Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Return of the Pineapple: A Roundtable Review of Psych: The Movie [Contributors: Jenn, Meredith, and Ashvini]

I’m so mad that I was late to the Psych party. I only started watching the show after the series finale aired, and wish I would have been around to experience all of the hijinks and fun the fandom would have provided while the show was still airing on USA. Nevertheless, when I fell into Psych, I fell in love. Fast. The witty, pop culture soaked television series about a fake psychic detective and his best friend/partner-in-crime captivated me and had me laughing every episode.

I bawled during the finale, still giggling through my tears at the final shot of the team chasing down a thief through San Francisco. So when I heard rumblings that USA was going to make a movie for the series, I was stoked. And honestly, I was also crazy jealous that the one year I didn’t attend Comic-Con was the year the cast was there promoting the film.

(No worries though, because Chelsea interviewed them for me.)

Since quite a few of us around Just About Write absolutely adore the show and thought the movie was pretty dang flawless, fun, and the antidote to most of 2017, we decided to combine our powers for a roundtable! Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

The gang has finally returned and reunited after three years! What did you think of the movie overall, especially in light of all of the reboots and remakes that have been floating around in pop culture this year.

Jenn: In an age where literally everything is being rebooted or remade (looking at you, Dirty Dancing, Fuller House, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, etc. etc.), it’s often hard to recapture the magic of the original with a new cast — or a cast that hasn’t worked together in a few years. But not so with Psych: The Movie. It honestly feels like we picked up right where we left off with these crazy, lovable characters. I’ll admit that the first scene was a bit clunky and long for me (there’s only so much I can watch of Shawn running away from bad guys and/or monologuing), but that’s literally the only complaint I have about the movie and it’s a minor one. Everything else was absolute perfection, and the movie paid homage to the series with its witty callbacks and cast of characters, but also gave us something new to love.

Mer: I thought it was almost perfect. It was lighthearted and fun but emotional. It was hilarious and brought back pretty much everything that made the series so fantastic. I had two gripes: one, there was not enough of Shawn using his “psychic powers,” and two (which cannot be helped but still), it needed more Timothy Omundson/Lassie. Of course I know why he could not be a part of the film, and I don’t begrudge him or anyone that he couldn’t do it. I just wish circumstances had been different (for a number of reasons, of course) and he had been able to be a larger part of it.

Ashvini: I loved it so much! Seeing Shawn and Gus back and sweeter and sillier than ever was definitely worth the struggle I experienced trying to stream this online. Also I thought Juliet kicked butt — like always — and her relationship with Shawn seemed so much stronger and heartfelt than it was previously. Their chemistry was more electric than I remember. A few more things: Henry’s new persona made me cackle, I’m 100% on board for Gus’s facial hair, and Woody is as bizarre as I remember and it was amazing. There were a few plot points that were introduced and left somewhat unaddressed — like Iris and the mean girls — and like Mer said, I wanted to see more of Shawn’s “psychic powers”. Overall, I can’t complain. I didn’t keep any expectations because television reboots can be subpar at best, but this one was great. The passage of time looks good on Psych.

When we left them last in San Francisco, Shawn and Juliet had just gotten engaged. Three years later, they are still together but not married. What did you think about the development of their relationship throughout the movie?

Jenn: I loved their development so much. I thought I had heard that Shawn and Juliet were going to be on the rocks in the movie (or perhaps even not together anymore), so I love the fact that they were together and content — especially with Shawn’s little pet names. But what I really enjoyed was how earnestly Shawn had been looking for the engagement ring that was stolen! It was sweet that he felt like Jules needed and deserved that ring, but even better when he realized that it didn’t matter what ring she had and that his tactics for stalling weren’t mature or right.

But come on — his face when he sees the ring at the end? Adorable and priceless and perfect.

Mer: I thought where they were when they started the movie made sense for the characters, and I’m glad we were able to see the culmination of that years-long relationship. I also enjoyed that Maggie and James clearly still have a ton of chemistry, and are still very comfortable with each other. The years they’ve known each other lent to the sense that Shawn and Jules have a ton of history and a real bond between them.

