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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Psych: The Complete Third Season
Psych: The Complete Third Season
Universal // Unrated // July 21, 2009
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted July 28, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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- "Okay, enough.  The painfully cute mugging is starting to get on my nerves"
- "What are you, Entertainment Weekly?"
 
By the end of the second season of Psych it had seemed like the show had run its course.  While the show was still entertaining, the jokes were getting a little stale and the mysteries started sounding a little too similar to one another.  Luckily, the creators also noticed that they were in a slump.  With the third season the show seems new and fresh.  They've added a bit more continuity, flashed out the characters backgrounds a little, and upped the humor quotient some. 
 
Shawn Spencer (James Roday) is a psychic who works for the police force.  At least, that's what the cops think.  He really doesn't have any supernatural abilities, he's just very observant.  Trained from a young age by his police officer father, Shawn notices things that the rest of us don't and is able to piece together seemingly disparate clues in ways that make it seem like he has psychic powers.
 
Together with his best friend Gus (Dulé Hill, West Wing) Shawn has started a psychic detective agency, Psych.  Yes, it's a pun on the now dated slang word that meant "fooled you" something that Shawn finds amusing and Gus finds surprising that no one has called them on it yet.
 
This season find Shawn and Gus mainly working for the Santa Barbara Police Department along side officers Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) aka "Lassie" and his partner Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson) but also taking some private cases. 
 
The season starts out slow with a rather silly episode, "Ghosts."  (As in previous seasons the name of the episodes are puns on famous movie titles and catch phrases.)  This episode has Shawn and Gus trying to exorcize the ghosts from the manager of the office where Gus has his full-time job.  The show did explain how Gus can spend all that time away from the office, which was nice, but the episode itself was one of the weaker ones. 
 
Things pick up in "Daredevils!" where the pair are trying to find out who is attempting to murder a Evel Knievel-like daredevil.  The stuntman, Dutch "The Clutch" Jenkins (Jeff Fahey) steals the show with his outrageous behavior and wild exaggerations. 
 
"Hell, one time I bungee jumped off a building twice the size of that tower.  And even though the cord snapped on the way down, I still made it to the George Thorogood concert that night!  True Story!  Yeee-haw!"
 
There's a bit more continuity in this season too.  Viewers get to meet Shawn's mother at last (played nicely by Cybill Shepherd, who used to star in a comedy/detective show herself) and the separation between Lassiter and his wife moves forward too.
 
The same rapid-fire humor is present, with Gus having some funny lines too in this season.  Like Mystery Science Theater, the show takes joy in coming up with obscure references to 80's movies and pop culture for the banter of the main characters. 
 
Gus:  They call this a motorcycle show?  There's like four motorcycles here.
Shawn:  They don't even have the bike from Blue Thunder.
Gus:  That was a helicopter.
Shawn:  Your right, I was thinking of Blue Lagoon.
Gus:  There was no bike in Blue Lagoon!
Shawn:  Then how did they get off the island?
 
One of the more subtle themes for this season, and one that I truly loved, is that they included a lot of jokes dealing with the Brat Pack.  The 80's actors are mentioned in several episodes and it is fun to try to spot all the references to them and their films.  Shawn goes to his high school reunion as "Judd Nelson", he goes undercover at a pro-football training camp as Emilio Estevez Estevez, and Ally Sheedy even has a guest appearance in the final episode.  There's many more... that's just to get you started.
 
The season also carries some traditions over from earlier seasons.  They have a Christmas show with an alternate Christmas-themed opening, and Shawn and his father continue their game of trying to guess their presents.  This season's game was especially funny.
 
While the shows are mainly played for laughs, especially their take off of teen slasher movies, Tuesday the 17th, the final episode was a good piece of crime drama, with Shawn having to pit his intellect against a serial killer who taunts him with puzzling clues.  While it was darker than usual, it was a very good episode and ends the season on a very high note.
 
The DVD:

 
The 16 episodes that comprise season three come on 4 DVD.  The case matches the cases for seasons one and two, which is nice.  (I hate when they change styles half way through.)
 
Audio:
 
The program comes with a DD 5.1 surround audio track that fits the show well.  There are a couple of loud and impressive audio scenes through the show, but mainly it's dialog based and that comes through loud and clear.
 
Video:
 
The anamorphic 1.78:1 image looks pretty good overall.  The colors are bright and the lines are tight.  The level of detail is fine.  There is a bit of mosquito noise through the show, especially in areas where one color is predominate like the football field in "Any Given Friday Night at 10pm, 9pm Central."  While it was evident, it never became distracting.
 
Extras:
 
Like the previous seasons, this set has a good amount of bonus material.  There are deleted scenes to just about every episode and audio, video, and podcast commentary tracks to many as well.  In addition there's a gag reel that's amusing and some funny montages.  In one they string together the main characters saying "What?" over and over.  It's nearly impossible to watch without lauging.
 
 
Final Thoughts:
 
Going into this season, I was ready for the show to jump the shark.  Surprisingly though, the program built on the previous seasons and managed to make a comeback.  The added continuity and delving into the main character's backgrounds helped a lot.  That, and there's still a pineapple in every episodes.   The show just wouldn't be the same without the pineapple.  If you'd just about given up on the show after the last season, give this one a try.  Highly Recommended.
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