Psych You Out In the End

Psych and USA were one of the trailblazers in the nascent idea of basic cable original program. Monk and Psych were the Friday night dream team pulling in viewers when network TV usually bombed. USA didn’t stop with these two shows: it expanded its own lines of quality programming that viewer’s love. But USA overreached, bringing in too much new materials and moving fan favorites against network prime time TV. Going against Criminal Minds, can anyone wonder why ratings dropped for Psych?  This is a damned sham because it’s the funniest show on Television.

Or it was. After eight seasons (and a musical) the show bowed out Wednesday night. But not in a spectacular Psych 55a0824c-8373-4b6a-a165-a8ed6b4aa5faway. Instead, the show ended in a romantic movie cliché (fair warning: spoilers ahead) peppered with Psych moments.

Psych started with a simple premise that could have sunken very quickly. But as James Roday and Dule Hill were allowed to be themselves and help direct the direction of the series, the show bloomed. Witty banter, pop culture references, and men screaming like girls abound, Psych took on every genre added humor and tribute and usually nailed. Take the classic episode Tuesday the 13th–hilarious, creepy, and honoring of the genre all at the same time.

But not all the episodes are this top notch, including the finale.  Shawn decides he can’t take his long distance relationship with Juliet anymore and decides to move to San Francisco to be with her. He spends most of the episode neglecting to tell Gus. In fact, he leaves with no word just DVDs that explain his parting. Then comes the romantic comedy ending: Gus goes to San Francisco! And everyone lives happily ever after. The End.

The writers tried to make it where Shawn grew up into a mature relationship. I find it hard to believe that Shawn would just up and leave Gus for a woman.  But the growth that they plan for Shawn is negated by the fact that the whole act is selfish and keeps Gus trapped under his thumb. Juliet chose work over Shawn and now Shawn chooses her over his best friend.  Once again, Gus chooses Shawn over everything else as he always does.

zap-psych-season-8-episode-10-the-breakup-photos-20140325The episode heaps on the cheese. Each DVD was something sappy and contains very little of the Shawn Spencer wit. Everything is tied too neatly.  Lassie is chief, the new detective is amazing and Woody–he’s just Woody. Even the less attractive best friend gets what’s coming to her: McNabb gets to be a detective.

But here’s what was good about the finale. There was a concrete conclusion and there were several instances where the episode felt like Psych at its best. These include Gus discovering a dead body and the two men driving  driver’s end car with two steering wheels and fighting over who is in control. These moments become less prevalent as Shawn becomes introspective and sad. Psych is always best when it’s being funny or spoofing a genre. Drama is not its best component.

What I will miss most about Psych is that laughter that get every week.  I will miss Shawn’s ignorance and Gus’s grimace. I will Lassie—hell, I’ll miss everything about Lassie. I’ll miss Henry’s wisdom (I had already desperately missed the great flashbacks). But most of all I’ll miss watching Roday and Hill working off each other. Their spark and comedy made the show. Here’s hoping that that spark doesn’t fade.

The Clue is in the Title

Psych celebrated its 100th episode with fan appreciation and their take on the movie Clue.

For this special episode, The Psych did a theme James Roday and Dule Hill had been wanting to do for some time: celebrate the movie Clue based on the Parker Brothers/Hasbro board game. The movie came out in 1985 and featured three endings that were shown in different theaters. The crew filmed three different episode endings with different killers and let fans decided on which suspect would be the perpetrator.

100 Clues featured several of the original cast members including: Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren and Christopher Lloyd.  The episode loosely followed the original movie plot. Party members are invited to a creepy mansion for a party with a hidden agenda. When the guests start to die, everyone becomes a suspect.  Gus and Shawn find themselves in the middle of revenge gone wrong when a local rock star gets out of prison for the death of his wife. The psychic must figure out if the author of the rocker’s biography, his manager or the butler did it.

In an effort to tell their own tale, the plot loses the parody focus. The action follows the rock singer and not one of the movie alums. These character quickly become background and are not used to their full potentials. The plot loosely spoofs the events of the movie (there is a singing message girl and a chandelier fall) but the episode loses the feel of the movie. The humor waned as the writers failed to capture the magic of the Twin Peaks episode.

This is probably why the episode was such a disappointment. Dual Spires was a wonderfully parody/homage to the ninety’s drama. I personally thought this episode would eclipse Dual Spires in references and laughs. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Clue was filled with fabulous one liners that were obviously left out (you got a letter, you got a letter….) while others barely registered on the honor scale (one plus one plus….). The best part of the whole episode is when Roday emulates Tim Curry’s famous “no.”

Even the slap stick loses it humor. It is tedious to watch Shawn run back and forth to describe how people were killed or injured. The weapons each suspect carried ranged from insanely dumbly to moderate useful (I would use the baking torch). But when Shawn comes out with a saxophone as a weapon, it falls flat.

Its greatest selling point is letting fans choose the ending live. In the East Coast version (the one I watched and voted for) fans voted for the “What really happened” option from the movie: the butler did it. West Coasters mixed it up and showed favor for the most famed alum: Lloyd (the author did it).

This concept was amazing for fans and more rewarding than reality TV. Built the humor is off the mark. The most stunning tribute? Dedicating the episode to the late, great Madeline Kahn.

Checkout my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/starsinhereye to see the endings!

Watch This Not That …Fall TV Edition

The Fake Psychic Detective

Watch This….

