I'm a recent convert to PSYCH, and so I've got serious catching up to do. It's Season 6 of the USA Network's currently longest running show. Despite Shawn Spencer's amazing psychic sleuthing act, Santa Barbara, California is still very much crime-infested. And that suits us fine. I'd initially dismissed PSYCH as a series that's too goofy and over-the-top. But I went thru Season 5 and realized that PSYCH does have dramatic flair, that occasional sense of gravity. I'm a sucker for romance so my way in was the game-changing growth in Shawn and Juliet's relationship. Season 6 continues to advance that relationship. I really liked the polygraph test sequence in the opening episode ("Shawn Rescues Darth Vader"). In that sequence, Lassiter has got Shawn strapped to a lie detector and thinks him cornered. Instead we get a wonderful moment with Shawn and an onlooking Juliet.
PSYCH's calling card is its self-aware shamelessness and its wit and its relentless pop culture referencing. Given, I roll my eyes at Shawn's trademark raising of hand to temple as he demonstrates his "psychic" skills. Thankfully, his and Gus's goofing around frequently generates big laughs. (For a few weeks, I was going around, saying "C'mon, son" to everyone.) And just when you think they've wandered too far into silly territory again, here comes the shocking season finale. PSYCH ending on a dark note? You know that's right.
My favorite Season 6 episodes:
- "Shawn Rescues Darth Vader" - Mostly for Shawn's polygraph test sequence but also for Shawn's casual abuse of his temporary diplomatic immunity.
- "Last Night Gus" - PSYCH's nod to THE HANGOVER; After attending a cop's retirement party, Shawn, Gus, Lassie, and SBPD's weirdo coroner Woody Strode wake up with no recollection of what happened the night before.
- "The Amazing Psych-Man & Tap Man, Issue #2" - PSYCH's nod to superheroes; A costumed vigilante called The Mantis is nabbing crooks and making SBPD and Shawn look superfluous. Gus as "Tap Man" is freakin' hilarious.
- "In for a Penny..." - Awesome, awesome Juliet O'Hara-centric episode. William Shatner plays Juliet's estranged con artist dad who's trying to ingratiate himself back into her life. Fantastic emotional beats delivered by Shatner and Maggie Lawson.
- "Neil Simon's Lover's Retreat" - Another great ep. Shawn and Juliet go on a romantic getaway, so naturally a corpse pops up. Keep an eye out for the nightclub sequence as Gus, Lassie, and Henry compete in a bet.
- "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger" - PSYCH'S nod to Indiana Jones, but also featuring the return of dashing master thief Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes). Also guest-stars John Rhys-Davies ("Sallah" from the Indiana Jones films).
- "Heeeeere's Lassie" - Focus on Det. Carlton Lassiter who hires Shawn and Gus to investigate a possible haunting in his new condo. This episode spoofs THE SHINING, POLTERGEIST, ROSEMARY'S BABY, and even GHOSTBUSTERS. Guest-starring William Shatner who shows up for a few minutes.
- "Santabarbaratown" - PSYCH's nod to film noir like CHINATOWN and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
PSYCH - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON has its 16 episodes on 4 discs. The bonus stuff:
- Cast & Crew Audio Commentaries on 8 episodes: "Shawn Rescues Darth Vader," "Last Night Gus," "This Episode Sucks," "In for a Penny...," "Neil Simon's Lover's Retreat," "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger," "Heeeeere's Lassie," and "Santabarbaratown"
- Writers' Video Commentaries on all 16 episodes
- Deleted/Extended Scenes for 11 episodes
- Gag Reel (00:04:11 minutes)
- 4 montage clips of Shawn and Gus's shenanigans focusing on their favorite phrases, names Shawn comes up with to introduce Gus to strangers, Gus's food obsession, jokes that didn't make the final cut, and pop culture references (totaling 00:05:20 minutes)
- "Underground with PSYCH" - look at the set of the hidden underground treasure room from "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger" with production designer Eric Norlin and art director Jennifer Donaldson (00:04:04 minutes)
- "Psychouts - California Survivor Man Audition Applicant #633" - Dule Hill, James Roday, and Maggie Lawson goof around in a 40-second promotional skit