Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Motive

Adjusting to life as a new mom is not easy, although wonderful.  However, regardless of the joy, I still have the need to get back to some sort of normalcy.  Therefore, I have decided it’s time to throw out another new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering whether or not ABC’s Motive is worth a watch, this post is for you!

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the “why” in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

ABC’s crime drama, Motive, changes all of that.

The series, now in its second season, follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) as they work homicide cases.

Detectives Flynn and Vega

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive identifies the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode before we even see the crime scene.  Now that’s unique… and I absolutely love the format!

For the most part, Motive is like all the other police procedurals out there… the detectives inherit a case and work the scene from the ground up, looking primarily for the “who” and the “why.”  But with ABC’s drama (actually, Motive is a Canadian TV series that has been picked up by ABC the past two summers…), viewers get to see the “who” and “why” before anything else.  The show flashes back throughout the entire hour, telling us the stories of both the killer and the victim, and very little about the detectives and their personal lives.

That’s right.  Motive is more about the crimes than it is the stars of the show.  Having missed the pilot last year, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touched on that relationship… but there was enough to give the no-nonsense detective a heart (I’m not saying she’s callous, it’s just that she’s not on the job to make friends).

Detective Flynn is a closer…

Anyway…

Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.

And by the way, the crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Warren Christie (Alphas) as the new boss, Sergeant Mark Cross.

Dr. Rogers is a small role for Lauren Holly, but it’s nice to see her back on TV.

So what’s the verdict?  Motive is different enough from the other police procedurals on TV.  I’ll give it at least that.  But do I like it more than all the others?  Not really.  But kinda.

That’s right; I’m torn. I do really like how the series focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  And I am REALLY glad ABC picked up the second season. However, watching police procedurals is like standing on the chip aisle at the local grocery.  There are so many different brands and flavors to choose from, each bag with its own unique twist, that we only have time to grab a few here and there each time or our grocery basket would be nothing but chips. For that, Motive earns the JFTV rating.

Luckily for this one, it airs during the summer and doesn’t have a whole lot of competition. But the more I watch, the more I think it could hold its own with other police procedurals during the regular fall to spring television schedule. And I already find myself hoping for a third season…

Bottom line? Motive is my favorite summer crime drama (on the basic network TV channels).

Do you watch Motive? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Mistresses

I’ve been quiet here lately,  but for good reason (if you ask me)…. I had a baby!

My Little Guy's Monkey Feet
My Little Guy’s Monkey Feet

I am trying to slowly get back into the swing of things, despite all of these new and very important tasks filling my days and nights, and have decided it’s time to throw out a new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering about ABC’s Mistresses, this post is for you!

Based on the popular British television series of the same name, Mistresses is a sexy drama following the lives of four girlfriends as they discover who they really are via their friendships, relationships, and sex.

Sound familiar?  I’m thinking of one of my favorites here… Sex and the City.

The series stars: Alyssa Milano (Charmed) as Savannah “Savi” Davis, who is learning to cope with loss and starting over in both her personal and professional life; Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Savi’s single and carefree younger sister, who has recently launched a brand new career; Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7 and The Forgotten) as April Malloy, a single mother, who owns her own boutique shop; and Junjin Kim (Lost) as Karen Kim, a formerly successful therapist, whose practice fell apart following an affair with one of her patients… and his son.

All four women are beautiful; they’re all successful; and they’ve all got issues.  Serious issues.

The series began last year with hot and steamy sex… for network TV.  Viewers watched Savi and her husband “role playing” during their attempts to make a baby.  We also first met Joss while she was having a little “afternoon delight” with her then boss.  And let’s not forget about the flashback sex scenes between Karen and her patient.  In season one, April was the only one not sweating between the sheets—but things certainly do change in season two.

Savi trying to be zen…

There for a while, it appeared prime time soap operas were a thing of the past.  Mistresses, however, definitely brings the drama and the sexy back to television…

First, let’s meet the girls.

