Without “Psych,” we certainly wouldn’t smile when we saw a pineapple. The same goes for coming up with silly nicknames for your best friend, or really understanding the greatness of people like James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Timothy Omundson, and the rest of the cast. It really was a sunny show for a cloudy day, and something we could still revisit and be entertained by. Fun fact: “Magic Head” is one of the nicknames we have for the family dog.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the pilot airing on USA, so in honor of that, we though we’d present to you our ten favorite all-time episodes of the show. It’s a little hard to rank most of them, so we’re going to avoid that … though we do have a pretty clear #1.
“Shawn vs. the Red Phantom” (season 1) – As it has been noted, we love the nickname Magic Head. Therefore, it’d be wrong to not include its origin story a.k.a. this wonderful comic-book convention tribute episode.
“American Duos” (season 2) – This was probably the episode where we first got just how brilliantly silly and funny this show could be. It was also the singing-show parody we needed without knowing it.
“Lights, Camera… Homicidio” (season 2) – The first time we interviewed Roday is was in January 2010, and at the time he claimed this was his favorite episode. (We know at one point it changed to “Dual Spires.” That’s actually not on our list, mostly because we weren’t a “Twin Peaks” viewer when we saw it so that nostalgia wasn’t quite there.) This episode is one of the ones you can really see him having just a total blast during.
“Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing” (season 3) – Probably one of our favorite Lassiter episodes from early in the run. Sure, the whole “clear the good guy of false accusations” crime TV trope is as old as time, but having it be Omundson’s character, who always seemed on the verge of snapping in the first place, made it more authentic.
“An Evening with Mr. Yang” (season 3) – The first finale featuring this “Mr. Yang” character, and probably the first time in the series we were terrified for Shawn’s future. Really creepy, and it set the tone for some very great sequels. This still takes the cake.
“Last Night Gus” (season 6) – In general, season 6 is probably our favorite just when it comes to pure comedy and also creativity with some of the cases. We especially love that this was a send-up in some ways on “The Hangover,” while still being creative and very much “Psych” in the process.
“100 Clues” (season 7) – It’s the 100th episode. Also, it’s an homage to “Clue,” a movie we enjoy every bit as much as we enjoy “Psych.”
“Right Turn or Left for Dead” (season 7) – One of the more experimental and even dramatic episodes, but we rather liked its placement and the fact that the writers really devoted so much time to the fallout of Shawn finally disclosing his secret to Juliet. Probably one of the more emotional hours for us watching the series.
“The Break-Up” (season 8) – Admittedly, it’s hard to watch more than once given that we had such an emotional reaction to the show ending, but in some many ways this was a nice culmination of the show’s run; they were growing up, and there were some wonderful callbacks in here.
“Shawn and the Real Girl” (season 6) – We don’t know why this is our favorite all-time episode, but it just is. Maybe it’s because we were covering “The Bachelor” at the time and it was such a perfect send-up even before “UnREAL.” Also, a part of it was how seriously Gus was taking going undercover for a reality dating show as opposed to Shawn, who really didn’t care and that only made the lead that much more interested in him. Great stuff in here for Juliet as well, and a pretty interesting mystery.
Should “Psych” return for more? We touched on that in a TV Revivals piece earlier this year, but the answer is a clear “yes,” even if you want to just give it the modern “X-Files” treatment and release six of them every couple of years.
What are some of your favorite “Psych” episodes? Share below, and head over here to get some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: USA.)