CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
TV Review: USA’s Hit ‘Psych’ Returns in Predictable Fashion
CHICAGO – A consistent performer like “Psych” nearly defies the very concept of TV reviews. Want a full review here? “Have you seen “Psych” before? Did you like it? Then you’ll like the mid-season premiere.” That’s about it. With nearly six seasons done, it’s hard to believe that anyone hasn’t decided yet whether or not they like one of basic cable’s biggest hits of the last decade. And, as my grandpa says, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
TV Rating: 3.5/5.0
So why bother? Well, I think all people look for when a show like “Psych” returns is that dreaded phrase — “jumping the shark.” Is this it? The time when my favorite show turns into junk? The time when it goes from early “Entourage” to late “Entourage”? Here’s another quick review — nope. If you liked “Psych” before, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that you won’t like this mid-season premiere, especially if you’re of the target demographic that can appreciate cameos by Cary Elwes, Madchen Amick, and John Rhys Davies. “The Princess Bride,” “Twin Peaks,” and “Indiana Jones” — the people behind “Psych” really know their audience.
Photo credit: USA
The sixth season of “Psych” returns with “Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger,” an episode that features the return of Elwes’ master thief character Desperaux as he searches for, well, a kinda crappy, rusty old dagger. Rhys Davies offers commentary that’s clearly designed to make the connection to Sallah from the “Indiana Jones” movies for the right viewers. And Madchen Amick looks amazing and is effective yet again, making one wonder why “Peaks” never turned her into a bigger star.
All in all, the mid-season premiere of “Psych” is pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Roday and Hill display their amazing chemistry again. Omundsen gets in a few world-weary cracks. And the writers get to show off their skill with pop culture-heavy comedy. I still think the writing on this show, especially when it comes to the actual mysteries, is paper-thin. I always want more from the actual case that Shawn and Gus find themselves tossed into like Scooby and Shaggy. But it’s hard to complain about a show that’s this light on its feet and this harmless.
One more thing before you go to make sure your DVR is set — the rest of this season is going to be guest star HEAVY. If somehow you’re not a “Psych” fan yet, perhaps this list (that sounds not unlike a dream season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” or “Dancing with the Stars”) will persuade you — Amick, Elwes, Rhys Davies, Wayne Brady, Cheech Marin, Mekhi Phifer, Jaleel White, French Stewart, Lou Gossett Jr., Sara Rue, Lindsay Sloane, and Lolita Davidovich.