When Savi and her husband (Harry) learned of their fertility issues last season, he pushed her away as he blamed and punished himself for having abnormal sperm.  This catapulted Savi into the arms of her coworker (Dominick) and they had one night of hot, steamy sex.  And guess what?  She discovered she was pregnant…she didn’t know who the father was… she came clean to Harry, ruining their marriage… and the season ended just as her car was smashed by another in a highway accident. Sadly, Savi lost her baby and her husband. But she also found a light at the end of the tunnel—Dom. Who cares if he’s now her boss?

Meanwhile, as if sleeping with her dying (now dead) patient wasn’t a big enough issue for Karen, the patient’s family couldn’t seem to stop themselves from leaning on her.  His wife didn’t appear to have a clue about the affair (at first), but his son knew there was another woman and he wanted answers… from Karen. One thing led to another… she slept with the son… the wife tried to kill her… her partner reported her to the board and she lost her license to practice… a total downward spiral. Now she’s back, working at the Emergency Room and with one patient in a brand new solo-practice. Karen’s life seems to be back on track. But is it?

Then there’s April… poor April.  Last season, she had a hard time letting go of her dead husband, so much so that she believed that a few prank calls she had received were actually his ghost telling her to not move on.  But it turns out those calls weren’t from her husband, they were from her husband’s mistress and their illegitimate son.  As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, the woman wanted money… after all, her son was entitled to some of the inheritance April’s daughter received from the insurance company—right? Next, April’s supposedly dead ex showed up on her front doorstep. That’s right; he faked his own death. It took her a while, but she finally kicked them both to the curb, somehow managing to keep all of this from her adolescent daughter. Now, April is on the rebound…

And last but not least, we have Joss… we discovered early on that she had climbed her way to the top of her realty company by sleeping with her boss.  But he left and her new boss wasn’t falling for any of her tricks (at first).  Work didn’t seem to be what she was best at, but she surprisingly got her act together. Now, Joss has left realty for a career in event planning. And somehow, she has found herself as the voice of reason when it comes to her sister, ex-brother-in-law/business partner, and her friends. I’m just waiting for the old Joss to return…

April, Joss, and Karen

Now, let’s talk about the title for a minute.

According to Webster, a mistress is a woman who is the head of a household, country, or state… or a woman with whom a man is having a prolonged affair with.

Let’s focus on the latter.

Not only do I watch a lot of television programs, but I also enjoy a good talk show here and there.  Especially when the guests are stars I like.  Alyssa Milano stated in at least two TV interviews that I watched that the girls, her character included, are not all mistresses.  Not by the definition we are most familiar with anyway.  She included the show is in no way glorifying mistresses or situations that tend to break up marriages and relationships… (even if it does seem to us, the TV audience, that each woman is connected to a traditional mistress in one way or another—it’s true; I know people who stopped watching the program for this very reason very early on in season one).

Ms. Milano also stated in an interview that while this program is based on the BBC series, the writers took an entire season of the British version and wrapped up the storyline in one episode… I’m assuming that was the pilot… and that this series is all its own.

I went into Mistresses not expecting to like it.  For one, I’m a big Sex and the City fan and initially felt this series was trying to cash in on Carrie’s and the girls’ success.  But because I’m an Alyssa Milano fan (I watched Who’s the Boss? as a little girl and LOVED Charmed more than words can say), I knew I’d give it a shot.

And after season one, it turned into my new summer guilty pleasure… I was thrilled when ABC gave the show a renewal.

Mistresses earns the JFTV rating.  It’s definitely not good for us, but I couldn’t stop at just one episode. Heck, I couldn’t stop at just one season. And despite having difficulty finding a lot of time to watch (and pay attention to) my television series right now with the new addition to our family, I am all caught up on this one.

Do you watch Mistresses? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – 24: Live Another Day

That’s right; Jack is back!

And not just Jack.  Chloe O’Brian too.

A reboot of the very popular 24, 24: Live Another Day premiered Monday night and will consist of twelve episodes—more like a miniseries than an entirely new season.  And while fans are accustomed to the set up of each episode ticking down one hour in Jack’s crazy schedule, it is rumored we will have to adjust a tiny bit to the shorter series with a few hours skipped here and there. But Monday night was true to form—two consecutive hours in Jack Bauer’s hectic day trying to save the world… or in this case, the American president on foreign soil.

