Saturday, July 15, 2006

Never Judge a Show by it’s Pilot: Psych.

How can I describe the new series Psych? Imagine a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Instead of foggy London town the setting is beautiful Santa Barbara CA. The Holmes character is an underachiever who has held fifty-seven different jobs since high school but feels that he has finally found his calling as a psychic detective. Only he's not really psychic. Shawn Spencer (James Roday) was trained by his police officer father Henry (Corbin Bernsen) to have incredible observation skills. After Shawn gives the police a tip on a crime, the police don't believe that Shawn has the talent to see things that the average person can't. They believe that he only knows what he knows because he is somehow involved in the crime. To avoid being arrested Shawn tells the police detectives (Timothy Omundson & Maggie Lawson) that he knows what he knows because he's psychic. When you can't explain things logically, LIE! The acting Chief of police (Kirsten Nelson) hires Shawn pro bono to assist in a kidnapping case. Now our Holmes needs a Watson. Shawn goes to his childhood friend Gus (Dulé Hill). Instead of being a doctor he's a pharmaceutical rep, but the Gus character is a perfect straight man to Shawn's fake psychic episodes. Where Holmes is sophisticated and goes into elaborate detail explaining what he sees. Shawn is less than sophisticated but instead of explaining what he sees, you the TV viewer get to see everything through Shawn's eyes.

We currently have dramatic shows on TV where people use their special gifts to help solve crimes or assist the dead in crossing over. I am a fan of these shows. TV also brings us real people who claim to have special abilities and use their gifts to help ordinary people communicate with everyone from a dead relative to their pet. I'd like to believe that this is all true, but my skepticism tells me better. When I saw the promos for a show about a fake pshyic detective, I knew I wanted to see this show. Over all I liked what I saw in the pilot, especially the Shawn, Gus and Henry characters. I can't imagine that every case that Shawn and Gus take on will involve the police department so will the remaining characters be needed in every episode? These are just my first impressions but I never judge a show by it's pilot.

So, its a week later and I watched the second episode The Spellingg Bee (Deliberately missed spelled) and overall I liked what I saw. I still can't imagine that every case that Shawn and Gus take on will involve the police department. I like the Police characters but will they be needed in every episode? If they are featured in every episode, will thier I.Q. points have to drop in order for them to buy in to some of Shawn’s over the top fake pshyic episodes? On the plus side I like the Henry character even more. He reminds me of The Karate Kid's Mr. Miyagi when he teaches his son to finish what he starts by having Shawn finish building a dog house that Shawn started in 1989. Finally the show is a nice companion to Monk on USA’s Friday night lineup. Can we say crossover?

To quote Shawn & Gus

Gus: You're dating a murderer!
Shawn: Not exclusively.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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