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Why We Still Love 'Psych' All These Years Later
Even though the show ended in 2014, Shawn and Gus are still beloved by "Psych" fans, and we think we know why.
Since its series finale in 2014, “Psych” has had an impressive amount of longevity thanks to the world of streaming. Not only have fans managed to keep the conversation surrounding “Pysch” going, but they’ve given it life after its series finale as well, which prompts the question: Why do people still love it so much?
From its premiere in 2006 to its end, it was clear to fans who tuned into “Psych” that the USA Network series had tapped into something magical and long-lasting. For those unfamiliar, the show focuses on Shawn Spencer (James Roday) a gifted young screw-up whose father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), raised him to have a photographic memory in the hopes he’d follow in his footsteps as a detective with the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Instead, Shawn enlists his reluctant best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill), to open a private investigation agency under the lie that his powers of deduction are not a honed skill, but rather supernatural. In each episode, the duo joins detectives Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson) on a new adventure to solve a new high-stakes crime in the only wacky, hijinks-filled way they know how.
Since its ending, the show has spawned three original movies, the latest of which came out in 2021. So, there’s clearly a lot of love for “Psych,” still out there, and here are just some of the reasons why.
Even though the show deals with grim topics like murder and crime, series creator Steve Franks still found a way to inject humor into each and every episode. The show is, at its core, a comedy, so hiring the talent of Roday was essential to capture that perfect blend of humor and heart.
Whether he’s being outrageous at a crime scene while talking to the "spirits," annoying the uptight Lassiter, or doing both at the exact same time, Shawn never takes anything too seriously, which provides the viewer with an escape from their everyday lives. Once you throw on an episode of “Psych,” you know you’re in for a comforting laugh riot.
No TV show would be complete without a classic will-they-won’t-they romance plotline, and “Psych” has them from wall to wall.
Almost every supporting character gets a happy ending in the series finale with the love of their life. (Who could forget Marlowe Viccellio softening the always gruff Lassiter?) In fact, even one of the “Psych” movies is all about Gus finding the love of his life and finally getting hitched. However, the linchpin romance that ties the whole show together is the one between Shawn and Juliet.
They have to go through a Ross-and-Rachel level of trials and tribulations before they ultimately end up together in the end. Like all love stories, theirs is one about someone growing up and developing the ability to love (mostly for Shawn).
It’s hard to imagine a list of the best TV bromances and not put Shawn and Gus near or at the top. For eight seasons and three movies, lovers came and went, cases were solved or dropped, but Shawn and Gus remained as tight as always.
The childhood best friends never met a challenge in life they weren’t able to face together, with Shawn dragging his reluctant best friend into greatness every step of the way. Sometimes, best friends on TV can see their relationships go through ebbs and flows, and while Shawn and Gus definitely have their moments where they need to mend their friendship here and there, it never lasts too long.
Like the show’s comedy, it’s comforting for viewers to see two people get along so well and face down everything together with their trademark wit, determination, and downright mutual terror.
Every episode of “Psych,” as well as all three movies, has another complex mystery at its core. Even if Juliet and Lassiter don’t fully believe Shawn is a full-on psychic, they know that there is something about his mind that can help them get a case they're stuck on unstuck.
So, whether they like it or not, the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Psych agency are linked on a lot of high-profile cases, which means there’s a lot for the average viewer to enjoy. Each episode challenges the viewer to see if they can figure things out before Shawn and Gus. There are few shows out there with a built-in game for the viewer. In addition, thanks to the world of streaming, fans can rewind and see all the clues they may have missed after the big reveal — thus adding to the show’s rewatchability.
After a beloved show ends, there’s the inevitable contingent of fans who fight to give it new life. Reboots and reunions can be pretty common in the TV landscape today, but that’s thanks in large part to “Psych” never saying die.
The characters have been revived for three movies now, and there are rumors that there’s another on the way. Franks previously said that not only does he know where he wants to take the series, he insists on it getting even weirder in future installments.
So, “Psych” fans aren’t just clinging to the good times of a show long finished, they’re helping keep it alive in the hopes that Shawn, Gus and the gang will ride once more into another wacky mystery full of hilarious hijinks and romance.
You can catch all of "Psych" on Peacock right now.