Besides Jack and Chloe, 24 produced many popular characters over the years.  And sadly, some of them died.  Heck, most of them…

President David Palmer

Curtis Manning – probably my favorite

Tony Almeida

Michelle Dessler

Bill Buchanan

Renee Walker

And even though he was hated by many, President Charles Logan.

But there are also the fan favorites that survived to see another day…

 Audrey Raines

Aaron Pierce

President Allison Taylor

Karen Hayes

Martha Logan

James Heller

Cole Ortiz

And last but not least, Kim Bauer.

And guess what? I was thrilled to see Audrey and her daddy, now President Heller, back as well in the new series. Not to mention, I fully expect to see at least a few other familiar faces through the 12-episode arc. But I guess we’ll see…

And like any new season, we have new faces (albeit familiar from other projects):

 Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order)

Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)

And, Tate Donovan (Damages and Deception)

So, what about the premiere of 24: Live Another Day?

First, call me crazy. That’s right – crazy. It wasn’t until my guy, my family, and I started reminiscing about the old 24 that I realized just how much Jack yelled. It never dawned on me. But yeah, Jack yells a lot. Yet still, watching the new episode Monday night, I didn’t notice a lot of yelling…  am I crazy?  Did anyone else notice?  Or were you just as wrapped up in the fast-paced episode that you too didn’t hear a lot of yelling?

Secondly, my guy and I made a bet:

How many terrorists/bad guys/people will Jack fight/shoot/stab/blow up/etc?

I went with eight. It was a two-hour episode, which meant approximately forty minutes an hour, totaling eighty minutes of Jack. That’s one terrorist/bad guy/person every ten minutes.

My guy took the overs… as in more than eight.

He won, but not by much. I was surprised. I can’t remember the exact number, but it doesn’t matter—I lost and the action did not disappoint.

Nothing really did, disappoint that is, at least not as far as I’m concerned. I did have a few crooked people pegged from the get go, but that’s alright. The main storyline, at this point anyway, is a good one. And knowing the creators, there’s still a ton left we haven’t seen yet.

And I can’t wait for it all to unravel…

Did you watch 24: Live Another Day?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Still Unforgettable

Oh, the decisions made by the television networks today…

CBS aired a new program back in 2012—Unforgettable. By the end of the first season, the network cancelled it.

However, it seemed the network executives couldn’t quite forget about Unforgettable

That’s right… a network actually admitted (in a roundabout way) that they were wrong, or at least hasty, in one of their decisions.  And this doesn’t happen often—ever really—but CBS officially picked up Unforgettable for a second season last summer after canning it a little over twelve months earlier.

And now? Now Unforgettable is back for its third season!! It’s a crazy world we live in, I tell ya.

So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, we’re taking a look back at Unforgettable… a show that I honestly think keeps getting better with each passing season.

The CBS series stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former Syracuse detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day, except for the murder of her sister when she was a child.   When asked to help the New York City police solve a crime that took place outside her apartment that she sort-of witnessed, Carrie is reunited with her ex beau and partner, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck).

After assisting with the one case, Carrie decides to join Al and the NYC force with one major goal—solve her sister’s murder.

The other detectives on the squad (Detective Mike Costello, played byMichael Gaston of The Mentalist, and Detective Nina Inara, played by Daya Vaidya from Robbery Homicide Division) aren’t quite sure what to think of Carrie; both react as if they think she is weird and don’t appear to want to get to know her on a more personal level.  At first.

But Detective Roe Sanders (Kevin Rankin from Trauma) actually takes an interest in Carrie; he’s amazed with her recall and often times tests her memory, trying to catch her in a slip.  This friendly banter prompts Carrie and Al to open up and share her history and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death with Sanders.

Toward the end of season one, Unforgettable added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites… and who doesn’t remember Ms. Curtin from SNL back in the day?).

Sadly, all of these characters (with the exception of Carrie, Al, and Jo) are now all gone. With the reboot of season two, the show’s creators went in a different direction with a new cast.