Ashvini: I was never a fan of Shawn and Juliet, but this time around their relationship seemed deeper and more fascinating than I remember. Their love for each other is so palpable and this movie did a wonderful job at letting us into their little world and letting us vibe with them for a bit. I guess I can call myself Shawn/Juliet shipper now.

Gus’s love life was always a bit rocky throughout the series. What do you think of Selene and Gus’s relationship?

Jenn: Even though Selene annoyed me a bit, it was really fun to see Gus be challenged! I love that most of the series was spent on Gus being a totally down-on-his-luck guy when it comes to love, so watching him get chased after was so satisfying. Plus it allowed for some pretty hilarious moments from Dulé Hill.

Mer: It was hilarious and perfectly Gus. To have the female equivalent of Gus out-Gus Gus was a great gag. I hope this love is more permanent than past loves have been. I’ll admit she annoyed me a little bit at times, but in general I thought the relationship was fun and suited to his character.

Ashvini: Gus is a very intense person is so it was nice to see someone who could play off of his intensity and ridiculousness a bit. I giggled during their impromptu make-out in front of the telescope. But the audience didn’t really get to understand Selene completely as a person, so here’s hoping for a sequel.

Our favorite bromance is back: Shawn and Gus! How was their dynamic similar or different in the movie from that of the series?

Mer: Oh this was the best part of the movie! Just like with the show, the Shawn/Gus dynamic is everything. It’s funny but sweet and meaningful in all the best ways. The years apart have not changed the chemistry between these two and that’s really what the show is built on. They played off each other perfectly. I didn’t find it different from the series much at all — it felt deeper in a way because it’s just been so long, but they picked up right where they left off.

Ashvini: Oh. My. God. Both Shawn and Gus were on fire! I thought they were funnier, weirder, and closer than ever and I appreciate seeing actors who actually pull off being a duo really, really well. I think in a lot of television shows nowadays, we see writers try to pair people us to create various “friend-romances” — or, as I like to call them, friendships — but they fall flat more often than not. It helps if the duo is close off screen, because then the love these characters are supposed to feel for each other becomes more evident. And with Shawn and Gus, thanks to James Roday and Dulé Hill, this duo is grounded in realness and comfort.

Jenn: I agree with both of you! James Roday and Dulé Hill could do an entire movie of them just running around and I would find it enjoyable. I think the dog scene was probably my absolute favorite — the whole rapid-fire sequence of dialogue and physical comedy from James and Dulé was perfect. I also love seeing how Shawn is still his typical self, roping Gus into shenanigans, and Gus is still there to guide his friend and stick by him.

Let’s talk about the plot of the movie, and how it centered around Juliet! Did you enjoy the plot and its progression? What about the villain?

Mer: I was surprised that it centered around Juliet! That was a great and not expected choice. I will admit the plot wasn’t what I was most watching for — I thought it was fine, but really it’s the characters, the quirkiness, the fun and uniqueness of Psych that brought me to watch. I care about the plot in the sense that I care about these characters, but it could have been about much of anything and I’d have enjoyed it. I thought Zachary Levi was campy and over-the-top but delightful. And the surprise twist villain at the end suited the series well. Did it all feel a bit heavy-handedly pulled together? Yeah, a bit, but it was so fun that it gets a big old WHO CARES from me!

Ashvini: If Zachary Levi’s intention was to do an impression of Russell Brand, then it was sick. So I was glad when the real villain, or the blonde Yin/Yang wannabe, was revealed. Juliet is such a tenacious character that she is immediately interesting to watch, so I thought that centering the plot around her was a smart decision. We got to watch Psych from her perspective a bit, without losing the sense that Shawn and Gus were the leads, and it was lovely to be able to experience that. 

Jenn: I love how campy Zachary Levi’s villain was. Most of the times on the series when there were villains, they had some level of sarcasm and/or silliness to them. It was nice to see a villain who wasn’t entirely terrifying and was more fun. The surprise villain, I’ll admit, made me ponder whether or not I remembered who they were/what season they were from. But still, I enjoyed the plot for what it was — a way to move along the characters and push them to grow into who they needed to be. Plots that focus on female characters are always great, and this time around it allowed Juliet and Karen to take center stage.

