Friday, October 16, 2009


I've been watching the USA show Psych for a couple years. Each episode is a happy potluck of inventively geeky plots, low-stakes drama, fake psychicry and real cowardice, Easter Egg pineapples, rapidfire wiseassery, Final Jeopardy-level eighties references, third-tier celebrity appearances, and, dependably, yet more fodder for my crush on Secret-Latino James "Roday" Rodríguez. (Oh, James, talk Tejano to me!)

Best (and most surprising) of all is the occasional emergence of really savvy horror-homage elements. I'd credited the writers alone for these secret-handshake gestures (such as the name of the final episode of the second season: "Shawn [and Gus] of the Dead") until I watched February's documentary on the SciFi channel (back before it was Siphy), His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, wherein Rodríguez Roday gushed his commentary and memories in the company of innumerable Hollywood power players. Yes, the varied cast of grateful creators and thinkers illustrates the far and wide influence of Friday the 13th. Indeed, there are many commentators whose names I almost recognized!

His gushing proved it: James Roday appears to be the genuine article, a dyed-in-the-dollar-cinema horror geek. (He was also the biggest name attached to the Freddy Tribute Special even if you DO count the next-highest contenders--and you most certainly shouldn't, as they were all involved in the original project, namely Cunningham, Manfredini, and Savini.)

Learning that Roday was a genre nerd sealed the deal on my infatuation, naturalmente. Apparently the lead actors on Psych have a pretty considerable hand in shaping the show's content. They even did a group panel--actors and writers--at this year's San Diego ComicCon. Unusual? Mmmmmyyyeeeeeesssss.

The most blatantly and thoroughly genriffic episode was, of course, "Tuesday the 17th", the penultimate episode of last season. This season has so far brought us an Exorcist-inspired episode ("The Devil Is in the Details... And the Upstairs Bedroom", August 28) and last week's episode, "Let's Get Hairy", a werewolf-themed episode featuring none other than David Naughton. (Okay, it featured one other than David Naughton; Biff from Back to the Future played, as well. Hey, I said third-tier and I meant it.) It bears mentioning that there is no genuine supernatural element to the show. Rather, as straight mysteries go, nothing is what it seems, and the culprit never turns out to be reeeeaaal ghoooosts wooooo. It's a little like Scooby-Doo that way. Also, the protagonists are a duo of constantly-in-over-their-heads goofballs who bug eyes and turn tail almost as often as they munch branded snacks. Make of that what you will.

Alas, I lack basic cable, so I've not yet caught tonight's episode, the fall finale. However, USA Network graciously places the full episodes on their website one week after they air. I can't link to a specific video but the navigation is easy-peasy.

Full (recent) Episodes of PSYCH at

¡Llámame, Jaime! ¡Te quiero!

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