Now, Carrie and Al work for NYC’s Major Crime Division with an entirely new team. Led by Eliot Delson (Dallas Roberts, The Walking Dead), the two work alongside Jay Lee (James Hiroyuki Liao, Prison Break)—the man usually behind the computers—and Cherie Rollins-Murray (Tawny Cypress, Heroes).

Carrie Wells is the ideal detective; especially considering she’s the perfect study subject for a mystery writer as she recalls everything about a crime scene.  Additionally, I absolutely adore Dylan Walsh; while I like Poppy Montgomery (big fan of Without a Trace and love the red hair), I initially watched Unforgettable because of Dr. Sean McNamara (Walsh’s character from Nip/Tuck).

Then there’s the story… during the first season, the writers gave viewers not only the fresh case every week, typical of TV’s police procedurals, but also the ongoing serial mystery behind Carrie’s sister’s murder.  However, there was one downfall… the individual cases seemed a bit too predictable for me.  I personally don’t like to watch one-hour crime dramas only to have the “bad guy” figured out in the first ten or so minutes (my guy likes to call me a TV ninja; I’ve had to learn to keep my opinions to myself while watching police procedurals or I ruin it for him).

But don’t get me wrong; I still recorded every new episode the first year and usually watched Poppy and the boys within a week… and I remember thinking it was a shame the show was in danger of cancellation after the season finale.  Not to mention, I consider most crime dramas great writing research.

After the reboot in season two, I felt the storylines were a bit more enjoyable. And I must say, season three’s episodes are even better.  Really.  They are.

For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable—the early predictability aside, I wasn’t lying when I said season three is the best yet… and I’m hooked like a fiend.

Do you watch Unforgettable?  What do you think – is season three the best yet?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The End of Warehouse 13

Last week, one of my favorite SyFy series returned for its final season. I like it when I network actually lets a show’s creators know in advance that the series is set to end, giving them a chance to wrap everything up nicely with a big red bow. So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m revisiting an older post from 2011, featuring Warehouse 13. And I’m asking you—how will it end?

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents.

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS?

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personable, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?).

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since.

Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers. A girl after my own heart…

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food.

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen.

The two partners share a cute relationship—it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes.

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse… or at least we’re led to believe that was the first Artie and the Board of Regents had hears about Claudia, until recently, that is.

A few other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s, who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigned.

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents communicate with one another visually and telephonically via a “Farnsworth” in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents fire a “Tesla Gun”—a weapon that shoots lightning bolts and stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing them inside metallic “flash” bags.

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons, including: Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch—it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.  That’s why Warehouse 13 earns the JFTV rating… it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on? And if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?  

Better yet, how do you think the series will end? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Psych-O for Psych – My Top 15 Episodes, Part 2

One of my all-time favorite programs ends this week – the USA Network’s Psych.
What is Psych? This one hour television series masterfully combines the classic police procedural and detective drama with quirky laughs and top-notch pop culture references.

To celebrate what I consider to be one of the best television shows EVER, I have decided to list my top 15 Psych episodes to help everyone get ready for the end… the end of “psychic” Shawn Spencer (James Roday), his right-hand-man, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill), Detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson), and Shawn’s retired detective father, Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen).

This selection process was difficult, considering how many times the Psych writers and actors have knocked the ball WAY OUT of the park. But we selected our top 15, nonetheless.

Sit back, relax, and grab a cup of coffee or perhaps a tasty pineapple – this is a long post, but couldn’t be avoided. Enjoy!

And now for episodes 1 – 7…

*****

7. “Yang 3 in 2D” (Season 5)

The Yin and Yang storyline is hands down one of the top highlights of the Psych era. Since our first introduction in season three, we’ve watched multiple episodes featuring Shawn’s biggest nemeses. Sorry to throw a Yang storyline in here at number six (essentially out-of-order if one is not familiar with the series), but we’ll provide more detail below in the top five.

After a woman (Mena Suvari) claims to have escaped the elusive Yin (Peter Weller), Shawn cannot help but investigate, knowing that Yin is responsible for Yang’s (Ally Sheedy) psychopathic nature and her years of tormenting him. Shawn uses Yang, against everyone else’s better judgment, to face the evil behind the deranged.

