Psych

"I've heard it both ways." - Shawn Spencer

Psych is a crime procedural comedy that aired for eight seasons on USA from 2006 to 2014. It's unique hook is that the main character, Shawn Spencer, is a highly observant guy pretending to be a psychic so that he can solve crimes and put away bad guys without having to put in the extra work of getting a police badge or detective's license. He starts a psychic detective agency with his best friend Burton "Gus" Guster and together with the Santa Barbara Police Department, they solve the most odd and outlandish cases. Whether they were called in to help with a particularly interesting case, or weasled their way in by claiming a man was killed by a dinosaur, Shawn and Gus were always on the scene to assist, and sometimes get in the way of Detectives Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter and Juliet O'Hara. The four made a great team and were able to work all angles of each case, from the lawful by the books side of Lassie and Juliet, to the not so legal breaking and entering in order to find clues to later divine of Shawn and Gus. Who cares if everything was built on a lie when the results were so amazing?

I didn't start watching Psych until after it had completed airing, but it quickly skyrocketed to become my favorite show of all time. I feel like the show gets me when I watch it because even the most random throwaway line in the show is memorable and makes me laugh. The characters, especially Shawn and Gus, are so very relatable with how they talk to one another, and the callbacks and continuity throughout the entire series are top notch. This show is all about the references to 80s and 90s pop culture (and Billy Zane), no matter how obscure, and it's so refreshing to see a leading man in a tv show who is an unapologetic and unashamed fanboy for the things that he loves. Truly, all of the characters are allowed their quirks and hobbies with no more than good natured teasing from the others. Also, while it started out as a fairly normal show with some quirks, it did evolve as they were given more freedom to explore the art of parody to pay homage to anything and everything, while still staying within the bounds of a Psych episode. The Twin Peaks tribute episode was so genius that it inspired me to watch that entire series. You can tell how much everyone involved loved and cared about the show, and that just makes it all the more enjoyable to watch.

The greatest thing about Psych that carried through the entire series was the friendships forged between the characters. Too many shows put the focus solely on the romantic relationships, painting the platonic friendships in a less important light, but not Psych. Shawn and Gus are the most important duo on the show and their friendship is the throughline for all eight seasons. Even when Shawn enters into a romantic relationship with Juliet, it doesn't take over the show or change the dynamics of his bond with Gus. They can't live without each other, and I was so happy that the show didn't try to say that Shawn and Gus had to grow up and move on with their lives in the end. They are so important to each other, and Psych didn't show it as anything other than a really awesome codependent relationship that will continue forever. Similarly, Lassie and Juliet's friendship was always given a lot of care and it's so amazing to see how it evolved from the beginning to the last season.

Not everyone will get Psych, but for me it is pretty close to being a perfect show. Sure, there were some storylines that I didn't particularly like and some episodes where Shawn was insanely annoying, but as a whole, it has everything I love in a show and had one of the best series finales I have ever seen. Also, whenever Shawn went too far, his dad and Gus were always there to knock some sense into him again. Yes, the last season got a tad goofy, but the characters were still themselves and it was a well deserved opportunity for the writers and actors to play and do everything they wanted to do before the show was over. As I watched the last season the first time, I was dreading the end because I didn't want it to be over. I love this show and all of these characters, and at least I have 8 seasons, a musical, and countless hours of bonus features on the dvds to watch again and again.

Favorites
Jen
Liz
Character
Shawn Spencer, Burton Guster, Carlton Lassiter
Gus, Shawn, Lassiter
Season
5
7
Episode
Bounty Hunters, Last Night Gus, Office Space, Dual Spires, Indiana Shawn, The Breakup
Weekend Warriors, Bounty Hunters!, Last Night Gus, Dead Bear Walking, Indiana Shawn
Relationship
Shawn and Gus, Lassie and Juliet, Shawn/Lassie, Shawn and Despereaux
Shawn and Gus, Shawn and Lassiter, Lassiter and Juliet, Shawn/Abigail, Shawn and Despereaux
Song
Santa Barbara Skies, I've Heard it Both Ways
Santa Barbara Skies, I've Heard it Both Ways