Blunt Parody Trumps Tradition on 'Psych'
What I’ve always loved about Psych is that no one on the show is taking themselves seriously at all. When plugging the latest season on Attack of the Show, Dule Hill (who plays Burton "Gus" Guster on the show, a somewhat sidekick to a fake psychic) referred to episodes as the "Rush Hour episode" or the "Close Encounters episode."
This is a show that fully embraces what it is: one big joke at the expense of everything and anything else. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Now in their fifth season, Psych hasn’t slowed up or worsened yet. With Shawn (James Roday) and Gus still being Shawn and Gus, it’s really just up to the writers to keep it fresh. For the last few seasons, they’ve decided to accomplish that by mocking all television and films that must be taken seriously to be enjoyed, which Psych doesn’t. This season, they’ve even enhanced the show by giving Shawn’s dad, Henry (who knew Corbin Bersen was this funny?) a bigger role that still lets him give his non-psychic son a hard time as often as possible.
Also nice to see is that the show hasn’t dwelled a lot (or indeed at all) on the "will-they-won’t-they" relationship between Shawn and Juliet (Maggie Lawson) this season. Granted, they’re only three episodes in, but it’s still good to see the show do without that particular crutch to keep the fans coming back week after week.
I am worried about how long a show can stay as fresh and original as Psych has been since (a) how many things out there can you possibly parody before you run out and (b) they are already making jokes at their own expense (in this week’s episode, Gus and guest star Freddie Prinze Jr. mocked Shawn’s "clue face"), but, for now at least, this show remains on my Absolutely Must Watch list.