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Psych - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Psych
I liked the second season opener on Psych. I like the show in general, though I think it's still trying to find its way a little bit.

One of things I liked is that, in contrast to House, Shawn isn't a deliberate jerk who thinks of being an asshole as part of his character. (That's great on House, but one such character on TV at a time is enough.) He's a basically good guy who's just, well--an insensitive prat with a lot of self-interest. This gives room for a character arc that doesn't wreck the character.

In the opening, we saw a little of this--Shawn's still Shawn, but there's this random person, a friend of his father's who he respects. His dad's good about it as well, but because he's been the guy's friend for a long time, his knowledge about the early-onset Alzheimer's that's confusing the man effects his belief about what the guy saw, and makes him discount it. Shawn, on the other hand, recognizes it immediately, and instead of using his gift to make the older man look foolish, he uses it to ascertain just what he saw and help him remember on his own... and believes him, because the man once believed him. It was just a nice touch of the pretty decent guy he can be without really softening the fact that he's also a class A jerk in a lot of his behaviors. Basically, what we see is a semi-grown-up version of the class clown.

I also like the friendship between Gus and Shawn. I hope we're not going to see a lot of deep and emotional conversations between the two--that would be wackily out of character for either--but the fact that they're still best friends despite driving each other batshit says a lot. Judging from the flashbacks and their current behavior, I'd guess that they were the two brightest kids in the class (though Shawn was an underachiever and may well have brought Gus's grades down) and have one of those, "Well, there's just us" kinds of friendships that seems to last forever. (I'm still friends with at least three people from OM.)

And of course, the heart of the thing is Shawn and his dad--the commercials were always harping on Shawn having a bad father, but it looks more like it was just a mismatch, and the two of them constantly rubbed each other the wrong way--but there's also a lot of love there, which is neat. I think the show is consistently good with guy relationships, functional and dysfunctional.

I've yet been made to care about any of the police, but I'm more than willing to give them time. I think they've got a good start. Also, hard observation games at http://psych.usanetwork.com.
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Comments
matril From: matril Date: January 25th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm enjoying Psych too. I liked the way this episode used the confusion of past and present with Alzheimer's as way to actually help solve the mother-and-son killings. I agree there's not much sympathetic about the police yet, but I did notice that Lassiter (sp?) after being very nasty to the crazy old ex-police chief, does end up showing compassion at the end by treating him like the one in authority, the one who solved the case. He'll probably be back to his old grouchy self in the next episode, though. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looks like a Lassiter-centered episode, though, so maybe he'll have some good screen time and get a characterization instead of a caricature...
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: January 25th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't *adore* this show, but it's one of the few that I don't actually TiVo that I will sit down and watch if I catch 2 minutes of it. It's engaging, and funny, and I agree with all your observations on Shawn (is it spelled that way?). Though Gus is my favorite (Dule Hill is awesome in the role, imho).

And yeah--it's another buddy show for my collection.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 25th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, according the website, it's actually "Shawn." :boggles: I keep wanting to type "Sean," like normal, but then I remember that I had a "Shawn" in an elementary school class; it's not unheard of, 'specially for a kid born in the '70s.

Gus rocks.

I don't actually record it or anything, and actually forgot the season premiere--oops, but they replay--but I enjoy it, and it's been a while since I've watched something from the first episode on. (I started watching The Closer, but it just didn't hold my interest. Everything else, I picked up after getting word of mouth.)
matril From: matril Date: January 25th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
My dad's middle name is Shaun. Being used to that, I remember being confused the first time I saw it spelled Sean. But now I know my dad's spelling is more unusual. It's just phonetic, is all (as much as you can be phonetic in the mixed bag of English spelling ;).
ladylavinia From: ladylavinia Date: January 26th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have been enjoying Psych as well. And I had especially enjoyed the Season 2 opener.

Like you, I feel that it is still trying to find its stride. But that's okay with me. At least USA is giving it a chance, which is more than I can say for ABC. The latter has developed a bad habit of abandoning a show if it's not an immediate hit.
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