DVD Review: Psych: The Complete First Season

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Raised by his police sergeant father to be super-observant, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) doesn’t become a cop, but does call in tips to the Santa Barbara PD. Eventually these tips raise enough suspicion to bring him in for questioning, and Shawn is forced to pass himself off as a psychic. By the end of the pilot episode, Shawn and his best friend Gus (Dulé Hill) open a detective agency called Psych.

Finding a couple of things over-the-top at first, I didn’t take to this series until a marathon of reruns on USA Network. Shawn’s powers of observation are shown in a zoom effect highlighting what he sees. Gus, a pharmaceutical sales rep, has an abundance of trivial knowledge that comes in handy in the course of an episode. To harp on these details, though, is to miss two lead characters refreshingly jazzed about solving mysteries. There is substance, too, in Shawn’s prickly relationship with his father (Corbin Bernsen) often shown in flashbacks. Finally, the show’s writers are open to improv, making dialog and mannerisms feel spontaneous.

The first season set of Psych includes 15 episodes on 4 discs with a generous helping of deleted scenes, character profiles, a blooper reel, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, six audio commentaries, and James Roday’s audition tape.

–Gerald So
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Order Psych from Amazon.