Thursday, April 26, 2012

Television Review: Psych, Season 6

With this season [1], Psych became the USA network's longest-running television show, beating out such favorites as Monk, The 4400, La Femme Nikita, and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.[2][3] I understand this because it's a funny show with quirky, enjoyable characters; because it's rich with references to other shows, movies, and pop culture; and because there's something inherently compelling about solving mysteries. However, I also don't understand this because Psych is mostly episodic, not serial. For the most part there aren't any story arcs that compel you to watch the next episode. Rather than have a cliffhanger every episode, they only give you one at the end of the season (and possibly another if they're going to take a mid-season hiatus).

My verdict: The show is still funny and intelligent, but I find it a little less engaging than it once was. The less-frequent use of flashbacks to Shawn's childhood is disappointing (though the latest actor for "Young Shawn" is my least favorite, so far). Seeing how his dysfunctional childhood leads to his dysfunctional post-adolescence (or, sometimes, clues to a particular case) enriches the show. There were only two episodes which had the potential for me to catch a lot of allusions. The superhero episode had some cleverly placed homages to the Batman television series. But the episode where Shawn saves Darth Vader was disappointingly lacking in Star Wars riffs. With Shawn and Juliette openly dating, that story arc (which was pretty much the only one holding the series together) is almost resolved. The first half of the season ends with a nice cliffhanger, but the finale of the season as a whole was less compelling.


[1] See my reviews of previous seasons here, here, and here.

[2] Read the official press release here.

[3] I've enjoyed all of these except La Femme Nikita, which I've never seen. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles showed concurrently on the ABC network, which is where I watched it.

Image attributions:

Chart of the Hand Used by Psychics is by Ella Adelia Fletcher, exists in the public domain, and is available at of the Hand.png.


  1. Did you watch the current season's cliffhanger? Yeah, that one is very compelling.

  2. This is a review of the current season. Sure it ended on a cliffhanger. But I don't feel like that set us up for an intriguing new story arc next season. Not the way the season finale of Season 3 of LOST did, for example.