one dear friend and the fact that she was posting about the Dual Spires episode of Psych recently and both she and her Twin Peaks-obsessed partner were helping me out during Student Rush.
So, thank you for that, Melanie.
Onward to the review... in which James Roday and Dulé Hill (in their alter egos of Shawn and Gus) recreate moments of Stephen King's The Shining with the help of Louis Gossett, Jr. and Timothy Omundson (Lassiter). It seems that Lassie, feeling the need to become a more respectable adult at the prospect of his jailhouse girlfriend getting out of prison in the near future, has bought a condo that might just be haunted and it's up to Shawn and Gus to go all Ghostbusters on the place.
Of course, just like everything else in Psych, not all is as it seems.
It's great to see Lou Gossett again, even if he is looking a little haggard in his old age. He doesn't quite pull off the kooky caretaker role that Scatman Crothers did in the original Shining, but it's nice to have him guest in an ode to King's horror classic. To be honest, I almost didn't recognize him, he's changed that much over the years (I'm more used to him in his Officer and a Gentlemen/hollow-cheeked motif).
As for the episode, itself, for the most part it is so very, very fun. Sure, I could live without the silly engagement ring melodrama, especially since Juliet seems to be in earshot for part of it... so she probably has picked up a few hints as to what's going on, while not giving herself away... but all of the sendups to The Shining never fail at making me crack a smile, if not outright causing laughter. I especially liked the small details like the black and white stills that were direct homages to Jack in the Overlook's vintage photos.
Some of the references were a bit over the top, like the mirror sequence or Lassie attempting to hack through a door with his cavalry sword while Gus screams like Shelley Duvall, but they were still entertaining and their hammy nature is kind of the point. They're there to link to the material, not directly recreate the actual horror. It's fun and games, not scream and shout... well, for the audience, anyway.
I also really liked the small moments with recurring character Woodie (Kurt Fuller). The shuffleboard bit and the furry joke were quick, painless, and well worth the effort. His buddy-buddy relationship to Shawn and Gus make for another great foil that annoys Lassiter... which is always good in my book.
You know, now that I think about it, the only thing that really bugs me about the episode is the five-minute cameo by William Shatner (reprising his role as Juliet's father). It seems tacked on to the engagement ring melodrama and takes up such a small portion of the episode that I honestly can't understand its necessity other than for padding the episode's trailer ("Look who's guesting THIS week on Psych!"). More than a bit disappointing from that perspective... especially since nothing gets resolved.
Overall, I think that Psych will perpetually just be a guilty pleasure for me. It's cheesy reference humor that is cannily self-aware and fun, but not really all that high in the quality department. I mean, for film and television buffs like my friends and I, it's great stuff... but, objectively speaking, it'll never win any awards (aside from maybe a Peoples' Choice).
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~