The USA Network’s masterpiece of television comedy, Psych, returns for its eighth season tonight, and during the run-up to its debut – including December’s Psych: The Musical – I’ve found myself relentlessly pondering one question.
Is Psych Tv’s best show?
Short answer? No.
But I have to confess that for a while, there, I was really starting to lean toward yes.
I know the high-minded folks will peg the likes of Downton Abbey, or Mad Men, or Breaking Bad, or anything else in the Showtime/AMC/HBO stable as vastly superior, and while I’ve yet to see most, I’m prepared to dismiss such thoughts as the opinions of people who hate and don’t respect comedy.
Is that fair? No. Is it startlingly close-minded? Yes. Is it something a serious writer who wants his occasional scribblings to be respected should admit? Probably not. Is it an outrageous generalization that cannot possibly be factually accurate? Without a doubt. Am I comfortable with it anyway? Absolutely.
Because while I understand the love for those shows, I cannot possibly understand why the same isn’t extended to Psych. The writing and the acting – the witty banter and clever dialogue – are of such high quality to me, that I must cry foul when seeing the publicity given to some shows whilst watching Psych fly under the radar.
Make no mistake, while it’s unlike the the shows that traditionally become the subject of critical adoration, Psych is brilliant. It’s intelligently written, exquisitely acted, and is as polished and expertly produced as any other television show – and one of the few comedies skilled enough to make it work going serious.
It’s exactly what you want in a TV show: constant, engrossing entertainment – laugh, cry or otherwise.
But too many overlook it because, in general, those charged with telling us what’s good rarely take time to look beyond the genre. “It’s meant to be funny, it may make light of farts, it can’t possibly be as well put together as the post-apocalyptic zombie show!”
Or they just all hate obscure Boys Don’t Cry references and tributes to Billy Ocean.
Either way, it’s a shame, because entire scored of the TV watching public is missing out.
Now let me be clear, I’m truthfully not trying to argue that Psych is the best show on TV. In fact, if I’m being honest, the show took a step back last year. It struggled, in my opinion, under the weight of its own success. So eager they were to include those bits and lines that had – through easy, natural flow – become so much of the its cult identity, that the ease disappeared and the show felt forced.
But what I am saying, is that at its best, it can be as good as anything out there, and deserves far more love than its getting.
Author: Joseph White
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.