Yes, this summary is cryptic but we didn’t want to give too much away…

6. “Murder? … Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?” (Season 3)

Psych “Murder? … Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?” (Season 3)

What could go wrong when Shawn and Gus attend their high school reunion? Well murder, of course. But there’s only one problem – there’s no body. Without the body, no one believes Shawn. So Shawn does what he does best – he pushes forward until he uncovers all of the necessary clues to solve the case.

Oh, and he reconnects with a girl he dissed in high school (Abigail, played by Rachael Leigh Cook) which begins an ongoing relationship for Shawn.

5. “Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast” (Season 1)

Psych - "Scary Sherry"

We love when Jules gets more involved in the cases, and our favorite episode of the entire first season follows Jules as she goes undercover in a sorority house. She invites Shawn and Gus to help as she investigates a series of bizarre events seemingly related to an earlier suicide at an insane asylum.

Sorority house, undercover assignment, insane asylum, alleged ghosts – who could want more in an episode?

4. “An Evening with Mr. Yang” (Season 3)

Psych "an Evening with Mr. Yang"

We could almost say this episode is where it all begins, but that would be a lie considering we’re in season three. This is, however, the introduction of Yang (Ally Sheedy). Yang is a serial killer who has set her sights on Shawn and those dearest to him. Shawn mistakenly suspects a psychologist (Mary, played by Jimmi Simpson) as Yang, but soon discovers that he is dealing with another deranged madman (or woman in this case) all together.

Things intensify on Shawn and Abigail’s date at the drive-in when Yang kidnaps Shawn’s mother (Madeleine Spencer, played by Cybill Shepherd). Will Shawn’s astute attention to detail save his mother’s life and allow him to capture Yang before it is too late?

3. “Mr. Yin Presents…” (Season 4)

As reminded by the Ion Television Psych Saturday evening marathons, “Mr. Yin Presents” is by far one of the best episodes to date. The episode begins when Shawn and Gus are reminded of a former foe – Yang. After she releases her new book, a book she has written from her new home inside an insane asylum, another familiar face returns (Mary, Jimmi Simpson). Mary insists that Yang was working with a partner, so Shawn and Gus agree to interview her hoping for answers.

Yang gives them what they ask for – confirmation that she has a partner: Yin. Everyone is drawn into Yin’s game – a game consisting of scenes from classic Alfred Hitchcock movies. Shawn, Gus, Henry, Lassie and Jules are separated into different Hitchcock scenes, when both of Shawn’s loves (Jules and Abigail) are kidnapped. Who will Shawn choose to rescue and who will die?

2. “100 Clues” (Episode 7)

Psych "100 Clues"

Celebrating its 100th episode, Psych paid tribute to the 1985 classic, Clue. As with all of the “special” episodes, the show’s creators and writers went all out, honoring the film with the singing telegram, the dinner party at a mansion, the falling chandelier, and a party full of guests capable of committing murder—including the all-knowing butler and familiar faces from the original Clue movie. From the scurrying around from room to room, speculating who killed whom in which room and with what weapon, this episode was non-stop fun from start to finish.

And speaking of the finish… fans watching live were able to vote on just who they wanted the killer to be. My vote lost.

In addition to the actors featured from the movie (Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, and Christopher Lloyd), the episode also starred many other familiar faces from popular ‘80s and ‘90s works: Curt Smith (Tears for Fears), Steve Valentine (Crossing Jordan), and Garrett Mims (the early days of Saturday Night Live).

And Number 1… Drum roll please…. “Dual Spires” (Season 5)

Psych "Dual Spires"

Shawn and Gus travel to Dual Spires looking forward to a cinnamon festival they learned about via a mysterious email, but instead find a murdered teenage girl wrapped in plastic down by the water. Together they join forces with the town’s sheriff to solve the murder.

We could go on and on about this episode. James Roday outdid himself writing this piece: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery from the ‘90s, Twin Peaks; 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 diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.

