December 15, 2017

Psych: The Movie [TV Movie] (2017)

James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, et al

In the hellscape that has been 2017, this movie has been the one thing I've had to look forward to. I literally put its release date on my calendar to make sure I didn't miss it. In retrospect, I may have put too much pressure on it. It is a TV movie, after all.

Let me back up. Psych is one of my all-time favorite shows. It's clever, it's funny, and most of all, it's always surprising. You never know what obscure 80's reference they're going to use or how off track Shawn and Gus will get with their argument. It's wild, slightly slapstick, and completely unlike any other show I've watched. The day it was cancelled was a day of mourning in my house.

Movies, of course, are much trickier than single episodes. They have to tell a coherent story while also addressing the growth of the characters that happened in the gap between the show's end and the movie's start. So I can appreciate all the tricky pieces the creators had to balance.

But this movie didn't feel entirely fresh. It felt like they wanted to squeeze in so many nods to old episodes and guest characters that it lost the silly, carefree feeling of the show. Instead, it was a carefully choreographed dance down memory lane that was satisfying in a way, but didn't seem to add to the story in any meaningful way. Things happened, sure, but they were secondary to the little winks to the past crammed throughout the two hours. It certainly wasn't the most compelling story they've told.

I'm sad because it feels like I've lost my show for a second time. And while part of me is holding out for a sequel, I don't want my characters to limp out on the tail end of a six movie deal like The West Wing did to all of us in Seasons 6 and 7. Then again, maybe if there are more movies planned, they won't feel so much pressure to keep reliving the highlights and can create newer content.

Final word: Not a total Psych-out, but certainly wasn't enough to salvage the year. 

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