USA Network has quickly become home to some of the most unique and funny shows to grace cable television. First it was Monk and, recently, we received Burn Notice, but sandwiched in-between was the gem known as Psych. Since it finished its second season, Pysch proved to audiences that its shtick, of a man pretending to be a psychic for police work, didn’t grow old after the newness wore off. Indeed, the second season only bolstered the hilarity of the show, with the expansion of characters, both in depth in and where they would travel throughout the season and how their relationships affected one another.
For the shows second season the same tried and true cast from the shows first season returns, with even more hilarious plots and guest stars to mix things up. With the new outlandish stories come guest stars Tim Curry, Gina Gershon, and Kevin Sorbo, as well as two episodes directed by comedy legend John Landis, the second season of Psych kept fans entertained and brought in some new viewers with its quirky stories and superb comedic timing. All sixteen episodes of the season, one up from the first seasons run of fifteen, are included on this set and each one of them has their fair share of memorable moments that not only have you clutching your side from laughter, but also genuinely engaging you in the mysteries presented in each episode.
I said it in my review for the first season, but the greatest thing about Psych is it mixes two of quite possibly the best genres out there: comedy and action. I fell in love with the series from the first episode and ever since then I’ve eagerly awaited each new installment. By the time I’d finished the first season on DVD, it seemed like the wait for the second season would never end (compounded by the writers’ strike, no doubt) and once that began to air the intermittent schedule made it hard to keep up with. Sadly I didn’t find any episodes on this set I hadn’t already seen, but that didn’t make re-watching them any less fun.
There are so many great moments in this season, with each one of the episodes performing at full capacity. I absolutely loved watching this season and there’s little for me to complain about when it comes to this series. It’s all such a perfect balance of writing, acting and character interaction that makes for a perfect series, to me. At first I wondered if the show would really hold up to repeat viewings, but there were a few episodes from this second season I’ve seen more than three times each by now, the shows just that good. It’s quick, witty and has some great scenery.
Of course the real highlights come from our main cast of Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill). They have created a great repertoire with one another over the two seasons and never has it been so evident of their chemistry until the episode “Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead”, which also happens to be the season closer. The way the two act locked in the museum together is simply priceless and is one of my favorite moments of the season.
Short of picking apart every episode of the season (which seems silly to do, since you’re going to want to experience those for yourself), there isn’t a whole lot more to pick apart of the season. It’s just an all-around solid season, let alone series, that never fails to please. It’s incredible how much hilarity you can pack into a crime-scene investigation type show, but it seems that the USA Network excels at finding quirky and loveable individuals. “Character’s welcome” indeed. Highly Recommended.
Once again Universal takes the unique route with Psychs packaging, stuffing four discs into a digi-pak tray setting with a hard cardboard exterior akin to a book covering. Art for the set is simple and isn’t overly flashy or exciting in any way and contains only the shows logo, catch phrase and season number. Simple and straight to the point. The disc art follows a similar pattern with the plain reflective mirror surface that the Universal titles are famous for. Menus for the release are also simple in nature, with nearly all of the menus sporting the show’s theme over stark white backgrounds with characters spread about the various menus. Only sub-sub menus (such as the actual page of deleted scenes) are without music, which is a bit of a welcome relief after hearing the theme song start over repeatedly throughout the various menus on the set.
Video for the set is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio across all episodes on the set and it looks absolutely terrific. There is a bit of softness and lack of detail and at times I wondered if this show was even shot in HD as the lack of definition in some sequences is really that great, but overall it’s a solid transfer for a series I’d only seen previously in boxed in widescreen that looked about fifty times worse than the transfers here. Audio is a 5.1 mix that is a much more impressive outing than the original stereo venture; definitely has some fine channel separation going on, especially during the more visually enticing sequences and ones with crowded areas.
Moving onto the extras we are met with a slew of goodies to check out. Starting out with the first disc we have deleted scenes for all four episodes on the set (8:26 total) and all scenes are presented in 4:3, oddly enough. Not entirely sure why they’re in that ratio, unless the show itself is shot in that aspect ratio, which would be very strange. In any case, all of the deleted scenes across the discs are a treat to watch and, while, not always adding relevant bits to the show, still remain a fun time to check out. Other extras on this first disc include commentary on three of the episodes as well as a podcast commentary on “Zero to Murder in Sixty Seconds.” What’s the difference between an audio and podcast commentary? Well short of the podcast commentary being available online previously, I’ve not a clue. All commentaries on this set are informative and well worth checking out if you’re a fan of the show. Almost everyone of the episodes here contain commentary of some sort (“Meat is Murder, But Murder is Also Murder”, “Bounty Hunters!”, “Gus’s Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy” and “There’s Something About Mira” being the only ones out of the sixteen episodes to not contain chatter from cast and crew). Finishing up the first disc is a gag reel (7:34), which, yes, is as funny as you’d expect.
Moving onto the second disc we have deleted scenes across all four episodes once again (9:10) and commentaries. “Where’s the Pineapple?” is a montage of scenes from the season where Shawn constantly talks about pineapples, while “The Name Game” is a montage of Gus repeatedly saying “Shawn” and another of Shawn’s various names for his partner. The extras may not sound humorous, but it’s actually funny to see just how many times they say these phrases in the show; I hadn’t even realized it before. Good stuff.
Disc three houses deleted scenes for four more episodes (13:08) and a few more commentaries. “Psychouts” (3:24) seems to be nothing more than an improv reel (which is funny, don’t get me wrong). The fourth disc has a final round of deleted scenes on four more episodes (9:38) as well as commentaries for all episodes on the disc, as well as the episodes of “The Adventures of Lil’ Shawn and Gus” (6:52) that were presented online in some format or another.
Overall a solid release. I was going to complain about the lack of real featurettes, but the slew of commentaries more than makes up for it. This is a solid show that has a fantastic DVD release; here’s hoping it has much life in it as USA’s other smash hit, Monk (which, coincidentally, there’s a coupon in this set for $3 off Monk’s sixth season). Highly Recommended.
Psych: The Complete Second Season is now available on DVD.