Even better yet, Psych cast a few of the Twin Peaks alumni for the episode: Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), and Sherilyn Finn (Audrey Horne).

Every once in a while, Psych adjusts the opening theme song to appropriately fit the night’s episode. Needless to say, “Dual Spires” was one of those episodes – and the show’s creators invited Julee Cruise to sing the opening (that’s right! She also sang the Twin Peaks’ opening).

“Dual Spires” inspired me to write a “thank you” note to the producers of Psych at the USA Network. While I didn’t hear back from James Roday himself, I did receive an email from one of the producers thanking me for the kind words and assuring me that my note would please Roday, considering this episode was one of his creations. Maybe she never shared my note, but it doesn’t matter. I felt better expressing my gratitude for an episode VERY well done.

*****

Do you watch Psych? What’s your favorite episode? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Psych-O for Psych – My Top 15 Episodes, Part 1

One of my all-time favorite programs ends this week – the USA Network’s Psych.
What is Psych? This one hour television series masterfully combines the classic police procedural and detective drama with quirky laughs and top-notch pop culture references.

To celebrate what I consider to be one of the best television shows EVER, I have decided to list my top 15 Psych episodes to help everyone get ready for the end… the end of “psychic” Shawn Spencer (James Roday), his right-hand-man, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill), Detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson), and Shawn’s retired detective father, Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen).

This selection process was difficult, considering how many times the Psych writers and actors have knocked the ball WAY OUT of the park. But we selected our top 15, nonetheless.

Sit back, relax, and grab a cup of coffee or perhaps a tasty pineapple – this is a long post, but couldn’t be avoided. Enjoy!

And now for episodes 8 – 15…

*****

15. “Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark” (Season 4)

While investigating a case sans Gus, Shawn finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time… and is kidnapped. Not only that, but the bad guys shoot him. As his life hangs in the balance, he uses the skills his father has taught him over the years and he leaves as many clues as possible so his friends can find him. Everyone works together—Henry and Lassie partner up, as do Jules and Gus. Pretending to believe his life is coming to an end, Shawn convinces the kidnappers to let him call his girlfriend; but instead of calling his girlfriend (Abigail, played by Rachael Leigh Cook from She’s All That), he calls Jules.

Granted, this episode takes place before Shawn and Jules profess their love for one another… up until this point, their relationship was a bit of a back-and-forth game with one on board, while the other was not. But this episode gave viewers what they wanted at the time—Shawn’s and Jules’ true feelings were revealed. Very intense episode…

14. “Heeeeere’s Lassie” (Season 6)

When the team investigates an apparent hanging at a local apartment building, Lassie jumps at the chance to purchase the newly available condo. But in a tribute to the 1980 classic horror film, The Shining, spooky things keep him up late at night… including two older twin sisters and a small boy riding his big wheels through the hallways. With Shawn and Gus armed and dressed like the Ghostbusters, they spend the night in the apartment, hoping to rid Lassie’s new place from all things evil. Be sure to pay special attention to Dule Hill and his spot-on impressions of The Shining’s Shelley Duvall…

Need some ‘80s pop culture? Louis Gossett, Jr. (from the popular ‘80s Hollywood blockbusters An Officer and a Gentleman, Jaws 3-D, and Iron Eagle) guest stars as the building manager.

13. “Let’s Get Hairy” (Season 4)

Psych “Let’s Get Hairy” (Season 4)

For the most part, our favorite “Psych” consultants work cases for the Santa Barbara Police Department… but every once in a while, a stranger walks in off the street needing their help. And since Shawn and Gus always need the money, they rarely, if ever, turn someone away—regardless of how crazy the request. So when a man (Josh Malina, Scandal, and also Dule Hill’s West Wing co-star) hires them to watch him transform into a werewolf, Shawn and Gus oblige. Of course they don’t really take him seriously and they fall asleep on the job, literally, only to discover their client missing when they wake up. But it’s not just that—a window is shattered and they discover animal hair.

Psych once again pays tribute to another ‘80s classic (An American Werewolf in London) in this episode with guest star David Naughton (the “American Werewolf” from the 1981 film), as well as the memorable balloon scene from the movie.

