How to Spend $20

By David Mumpower

June 1, 2011

David Lynch must be spinning in room.

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Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP’s look at the latest Blu-ray discs and DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: Stargate Universe reaches the end, Psych offers more of the same, Nicolas Cage drives angry for money, and Sookie loses her man in the swamps of Louisiana.

Pick of the week:
For people who hate character growth and just want television to be entertaining: Psych Season 5

Everyone involved with the production of Psych experienced a strange year. Prior to the start of season five, Psych went on a college tour, and fans of the series passionately embraced the cast and crew. Viral videos of total strangers singing the theme song were frequently relayed on the official Psych site as well as their Facebook page. The show’s popularity had never been higher yet a lot of long time viewers complained about the quality of the first few episodes of season five, stating that Shawn Spencer’s shenanigans had not changed any in four years. They believed that he should have evolved some after a series of murder investigations that had endangered himself as well as his loved ones. In doing so, I maintain that they missed the point. The voyagers of the S.S. Minnow were never going to get off the island, Magnum P.I. was never going to leave Hawaii, and Shawn Spencer was never intended to experience significant personal growth. These are basic television facts. Some series are about the journey while others are about an hour of distraction. Psych falls into the latter category and it’s really freakin’ great at what it does.


To wit, some of the best episodes in the 79 episode run (to date) of Psych occur in season five. Shawn and Gus meet a pair of older gentlemen who seem eerily familiar albeit exponentially crankier in Viagra Falls. Detective Lassiter learns that he can solve crimes much faster when he tap dances in Feet Don’t Kill Me Now. John Michael Higgins teaches the boys about the importance of good manners in Chivalry Is Not Dead…But Someone Is. Freddie Prinze Jr. hunts aliens in Not Even Close…Encounters. And Lost refugee Nestor Carbonell provides a confusing amount of romance to Juliet in a multi-episode story arc that leads to the moment Psych has built toward since the second episode, the romance between Juliet and Shawn. And then there is the Twin Peaks parody/celebration, Dual Spires, that fans of that show assure me is a masterpiece.

In short, Psych demonstrates a remarkable understanding of what it is and what it should be in season five. In the process, it provides a tremendous amount of laughs, even by the already lofty standards of the previous seasons of the show. I voted it in my top three for best television series of the year and was in awe of how consistently it entertained me over the past 12 months. This is highly recommended escapism television.

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