaat? I just wrote about Psych my own self. Best show on TV. I didn’t know about the Indiana Jones themed show coming this season. That’s great! Did you know they have a Clue episode as well? It’ll be the greatest TV in years.

    1. Clay, I did NOT know about the Clue episode. Whaaaaat? You have no idea how very excited I am right now…..I watched the movie so many times when I was younger. Heck, I thought I was Miss White even though I wanted to be Miss Scarlett….in the library with a candlestick Muahahahahaha. Thank you for stopping by!

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