Psych Season 1 Review

  • Series Title: Psych
  • Season: Season 1
  • Episodes: 16 Episodes (Including international pilot and regular pilot)
  • Discs: 4
  • Network: USA (Universal)
  • Cast: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1
  • Previously published on my Live Journal 10/03/2007. Now hosted on Dreamwidth.

This review might be a bit of a mish-mash, but here we go.

Packaging: I love it! The case opens like a book, and one lifts open the plastic piece holding disc 1 or 2 to get to disc 3 or 4. The outside of the case is like a hardback book. Very classy! And the only other DVD I have remotely like it is my 2-disc Special Edition of Double Indemnity (great movie starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward G. Robinson. That and Sunset Boulevard are the classic Film Noirs in my DVD collection. Tho’ I also have The Maltese Falcon, but Double Indemnity is better.) Anyway, I loved the packaging, and that’s rare, esp. for a TV DVD (Yep, I tend to complain about TV DVD packaging).

Cost/number of eps.  Well, there’s only 15 eps in the set, 16 if you also include the International pilot. I received my copy as a gift, but from what I remember looking online, the price was a little high, especially considering its only 15 episodes.

Series itself? I loved it! I’d only seen slightly more than half of the episodes, though I had seen the pilot and “Spellingg Bee”. So it was good to catch up. I like the humor of the show. It’s laugh out loud funny, WITHOUT laughing AT the characters or sinking into “stupid sitcom”-land. The characters are GREAT – I liked all of them, especially Henry (we soooo need to see MORE of Henry, and more flashbacks to young Shawn and/or Shawn & Gus). I also like Lassiter – whom I see as a good cop. He’s even willing to take Spencer’s help once Shawn proves himself. (Lassie also will use forensics, technology, computers, whatever to help him solve cases, which is what motivates him).

And I just like that Shawn is off-the-charts smart. He uses his brains as well as his special talent for observation AND deduction to solve cases. In a way, he reminds me of Sherlock Holmes – someone so smart they don’t fit into the average, normal, 9 to 5 world so they create their own job (both as private consultant detectives). Holmes worst enemy is boredom (thus the acceptable at the time drug use for Holmes). Shawn too gives the impression he’d get in an awful lot of trouble if he didn’t have his work as a private “psychic” / police consultant to keep him busy.

Shawn also has a best friend who he could leave in the dust in the smarts dept (Not that Gus is dumb, he’s smart but average smart, not genius-level smart like Shawn) to help him out, not just on cases but in his life. Gus is Shawn’s rock – he’d be lost without him. (Watch Shawn in “Scary Sherry” when Alice asks him what he would do if he lost his best friend – Shawn literally can’t answer her – both times she asks the question). Then there’s Lassiter, who like Holmes’ Lestrade is a competent detective, but again, like Gus, not as giftedly smart as Shawn. If you read the Arthur Conan Doyle books (or watch Granada’s excellent series with Jeremy Brett) Lestrade isn’t stupid – he has average to high intelligence, and he trusts Holmes and works with him as needed. Lestrade doesn’t know anything about forensics, but Sherlock Holmes was written in the late 1900s-early 20th century, and back then even fingerprints were new when it came to criminology. Of course, Psych has characters that don’t have SH parallels (Chief Vick, Juliet, and Henry, by name) but for the ones it does have, it’s an interesting comparison.

Special features: Excellent! Though I missed having the “psych outs” for each episode. The deleted scenes and bloopers – fun (as such features usually are). I wish they’d been able to run *Scary Sherry* long and use the extra scenes, they were awesome!

Writer’s table – gets the Best Special Feature award, even if it’s just to hear the writers officially say they were inspired by Remington Steele and Moonlighting (2 of my favorite 80s shows).

I really enjoyed this show when it started on USA Network, and I still remember the show fondly. Psych took the best of the unorthodox detective series of the 1970s and the small team PI series of the 1980s and gave it a modern updating.