Psych

A unique comedy staring James Roday and Dule Hill, Psych is the focal point for fake psychic detectives. The two stars play well off each other and many of their lines are ad-libed and hilarious. As a consultant to the Santa Barbara police Shawn and his pal Gus solves many a mystery while spouting pop culture and witty remarks. Embedded within each episode is a find the pineapple search keeps fans on their toes. Psych does comedy and drama well, and its theme shows are the highlights of the series. Haven’t seen the show? Start with Tuesday the 17th and Feet Don’t Kill Me Now.

Not That…

The Mentalist

CBS took the idea of Psych, slapped some drama onto it, and called it a new show. Though he has a deep back story, Patrick Jane is neither as charming, nor as cute, as Shawn Spencer. They even recycle some psych plots. I caught an episode where Patrick was using his “psychic” powers at a poker game. Sound like “Poke Her? I Barley Know Her” to anyone else?

The Police Procedural

Watch This…

Criminal Minds

As Criminal Minds started to move away from what made it great, the quality of the show decreased. But last season it started to get back to its roots: well loved characters, focus on the profiling and mental state of the unsub, and less gore. Viewers started to see the shows that made them love the profile based drama. Season 8 is continuing on that path, delving into the characters and adding a big bad that is hunting down the team. If you left the show when they fired A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster, come on back; you may be surprised.

Not That…

NCIS

NCIS isn’t a bad show. In fact, it’s the epitome of Police Procedurals: murder, interrogate suspect, look at clues, interact with stock character, catch criminal. While this makes for good TV, it makes the show very generic TV. Each character is a walking stereotype, and its spin is that it a Navy police show. While it gives it a niche, it doesn’t have the emotional impact of a show like Criminal Minds. Break out of you’re your comfort zone; try something with more of a twist.

The Animated Comedy

Watch This…

Bob’s Burgers

The king of character voice actors H. Jon Benjamin brings the title character Bob to life. And, yes, Bob sells burgers. But what makes the show Is Bob trying to balance his family and work life, and he never heard the phrase you don’t mix the two. Bob’s wife and his three children are always getting in some outlandish incident whether it is dinner theater or being stuck the morgue next door. The show takes the pains of growing up and gives it a deep but humorous edge. Tip: Watch for the Burger Special of the Day and prepare to be served a side of humor.

Not That…

Family Guy

Once upon a time there was this show on Fox that was really funny. But somewhere along the way it could no longer contain itself. The jokes began to last way past their funniness and the show became ever more inane and low brow. Now, the show no longer understands why it was funny in the first place and has lost the charm that it once held. Those were the days…

The Emmy Nominations (Or how the TV Academy doesn’t really understand quality programming)

It’s Emmy nominations times! Meaning, the TV Academy ranks things in a way that the normal viewer doesn’t understand. Here’s my Average Josie take on the nominations.

 

Yays

Kudos to the voters for seeing the value in Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco and Merritt Weaver both picking up Actress/Supporting Actress nominations though I’m kind of sad Peter Facinelli didn’t get any love.  I was glad to see Homeland’s Claire Danes and Dexter’s Michael C. Hall get Leading Actress/Actor nods, and Martine Freeman nominated for his work as Dr. Watson before he’s shot into American fame by the Hobbit. I looking forward to seeing what the outcome of the Drama Guest Actor, with Michael J. Fox going up against Mad Men’s Ben Feldman (you may know him as Fred the angel from Drop Dead Diva). A high point of the nominations? Seeing Bob’s Burger’s included in Best Animated Show.

 

Nays

The biggest snub had to be for Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. While TWD was nominated for Prosthetic Make-up and Visual effects, it was left out of the Dramas category as well as all actor/actress nominations. The biggest of these crimes was shutting out Jon Bernthal in the Drama Supporting Actor. He managed to give depth to a character that would have been a flat out villain in any other actor’s hands. The second biggest snub? Charlie Hunam from Sons of Anarchy. While many critics and viewers are outraged by the Katy Sagal snub, Hunam is to me, the most deserving as he balances the complex emotions and morality as the biker’s game vice president. SOA has been constantly forgotten culminating in the non-nomination of Kim Coates in Season 2 for Supporting Actor. I was surprised that Hugh Laurie was left out for his last season of House M.D., and shocked to learned that neither Archer nor H. Jon Benjamin were  included in the nominations. Benjamin had both Archer and Bob’s Burger to his voice acting credits.

 

WTF?

The three biggest WTF moments of the year

  1. American      Horror Story as a Miniseries. According to Entertainment Weekly, because      it has a self contained story line in its first 12 episodes, AHS qualifies      for the Miniseries/Movie category even though it has a second season      already lined up. I find this unfair and a way for Ryan Murphy and FX to      get credit knowing that they couldn’t go head to head with Downtown Abbey      or Mad Men.
  2. Multiple      Show Nominations for One Award. Thanks to EW, we know that several      categories have six nominations due to ties, while this doesn’t anger me. The      fact that many of those and other categories have multiple nominations      from the same show. For example: Best Supporting Drama Actor has six nominees      with two being from Breaking Band and two from Downtown Abbey. This shuts      other supporting actors, such as Bernthal, who deserve a shot even if they      aren’t in the two previous shows. I understand how voting works and how      this can happen, but it doesn’t mean its fair.
  3. Psych.      Psych has been forgotten by the Emmy voters since its inception which is      quite sad. It’s a marvelous show and James Roday and Dulé Hill are always      top notch. While Psych was recognized this year, it was for Best      Interactive Experience.

 

The Academy has plenty of time to decide who will win each category and which of my shows in the Yays section will be underappreciated. Till then I hoping (stupid, I know) that the voters get some taste.

Check out my snubs gallery below