Psych Out

I recently finished watching the latest season of Psych. Almost every show starts to decline in quality/originality over time. It’s inevitable. The goal is to get out before you jump the shark. If you’ve made that jump, and are lucky, you can recover enough to end the show on a relatively good note. Or you can jump the shark, recover and then jump it again.

The 6th season of Psych ended on a big cliff hangar. ¬†Henry gets shot and they had spent the entire episode setting it up so that you could believe he might actually die. It was very well done. So when season 7 started you’re anticipating finding out what happens.

And it’s a total let down. The first episode of the season was terrible. They resolve what happens to Henry quickly; he’s hurt but little to no drama about if he’ll die. Okay, Psych is primarily a comedy/drama, I can get behind that. But then they spend the rest of the episode bouncing between serious and over the top corny. You don’t know what the episode is supposed to be.

It was clear there was some level of 80’s movie spoof. Unnecessary explosions. Cop (psychic detective) going beyond the law for revenge. I got that. But it just didn’t work. As wacky as the show is sometimes, it more or less stays within the confines of reality. In that episode they went off the deep on of believability. It was just a bad episode.

It took me a good bit before I was willing to give the rest of the season a try. If the rest of the episodes were going to be like that then I was done. But I eventually decided to give it a watch and I am glad I did.

After the first, there were a few more typical episodes. Nothing great but nothing real terrible And then the 100th episode came along. This one episode made buying the season worth it. The Clue spoof was amazing. I had not cracked up at an episode of TV since the last season of Archer.

Following the 100th episode, there were a couple okay episodes and then we got into the mini “Juliet learns Shawn’s not psychic arc”. Now, on one hand, it was a little contrived. For a long time, the show really felt like it had left the whole “what if people learn Shawn’s secret” aside, for the better. It almost played like the characters all kind of knew he wasn’t really psychic but didn’t care. It was a lie they all just accepted.

That aside, the three episodes this covered were quite good. They played the whole breakup/mistrust well. As invested as you are in the characters after 7 seasons you care about what happens. And the ending of the arc when Shawn walks into the chief’s office to confess was solid. Ending the episode with them beginning to work on things made sense and put a satisfactory end to the arc without dragging it out to long.

And then the show fell apart again. The very next episode we have Shawn lying again. But they treat it for laughs. The last few episodes of the season just were not very good. They felt a lot like the first episode. Over the top just for the sake of it with no real understanding of what makes the show funny.

Much like this last season of Burn Notice, I’m left not sure if I plan to continue with the show. Had the season ended with the episode where Shawn and Juliet are ready to move forward again, I would have called it a great season that just started off rough. But now, I dunno.

 

Contest Entry: When has one of your favorite shows jumped the shark?

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2 Responses to Psych Out

  1. Jedi_Rabbit says:

    Most say That 70’s Show jumped the shark after Topher Grace quit the show, resulting in a horribly bad 8th season, but I’d be willing to say it sort of jumped the shark before that. While most of the episodes of season six and seven were pretty good, over the course of each episode, the show was changing from a lighthearted sitcom about teenagers in the seventies to a show about a bunch of young adults and their relationships. The 8th Season was the jumping the shark moment, but you could see the buildup in the previous seasons. It also didn’t help that they had three seasons take place in 1978 but each one of them had a Christmas Special.

  2. Tamarynn Farr says:

    I didn’t read the whole thing, as I’m still watching the season, but I agree that the 100th episode was incredible!