Why you should start watching Psych

I am an avid television show watcher, but not many shows have caught my eye in the way that Psych does. Psych is not your traditional detective show, it incorporates a lot of different television genres such as comedy, romance, and horror. This perfect blend of genres makes this show stands out over other ones (and is part of the reason that I prefer TV shows over movies).

So what exactly is this show?

Psych is a show about a main character, Shawn, who is the son of a retired police officer of the Santa Barbara Police Department. His father trained Shawn to be extremely perceptive to detail (for ex. he would take Shawn to the diner, ask him to close his eyes, and recall how many people in that vicinity had hats on their heads), which Shawn later uses to solve crimes. Because the Santa Barbara Police Department doesn’t trust his credentials, Shawn joins the police department as the “department psychic” and uses his careful attention to detail to solve crimes. In order to remain special, he doesn’t expose his detail secret, and therefore acts as if he’s getting “visions” or spasms, or is communicating with the dead in order to express to others the answers of the mystery. (As seen in the above gif) Because of Shawn’s personality, this show quickly become silly, but the amazing thing about it is that the show always circles back to the theme. You never forget what’s happening, and are hooked from the second you start watching it to the second you stop.

In addition to this, Shawn works with his best friend Burton Guster (Gus) — his business partner and best friend since they were in grade school. This show frequently shows flashbacks of their childhood that was full of lessons and really emphasizes the contrasting duality in nature between Gus and Shawn. Gus, at first, doesn’t seem all too special, but as episodes progress, his love will grow. Gus is the type of guy to run away from anything scary, but will immediately talk up a pretty girl he catches sight of. He pursues what he’s interested in whether that’s related to “spirits,” or females and that’s what makes him such an interesting character.

Two of the other iconic characters in this show are Detective Lassiter and his assistant, Detective O’Hara. These two in addition to Shawn and Gus make the main character composition complete. These two work for the Santa Barbara Police Department as actual certified detectives while sometimes (rarely) solving a case before Shawn and Gus, asking Shawn and Gus for help, or being Shawn’s love interest (This applies only to O’Hara). The addition of these two characters completely rounds off the characters and incorporates the unique personalities in the show that you wouldn’t normally find in real life.

One example of how interesting Lassiter is, is that he has organized the order in which he would consume his coworkers if a blizzard came about, yet he lives in sunny Santa Barbara. See Below:

O’Hara on the left and Lassiter on the right

In addition to the characters in this show, another feature that adds to it’s quirkiness and uniqueness is the pineapple. In every single episode of this show, there is a pineapple on screen in some of the least pineapple related scenes (it’s not as if this show takes place in a smoothie bar.) This quirky little thing that the creators add for amusement tells you something about those creating the show and the message they kind of want to send to their audience. Similar to the way the University of Chicago has outlandish college essay prompts (Where’s Waldo? Find x.) to connect with the way their students think, the Psych team uses the pineapple as a sort of inside joke to connect with their viewers — though it serves no significant purpose.

In addition to small detail the creators of this show pay attention to, there are also large problems that this show encounters and discusses. For example, since Shawn is Caucasian and Gus is African American, there are often times in the show where some event wouldn’t be racist, but also may not be okay. For example, during a case, Shawn and Gus were required to reenacting a historical battle. Rather than making this situation racially awkward or offensive — Gus called out Shawn, saying he would not like to go back in time and be a slave, and Shawn made Gus a black soldier. For such a popular TV series, it’s very difficult to approach situations like these and not receive some fan backlash about racism, but I think this show does a really good job of handling these controversial situations.

This show is one of the most well rounded shows I have ever come across. Psych can engross any type of television genre watcher. It can not only perfectly blend genres together, but can also remain serious while with an air of humor and remain calm while there is utmost tension in the air. I’d 100% recommend watching this show.