Commentary by Joshua Maloni
OK, OK, before you fans of "Lost," "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men" and "30 Rock" start throwing your shoes at me, consider this: "Psych" has elements of all of those shows, and it's far more witty and entertaining.
Witty and entertaining.
The way this critic sees it, at the end of a long, long workday, we channel changers are not interested in reading a book, discussing the news of the day, or making a political statement. We want to sit on the couch, kick back, and let actors and plots amuse us (i.e. make us forget bosses, deadlines and time cards).
And there's no show capable of inducing laughter, evoking romantic feelings and leaving us on the edge of our seat more than "Psych." It effortlessly carries us into a better mood.
Sure, "Lost" was an epic adventure. "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" are brilliant socio-cultural reflections of the world (then and now). "30 Rock" is funny - hilarious, even - but how many of us feel like we're not of the right political affiliation to appreciate some of its jokes?
For my money, "Psych" is tops because it's so easily accessible. You don't need to be a cartographer of the Dharma Initiative, a student of American history, or (dare I say it?) a liberal to enjoy its storylines.
"Psych" brilliantly observes - defines, mocks, celebrates - pop culture. It's characters laugh with us about the items we all discuss at the old water cooler.
Of course, their jokes are funnier.
The show offers a sweet, touching, soon-to-be romance between its leads: James Roday's "psychic" detective Shawn Spencer and Maggie Lawson's good-intentioned police detective Juliet O'Hara.
"Psych" has plenty of action, too. Everything from car chases to potential bombings to perilous, life and death situations.
It's just a delightful, clever series, filled with smart jokes and all of the warm and gushy things that lead us to the flat-screen in the first place.
The fifth season of "Psych" debuts at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, on the USA Network.