Wednesday, July 10, 2013

TV on DVD Review: psych - Season 6

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: "You Brought a Funeral Program to a Knife Fight."
Cons: "You're Acting Like a Child, Shawn."  "I Am Not Acting!"
The Bottom Line
Funny mysteries
I see laughs in your future
Entertaining show

"Levers.  Why Does It Have to be Levers?"

Some shows run out of steam after four or five years.  But psych doesn’t seem to be having that problem.  This comedic mystery is still going as strongly as ever, and fans will love every minute of season six.

If you happen to be new to the show, it follows Shawn Spencer (James Roday).  The man was trained by his father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), to be a super observant cop.  But Shawn is rebellious in his own right and has spent his life floating from one job to another until he lands at consulting for the Santa Barbara Police Department.  He and his best friend Gus (Dule Hill) have opened Psych, a private psychic detective agency.  Shawn turns his observations into “visions” that he then uses to help the police solve crime.  It’s something he is good at, but it’s also just enough of a jab at his father to make it acceptable to him.  Henry and Gus are the only ones who know he is not really psychic, and they play along with the ruse.

Rounding out the cast, we have Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) and the two detectives that Shawn usually helps.  There’s Detective Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), who can’t stand the fact that this psychic usually solves the case before he does.  Then there’s Detective Juliette O’Hara (Maggie Lawson), who is finally dating Shawn.

One reason this show has maintained the humor and comedy is the themed episodes.  Shawn goes undercover as a patient in an insane asylum to prove a murder suspect isn’t crazy and can't use the insanity defense.  In another episode, Gus finds himself masquerading as the mascot of a baseball team to help them find the killer.  Lassiter must reluctantly ask for help when his new apartment building is turning him crazy ala The Shining.  And in the best themed episode, an antiquity is stolen from the local museum, and the search for it becomes a fun spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The show prides itself on its 80’s references and jokes, and those are still in full force here.  The show is as much about the comedy as it is the mystery.  In fact, sometimes the mystery suffers a bit at the expense of the humor, but I just go along for the ride and enjoy what’s there because the show it always entertaining.

My complaint about the last three seasons still holds true.  Cary Elwes makes his third guest appearance on the show, and again there is not one Princess Bride joke.  But since it is in the Indiana Jones episode, I’ll let it pass this time.  Hopefully, he’ll show up again in an episode filled with them.  It shouldn’t take Miracle Max to make that happen.

In other fun guest star, we finally meet Juliette's dad, as played by William Shatner in a couple of episodes.

The show has first and foremost been a buddy show, and Shawn and Gus’ relationship is as strong as ever.  I was worried that when Shawn and Juliette started dating, it would hurt their dynamic, but it hasn’t.  There are a couple of episodes that do deal with them directly, like a weekend away that turns deadly and a case from Juliette’s past where Shawn is trying to prove she got the wrong person.

As always, the acting is wonderful on the show.  From what I can tell, the entire cast gets along extreme well (James and Maggie are even dating in real life).  I know James and Dule have become good friends.  It shows on the screen.  There is a chemistry that creates pure magic when a cast gets along, and it is here.  Whether scream in terror (Shawn and Gus) playing things for laughs (everyone on one time or another), or working on a serious murder, every moment is believable.

My only real complaint is the increased presence of Woody, the coroner (Kurt Fuller).  I usually find his scenes painful since his character just isn’t as funny as everyone else seems to think he is.  Having said that, he plays a huge part in a Hangover spoof episode, and that episode was very funny.

Seasons of this show usually consist of sixteen episodes, and season six was no exception.  They are all part of this set on the four discs enclosed.  And they have the widescreen and full surround fans have come to expect.  Fans also expect some nice extras, and this set comes through again.  We've got deleted and extended scenes, including two extended episodes.  Of course, there's a gag reel.  The crew does an introductory video commentary on all sixteen episodes, and there are traditional commentaries with various members of the cast and crew on eight of the episodes, or half the season.  And let's not forget the featurettes.  Okay, so they've got one of the "psychouts" and a montage of one liners from the season.  However, they also have a behind the scenes look at the Indiana Jones episode.  All in all, this will keep you busy for quite some time.

Psych has always set out to be just plain fun, and that continues with season six.  If you are a fan, you’ll be thrilled with what is here.  And if you are looking for a light, funny show, you’ve found it.  Sit back and prepare to laugh.

Season 6 Episodes:
1. Shawn Rescues Darth Vader
2. Last Night Gus
3. This Episode Sucks
4. The Amazing Psych-man & Tap Man, Issue No. 2
5. Dead Man's Curveball
6. Shawn Interrupted
7. In for a Penny
8. The Tao of Gus
9. Neil Simon's Lover's Retreat
10. Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger
11. Heeeeere's Lassie
12. Shawn and the Real Girl
13. Let's Doo-Wop It Again
14. Autopsy Turvy
15. True Grits
16. Santabarbaratown

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