This is what I hope is the first in a series of posts I'd like to title "Cool Entertainment You May Not Know About", or CEYMNKA. OK, so that's a bit of a mouthful. Anyway, this review will be about a show I have enjoyed for a while, Psych, which has just started airing in Australia and I think will be well worth checking out if you're a fan of detective shows or comedies.
The centre of the show is a "psychic detective" named Shawn Spencer who uses his gifts to solve crimes. Except that he's not actually psychic (and, in fact, doesn't believe in them) but, due to circumstances outlined in the pilot episode, he needs everyone
else to believe he's psychic. Only his father, retired police officer Henry Spencer, and his best friend and partner Burton "Gus" Guster know that he's not psychic. The powers that Shawn does possess are a photographic memory and a gift for solving crimes.
Most of the comedy in the show comes from Shawn's interactions with various people. Usually the funniest moments are when Shawn shows off his psychic abilities, which will often involve some sort of gibberish and thrashing around. The interplay between Shawn and Gus is also great to watch – Gus is the straight man of the duo and is somewhat bitter about Shawn's carefree attitude to everything and how he always gets away with everything.
As a detective show Psych is actually quite interesting and, while often formulaic, doesn't really get boring and throws enough curve balls to keep you on your toes. It's not the draw of the show but does provide a good backdrop for the comedy, as well as an excuse for Shawn and Gus to "sneak" into various places and question people – all the while giving Shawn more clues with his acute observational powers.
Psych is actually an example of the fundamental problem with so much Australian TV coming from America. The pilot episode aired tonight and yet the second season has been finished in the US for quite some time now. That's an awfully long lag. Local DVDs aren't available yet either, which I really hope gets rectified soon. The network broadcast also seems to have made cuts to the show as well, which is always disheartening.
Overall, I really enjoy Psych and highly recommend it to anyone. For now it's airing on Channel 10 at 9:30pm on Tuesdays but we'll see how long that timeslot lasts. I hope that DVDs will be available for purchase before long.