Thursday, December 30, 2010

Television Review: Psych, Season 3

A few weeks ago Leann and I finished season 3 of the television series Psych. It features Shawn, a stereotypical 'post-adolescent' [1] who has been taught to be hyper-observant and analytical by his policeman father (with whom he now has a complicated relationship). He, with the help of his best friend, Gus, employs these skills to help the Santa Barbara Police Department solve cases. And along the way we are treated to some of their antics.

I didn't really notice any multi-episode story arcs in the first two seasons, but this season there were a few: we finally meet his mother, who appears in several episodes and helps to flesh out the strained relationship between Shawn and his father, and the writers start to develop some romantic tension between Shawn and Juliette (one of the detectives on the SPBD). Having stand-alone episodes, like the first two seasons, are better for hit-and-miss viewers and for syndication, but I prefer serial episodes—they draw me in more and leave me eager for the next episode.

My favorite episode from this season was "Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing", where the uptight Detective Lasseter is accused of murdering a suspect he just helped to arrest. The season finale, featuring a cat-and-mouse showdown between Shawn and a serial killer (whose calling card is 'Mr. Yang'), was pretty good, too. I suspect that's not the last we've seen of 'Mr. Yang'.

My verdict: This season was plenty of fun, but I think the first season was the funniest so far. The multi-episode story arcs are a nice development, though. If you watch carefully you'll spot Cameron Frye, Clair Huxtable, Brian Hastings, Jack Dalton, and the voice of the Arbiter.


[1] The terms post-adolescent or emerging adult are used to describe twenty-somethings who haven't transitioned into adulthood (I've also heard them called tweens, though that technically refers to children aged 8–12). They do not consider themselves adults, but usually neither do their parents. They usually can't (or won't) hold down a job, attended at least some college, like to travel and participate in high-adrenaline activities, are unmarried, and often live with their parents. This is a phenomenon which has become widespread in First World countries in the last two decades, due in large part to affluent 'helicopter parents', increasingly lax sexual mores, feminism, and an explosion of available entertainment media. See Henig, Robin Marantz. "What Is It About 20-Somethings?" The New York Times, Aug. 18, 2010.

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