DVD Review: PSYCH: The Complete Third Season

Universal Studios
MSRP: $59.98
DVD release date: July 21, 2009
Stars: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Tim Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen.

Season 2 of Psych, USA Network’s broadly funny, fake psychic detective series, ended with Shawn Spencer (Roday) opening the door to find his mother, who had never previously on the show. In three episodes of Season 3, Shawn’s mother, police psychologist Madeleine Spencer, is played by Cybill Shepherd. Overall, Season 3 continued to flesh out the characters’ backstories and deepen their relationships without sacrificing individual episodes’ fun factor.

In addition to Shawn’s mother, Season 3 introduces Shawn’s high school crush (Rachel Leigh Cook), Shawn’s roguish uncle Jack (Steven Webber), Chief Vick’s (Kirsten Nelson) Coast Guard commander sister (Jane Lynch), and Lassiter’s (Omundson) estranged wife Victoria (Justine Bateman). That so many guest stars worked seamlessly into the show is a testament to the strength and flexibility of its premise.

The dynamics among the core cast progress as well. Shawn’s playful pursuit of Det. Juliet O’Hara (Lawson) shows signs of becoming a full-fledged romance, mirroring Roday and Lawson’s real-life relationship. Shawn and Lassiter’s dynamic, once purely adversarial, moves toward a mutual, if still grudging, respect—especially when Lassiter directly saves Shawn’s life in one episode. In short, Psych remains a broad comedy, but its well-layered plots keep it from becoming flimsy parody. If you’ve seen Seasons 1 and 2, you don’t need convincing. If you haven’t, the show is appealing enough to start anytime.

The four-disc Season 3 set includes sixteen widescreen episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, nine audio commentaries, seven video commentaries, “Psychout” outtakes, and six short montages.

–Gerald So