Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TV News & Review: Pineapples & Private Eyes -- USA Network's "Psych" Returns 1/9/09

Shawn & Gus Are Ready for Action

Keeping It Real

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Season Three Continues
With the Premiere: "Six Feet Under the Sea"
Friday, January 9, 2009
At 10/9 p.m. Central Time

When he isn't busy cracking cases with his phony psychic police consultant business partner Shawn Spencer (James Roday), the bookish former pharmaceutical salesman Gus (Dulé Hill) spends his time contributing to the blogosophere as a Registered Aqua Blogger and Conservationist.

Tricking Shawn into attending a funeral with him in the season three continuation premiere scheduled for January 9, Gus conveniently keeps the fact that it's for Shabby the Sea Lion hidden but soon enough, the open casket gives it away. When Shawn's hyper observational skills hone in on Shabby and he realizes that the sea lion has been murdered, soon the two men are back on yet another case, reluctantly dragging in their chief from a Phil Collins concert (allowing Kirsten Nelson to deliver the killer line, "If I miss 'Against All Odds,' then somebody is getting fired!") after they get busted by a security guard who warns them to "drop the fish, sir, and nobody gets hurt."

Quickly joining forces with the lovely Jules (Maggie Lawson) and the forever ridiculed "Lassie" a.k.a. Detective Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Shawn and Gus crack enough pop culture inspired jokes to rival the Gilmore Girls, referencing everything from Dead Calm to-- as Roday's Shawn jokes-- a "super gay" version of the trunk scene in Out of Sight as the fast-paced episode dives head-first into a wacky conclusion.

A refreshingly fun, gleefully nerdy yet hip detective show (think Chuck meets Monk) that benefits from its blending of an enormously likable cast, headed up by the show's undeniably charismatic star Roday who makes the entire goofy premise work.

Moreover, Pysch is one of the most underrated comedic dramas on basic cable with sharp writing, an award-worthy performance in every episode from Roday (whose abundance of energy recalls the late '80s era John Cusack) as the actor is also slated to take on additional directing and co-writing duties in the future and with increasingly complicated mysteries that will play out over the rest of the third season.

A nice sunnier companion piece to the more melancholy Monk (which has been slipping in quality over the past few seasons)-- the pairing of the two on USA is like the detective version of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report as the first show (Monk and Daily) provide the sustenance and the latter (Psych and Colbert) entertain just as much as they mentally challenge.

With former guest stars Cybill Shepherd and Rachel Leigh Cook returning, season three will also find Mykelti Williamson, Jonathan Silverman, and director Martha Coolidge dropping by the Santa Barbara based show.

Promo for January 9