Monday, August 24, 2009

How the West was Fun

Regular readers of PTR this summer know that I have a certain affinity for westerns. I also have a certain affinity for all things Psych, so combining the two was pretty much perfection for me. The Bonanza-style music playing over those sweeping aerial shots of the landscape, the "Saddlesore Saloon," the "cowboy" talk, and pretty much every other western staple made this episode that much more awesome. Here's a look at this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

I've often wondered if the writers of this show are inspired by one of my favorite cartoons as a child: Scooby Doo! A lot of episodes have that "And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you kids and your dog!" feel at the end. This week, the vibe was even stronger. A small, secluded town with strange things happening at night, a legendary ghost story, murder, and a motive that would easily rival some of my fave Scooby episodes. And just like Scooby, the shadowy figure on the horse who seemed to disappear wasn't really a ghost. It was Stinky Feet Pete and he murdered McBain because he discovered a million dollars worth of gold in the abandoned mine shaft. Scooby always had that funny/spooky feeling and it's great to have a show that carries on that tradition with such hilarity.

I don't think I would ever get tired of Sheriff Shawn. Those scenes were just plain HILARIOUS! When Lassie walked in and found Sheriff Shawn and Blacksmith Gus sitting around the desk playing poker and speaking "cowboy," I almost died. Shawn really embraced that simpler time when people weren't dependent on electronics ("or living past the age of 40" -Gus) and he got kinda used to the whole sheriff thing. Loved his shoot out at the "Saddlesore Saloon," his "New sheriff in town" speech, his ride on horseback two feet down the road to the saloon and his pointing to his sheriff's star at the end when his authority was questioned. Just funny from top to bottom.

This week's funniest moment was so funny that I can't even think about it without losing it all over again. Shawn and Gus falling into the mine shaft was funny, their little girl whimpering upon landing on a pile of rocks was funnier, but the ensuing coccyx bone discussion was a whole new level of funny. Shawn, who last week thought that a Ponzi scheme had something to do with The Fonz, didn't understand that the coccyx bone is the proper name for the tail bone and not another part of the (male) anatomy. This made references to rubbing lotion on the coccyx and massaging the coccyx and so on and so forth absolutely HILARIOUS! If there was ever a side-splitting moment, this was it. Classic Shawn and Gus!

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("High Noon-ish") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site.


John said...

Shawn may not be natural as a real law enforcement officer, but he is as a fake western sheriff. He could play at sheriff and have no real responsibilities.

At first, you would think that someone who likes to play as much as Shawn would know how to play real poker, but then you remember he doesn’t like rules. You equate the show to “Scooby Doo!”, which I have never seen. I can see a resemblance to a live action “Calvin and Hobbes” with Shawn as Calvin of course and Gus as the more mature (and long suffering) Hobbes. They (Calvin really) made up their own rules and also hated having adults control things.

In addition to the coccyx lines, I liked Gus’s, “You can kiss my blacksmith ass” line.

Of course, I did have a few gripes about the episode:

Still too little Jules.
Lots of Lassie, which is great, but it is best when he and Shawn are antagonists and not allies.
I am glad that Gus was shown making major contributions to the case, but there were too few examples of the Shawn-vision thing.

Also, one nitpick – I understand that they had to find a way to keep Lassie on the case even though it was outside Santa Barbara, but they did it very badly. The Sheriff’s ballistic expert couldn’t recognize a .45 Colt (aka (inaccurately) as the .45 Long Colt)? True, the round was developed in 1873 for the Colt Single Action Army (so called because it was a single action revolver adopted as the official sidearm of the U.S. Army), but the round (and the revolver) are still very much in use today. Any ballistic expert who could not immediately identify the bullet is too incompetent to be employable.

TVFan said...

I completely agree about too little Jules, the ballistic/weak way of keeping Lassie involved, and that Shawn and Lassie work better as antagonists rather than allies. I think this is why the season opener was so strong (good amount of Jules and Shawn and Lassie bickered the entire hour).

John said...

I wonder if Jules was filming those Lifetime movies she starred in when some of these episodes were being filmed and had limited availability.