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TELEVISION REVIEW: ‘Psych’ Worthy Network Mate of ‘Monk’ – TV’s Best Hour-Long Show

Posted by kinchendavid on August 6, 2006

By David M. Kinchen

Hinton, WV (HNN) — From what I call the “Monastery” network — USA, home of “Monk” — comes a show created by Steve Franks that’s worthy of following “Monk” on Friday nights (9 p.m. Eastern for “Monk,” 10 p.m. for “Psych.” Thanks to creative programming at USA, the shows are repeated throughout the week. I watched both of them again at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively on Saturday, Aug. 5.

James Roday plays Shawn Spencer, a young man with a photographic memory who pretends to be a psychic to help the Santa Barbara Police Department solve crimes. Dule’ Hill, (Charlie Young, the presidential aide on “The West Wing”) plays Burton “Gus” Guster, his reluctant best friend and often unwilling sidekick, with a straight man flair that adds an extra dimension to this comic detective series. Gus is a pharmaceutical salesman, but he hardly ever visits a doctor’s office while the show is on.

On the latest episode, “9 Lives,” Roday is assisted in his crime solving by a long-haired multicolored cat, the pet of a middle-aged man who supposedly committed suicide. It’s one of a string of suicides in the seaside community, but Roday suspects that they’re really murders.

The requisite obtuse police detective, Carlton Lassiter, is played by Timothy Omundson. His beautiful young sidekick, Det. Maggie Lawson, is played by Juliet O’Hara. Corbin Bernsen (“LA Law”) plays Henry Spencer, Shawn’s retired police officer father, who – to borrow a phrase from “The Hustler” – taught Shawn everything Shawn knows, but not everything he knows.

The show’s tagline is “Fake Psychic. Real Detectives” and it’s a winner in my book. Franks was the screenwriter of “Big Daddy,” a 1999 Adam Sandler flick. He’s got a hit on his hand. Fortunately, USA is a network that will give “Psych” plenty of development time. USA is also home to “House”, “The Dead Zone,” “The 4400” and other intriguing shows.

Web site: http://www.usanetwork.com

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