What was your favorite running joke/gag from the series that made a reappearance in the movie?

Jenn: Gus getting to introduce Shawn as his partner, White Privilege, was probably the highlight of the entire movie for me. In addition to the resurgence of guest stars, my favorite lines (“Wait for iiiiiiiiit” and “You know that’s right!” and “Suck iiiiiiit” and Gus telling Shawn he hasn’t heard it both ways, etc.) made reappearances and plus we got more pineapples!

Mer: “You know that’s right!” Gus squealing. The partner nicknames when they introduce each other. Just everything! They brought everything I loved back. Really the ONLY missing pieces were Lassie (sad face), and a bit more of the “psychic” stuff.

Ashvini: The “suck it” song made a comeback in full force and I had to try and stifle my laughter while sitting in a quiet library. Also, the song Mary Lightly and Shawn sang together, with Juliet and Gus, was just too much for me to handle. It was so weird and I loved it so much. And of course, Shawn and Gus screaming and running away from the sword-wielding gentleman villain, made me smile so hard; I really missed those babies.

Talk about #TeamPsych being (mostly) reunited with Chief Vick, Henry, and Woody rejoining the gang for one big mission! (Let’s also talk about Lassie here, because we deeply love Timothy Omundson.)

Jenn: I cannot stop cackling because Henry just became a hipster in the timeframe between when Jules and Shawn last saw him and the movie. Henry was back in full force in his snappy, dad self but I love that he’s always there to give people a reality check. Woody has never been my favorite Psych character but he was utilized well in the movie and I love the fact that he and Henry got the chance to team up as the old guys of the group. I missed Chief Vick so much and I’m really happy that she and Jules have a close relationship three years later. Her banter with Shawn and Gus was on point, as always (Shawn telling Karen it’s 9 p.m. when she claims it’s the middle of the night, and wondering aloud what time she goes to bed was perfect) and I’m glad we got to see Vick’s daughter in the movie too!

I absolutely felt the absence of Timothy Omundson’s Lassie, but the scene where he gives advice to Jules made me weepy. Omundson was such a huge part of Psych and his relationship with Shawn was one of the best parts of the series. But I’m glad we got a little glimpse into the fact that even though they aren’t partners anymore, Lassie and Jules still care about and support one another deeply. It was beautiful and touching, and a fitting inclusion in the movie.

Mer: It was so wonderful to have everyone involved. But yes, Lassie was deeply missed. Really I think his absence was felt quite strongly throughout. I read an article about the movie beforehand that said Timothy was really present in the movie despite not being present, and after watching it I know exactly what they meant by that. He was present in how strongly his absence was felt. He was such a hugely important part of the series, and of course circumstances are what they are and it couldn’t be helped, but it really did feel like an integral piece was missing. I’m hoping he’s doing well and recovering and can join the cast for the next (!!!) movie.

Ashvini: Henry Spencer gave me the courage I needed to wear more hats. Chief Vick was the mamma bear everyone needs in their life. Woody killed me, like I said before. And I’m happy we got see Lassie for a few minutes, even if it was via smartphone.

Okay... that ending though! Let’s discuss what this could mean for the future.

Jenn: I spent the entire movie going, “Where is John Cena?” and it was a few minutes until the end of the movie when my friend Melissa turned to me and asked, “Is he going to be in it?” And sure enough, the final scene involved Jules’ brother. I’ll admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the way the movie ended because it left me wondering aloud, “WHAT NOW?!” But I am really excited that it’s so open-ended that other movies could happen in the future. I would absolutely love if we had a Psych movie for every holiday — even the random, small ones.

Mer: I definitely see a fun sequel! I think the ending was almost more intriguing than the majority of the plot. That was a fun set-up and I’d love to see them come back in a year or two and do something with it.

Ashvini: I hope to God they make a sequel. This franchise is so creative and the Psych world is ripping at the seams with the amount of characters, plots, and gags they could bring back. It’s one of my favorite television shows ever, so I’m never going to not want more of Shawn, Gus, and company.

What did you all think of Psych: The Movie? Sound off in the comments below!


Post a Comment