12. “Tuesday the 17th” (Season 3)

What do we get when we cross the classic horror films Friday the 13th and April Fool’s Day? “Tuesday the 17th” of course!

Co-written by the man who plays Shawn Spencer himself, James Roday masterfully crafted this spooky episode, combining elements from both movies… from the client, appropriately named Jason Cunningham (played by Mackenzie Astin, from The Facts of Life)—Jason, from Jason Voorhees, and Cunningham, from the Friday the 13th director, Sean Cunningham—to the staged and fake murders that “fooled” Shawn, leading to a big celebration by all involved in the joke… until a “real” body is found floating in the lake. Brilliant episode!

Oh, and keeping with the ‘80s pop culture, Justine Bateman (Family Ties) also guest stars as Lassie’s ex-wife.

11. “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part” (Season 5)

Because we love our readers, we have to rewind to season four for just a minute. In “Extradition: British Columbia”, Shawn and Gus begin tracking an art thief (Pierre Despereaux played by Cary Elews) in Canada; an art thief that Lassie has tracked for years, but never successfully captured.

Fast-forwarding to season five, Despereaux needs Shawn and Gus’ help and pays for them to travel back to Canada, just before his extradition to the United States. In the meantime, the suave criminal escapes prison and is wrongfully accused of murder, leaving Shawn no choice but to investigate.

The Despereaux storyline is a fun one to return to, but “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part” is perhaps included in the top 15 because Shawn finally professes his love to Jules at the end of the episode. And when we say finally, we mean finally. It took us five seasons for him to admit his feelings for her.

10. “Last Night Gus” (Season 6)

Psych “Last Night Gus” (Season 6)

“Last Night Gus” (Psych’s version of The Hangover) may have been one of the most enjoyable hours of the first half of season six. After a night of apparently partying too hard, Shawn, Gus, Lassiter, and Woody (the coroner) wake up not remembering the night before. Why is Lassie’s gun missing bullets? Why did Henry wake up across town in a hotel room, sans pants? What is the white powdery substance on Woody’s face? Why is Shawn wearing a dead man’s sandals? Why is “The Blueberry” (Gus’ car) dented?

Using Shawn’s “psychic” ability and Henry and Lassie’s detective skills, the group of men follow one clue after another, leading them to discover what really happened… and that “last night Gus” was a bit out of his element.

9. “The Devil’s in the Details… and the Upstairs Bedroom” (Season 4)

Shawn and Gus take the case of a college girl’s apparent suicide after one of her professors (Father Westley, played by the great Ray Wise) pleads with them to investigate, believing the girl to have been possessed by demons. Why not? It’s a Catholic University…

Psych “The Devil’s in the Details… and the Upstairs Bedroom” (Season 4)

Shawn never believes the girl’s death to be more than suicide, but “plays along” until he actually discovers there was indeed foul play involved. And when the Father is suspected of killing the girl, Shawn dedicates himself to prove the Holy Man’s innocence.

This was a bit of Heaven for former Twin Peaks fans… Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), playing a priest, accused of murdering a young girl? Too fun…

8. “This Episode Sucks” (Season 6)

What more needs said about “This Episode Sucks” besides: vampires, Corey Feldman, and Kristy Swanson? Exactly… but we will, just because.

When a body is discovered drained of blood in a parking lot, Shawn immediately believes vampires were involved. He and Gus dress the part and visit a cult-like bar where all of the patrons dress and perhaps believe that they are indeed vampires.

Remember the pop culture references mentioned above? Again, fantastic writing and attention to detail comes into play as Shawn and Gus approach the bartender to question him regarding the murder. As the bartender turns to face the “Psych” detectives, “Cry Little Sister” (the theme song from The Lost Boys) plays louder and louder until – Duh Duh Duh DUNNNNNN — Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) turns to face them.

Also in this episode, Lassie meets a woman (Kristy Swanson, formerly Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who the rest of the gang believes is involved in the murder. Is she a vampire? Probably not… but has Lassie finally found love? Maybe…

*****

Come back tomorrow for my top 7 episodes!

Do you watch Psych? What’s your favorite episode? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.