July 17, 2006

TV review: Psych

Posted in Television at 1:23 pm by Calico Jack

I wasn’t too impressed after I heard about the premise of USA’s new series Psych: a man with a gift for observing details poses as a psychic, in order to be hired by the police department to solve crimes. It sounded like the kind of buddy-buddy cop show that we’ve seen so many times before. But after watching a few previews, I thought that I would give Pysch a chance; after all, there isn’t exactly an abundance of fresh content on television during the summer. Apart from the mildly entertaining Treasure Hunters on NBC, and the excellent 4400 on USA, I don’t watch much television at all.

After watching the first two episodes, I have to say that Psych is a mixed bag. This isn’t a particularly original show, and the conceit quickly wears thin. If Shawn Spencer can be hired for his supposed psychic abilities, wouldn’t the police be just as willing to hire him if they knew his gift for observation? The scenes where Spencer “reveals” his observations are so over-the-top, they lose much of the humor that would appear had they been a bit more understated. And all of the characters seem a bit bland, from Spencer’s gruff, retired-cop father to the current police chief, whose only interesting quirk is that she appears to be pregnant.

Having said that, Psych is entertaining enough for me to keep watching. The interplay between Spencer and his sidekick Gus is often laugh-worthy, especially in the latest episode where they investigate a spelling bee. And even with the “psychic” baggage dragging the show down, this is a quickly-paced mystery series. Granted, they’ve only shown two episodes so far, but if the writing tightens up a notch, I’ll set a season pass for it on TiVo.

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