Psych: Kind of not just another detective show

At this point, USA is even poking fun at its own programming lineup with its crossover commercials highlighting the leads from The Dead Zone, Monk, and Psych talking about their own powers and talents in solving mysteries. The formula has worked twice before, and you know what it works again with Psych.

The premise itself is quite an awesome one. A loser son of a cop has always had a sense of spotting "what's wrong with this picture", and it was a talent that his father would have him hone as a child. Now, the son Shawn Spencer falls into freelancing for the police department and quickly creates a cover that he is a psychic to explain how he is able to know so much about a crime scene.

The first two episodes have been amazingly well written. They are very funny, and the 2 leads (James Rhoday and Dule Hill) have a great chemistry together. I think that is what really carries the show. The banter between the two, Spencer's smug arrogance, and Gus' real world approach to the crimes is a nice change of pace from other shows. The plots themselves could have easily been plots for any episode of Monk, but they work well enough. One aspect of the show so far that I do like more than Monk is that they have made the choice to highlight the clues that Spencer picks up before making a deduction, while in Monk the deductions are all made in the characters head sort of keeping the audience clueless as far as "how he figures these things out".

One other main aspect to the show is Spencer's relationship with his estranged father. It's the typical "dad was tough on son through childhood, and then they had a falling out, and now they are working on fixing things slowly". It works though. Corbin Bernsen plays the dad pretty well. Once again, the chemistry between Spencer and his Father is also very good.

They made a smart choice of getting rid of the blonde cop in the pilot who was dating the doubting annoying cop and putting in another more attractive blonde cop with inklings of a future relationship with Shawn. Overall, all the supporting cast are pretty strong. Really at the end of the first two episodes, I thought "wow that was entertaining and hilarious stuff" and tend to forget the intricacies of the mystery. I think that's important because compared to the multiple CSI's where the mystery always takes the forefront, which becomes tiresome very quickly, you will return to this show for the characters. If you are a fan of Monk, I think you will definitely love this show because its almost like "anti-Monk" and a spoofing of other detective shows.

Psych airs on USA at Fridays at 10pm.

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