Psych, TV Thursday

Psych S1 E1: Don’t Lie to the Cops, Kids (TV Thursday)

Today’s is basically just going to be a Movie Monday. But the first episode is an hour long, so… I feel that it’s only fair. No, I’m not lazy! Why on earth would you think that?! I’m insulted by your totally-not-at-all accurate statements!

Thus far, TV Thursday has been a nostalgia trip through my favorite shows that I watched as a youth. Doctor Who was a show from my childhood. So today, I’m going to talk about a show from my middle-school days. A comedy that I’d often watch with my friends.

In case you didn’t read the title or see the thumbnail, I am talking about Psych.

Back in the day, this was my absolute favorite TV comedy. But then, the universe decided to teach me a lesson. This was the show that taught me that not all good things for very long. Before I ever had the chance to finish the show, it was taken off of Netflix.

This was when I realized what pain was.

Luckily, Amazon Prime Video exists (not sponsored). And I’m an adult man with a job, disposable income, and a blog that requires me to watch lots of media! Now seems like the perfect time to finally finish the show!

When I actually get to the seasons I haven’t watched. After a few other shows sprinkled in there. So, y’know, we’ll get around to it eventually.

Episode 1: Pilot
Directed By: Michael Engler
Written By: Steve Franks
Starring: James Roday, Dulé Hill and more
Run Time: 1 Hour, 6 Minutes
Release Date: July 7th, 2006
Link to IMDb

Someone had to pitch this. Someone went in to talk to a room full of studio executives and sell this. Someone walked in and said “I wanna make a TV show about an immature Sherlock and his buddy pretend to be psychics and lie to the cops. It’s basically Scooby Doo, but the only members of the gang are Shaggy and Scooby and they try to bang lots of pretty girl while they solve mysteries.”

And do you know what’s even weirder? Said executives looked at this and said: “Dude! This is the best idea we’ve ever seen! Let’s fucking do it!”

In this episode: young man Shawn Spencer, son of an oddly good and less than friendly cop, has extreme observation and deductive skills. One day, when calling in a tip to the cops, he’s accused of being in on the crime. In order to get out of this, he pretends to be a psychic, managing to perform his way out of the station. But before he can take the money and leave, he’s hired on to investigate a missing person case. With nothing better to do, Shawn grabs his best friend Gus, and the two man-children go off to solve the case!

All things considered, this plot is still really good! All the characters are simple, well defined and lovable. The mystery takes you for a ride, making you think one thing before revealing something new that completely changes the game. This is one of the few episodes of the first season where the mystery is a genuine mystery. In basically every episode after this, you can just point to the new character that has even a modicum of character development and bam! you’ve found the killer.

Like I said: Scooby-Doo.

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Many of the production values have aged less than smoothly. The lighting is very up-and-down, the cinematography is just okay, and the music is incredibly forgettable (though the opening song is catchy as hell). In terms of visuals, this show can be a little rough.

Thank you Father Time, for making yet another wonderful thing into a just-okay thing.

Luckily, the writing and acting more than make up for this. Our stars absolutely carry the show in every possible way. Their chemistry with one-another is absolutely flawless, making each of their exchanges both hilarious and insightful. All the side characters are equally amazing, from the members of the police force to the family members involved in the case. Not a single character doesn’t have the necessary depth to make them interesting.

Even if some of them are a little… cartoonish at times. But considering how the main characters act, I can hardly complain. I have the feeling that this show is hardly realistic.

Conclusion

This show feels like it shouldn’t work. It’s just an adult, live-action cartoon! But it completely works on practically every level! Sure, the production values have dropped a bit. It’s a show from 2006 for fuck’s sake! But everything else is still incredibly solid and funny.

With all the media I consume on a daily basis (hey, I need things to talk about on here!), I often forget about a lot of them. But that makes revisiting them all the sweeter. That, or bitter, when I realize that they aren’t as good as I remember. Luckily, I’m pleased to say that this episode is just as good as I remember, and I’m excited to watch more.

Mainly because I remember the next episode being a favorite of mine. Let’s see if that one holds up, shall we?

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