I am sad to say it feels like my favorite show’s time at the top is a memory in the rearview mirror. Tonight the guys decide to go back seven years to season 1 and relive the episode “Cloudy with a Chance of Murder.” The problem is that they take what was an already terrific episode in 2006 and do the dreaded “reboot/remake” that films have had to suffer from for the past decade. The biggest and most glaring gripe of the episode is that former Psych guest-stars are littered around the episode. From small timers like Lindsey Sloane (from The Bachelor spoof episode), vet actor Ray Wise (from The Exorcist spoof episode) to big timers like Ralph Macchio as the prosecuting attorney. It may be a cliché, but if ain’t broke why bother to fix it.
The story is exactly the same: the death of local lothario weatherman Jackson Hale. As he does with most of his trysts, Jackson brings his ladies back to the TV studio for a little green screen action. That sounds much dirtier now that I’ve written it down. I imagine he normally uses that spot to record his liaisons and analyze his work afterward. I understand that it’s supposed to be the gang taking an old episode and giving an almost identical plot save for who the killer winds up to be. To be honest, it was a little maddening because if you don’t have fresh stories to tell, why continue making the show? And I am the last person to be called a hater—I love this damn show. But lately it feels like the Santa Barbara gang is phoning it in. Maybe they are getting complacent because of the syndication dollars that rolled in?
I wish that I had more good stuff to say, but this episode just did not feel right in the Psych canon. There are many other episodes that I would love to have seen get a mulligan. I think that the producers just chose poorly. The execution is not there and they come nowhere to sticking the proverbial landing. Shawn is at his manic best in the courtroom and in a very funny scene where he is being held in contempt. Gus is being dragged out of the courtroom quoting legal dramas. Now that was pretty damn funny and I wanted to see more of that kind of stuff that is Psych’s bread and butter. The lack of Jules and Lassie is very obvious too, even though they did not have much of a role on the first go round. But the cohesion of “the team” vibe feels stale.
The fate of Psych is not clear. The show is USA’s longest running series. Creator Steve Franks has been quoted as saying that he would do the show until they kick him out the door. The thought that they may be at the point sincerely saddens me. I think that the first thing to do with the show is to go back to what works and keep it simple. If it wants to make it to Season 9, Psych is going to need to more than tweak a first season episode from a different point of view. Man I hope this is not the end…