Monday, March 29, 2010

Psyching you out, Sherlock

What if Sherlock Holmes lived in modern times, and no one would believe his awesome "deductive" reasoning?  What would he have to resort to in order to get modern police to take him and his ideas seriously? 

I wonder if he wouldn't have to pretend to be psychic, like the main character of the TV show Psych.  Raised with fearful powers of observation by a strict father on the police force, Shawn Spencer has finally found a way to use his powers for good AND tick off his dad at the same time.

One of the best things about this show is the continuing storyline interaction between Shawn and his dad.  They don't get along, but they really care about each other, and their awkward interactions are really a treasure.  Then there's Shawn's relationship with best friend Gus.  As the production staff comments over and over again: they've been friends forever and will sell each other out at the drop of a hat.  Kind of priceless sometimes, especially considering how low the budget for this show apparently is. 

If you ever wondered what it would be like if Sherlock Holmes was a comedy that follows a sharp boy who really never grew up and his goofy, nerdy best friend since childhood (not exactly Watson) as they solve mysteries and pretend to be psychic, check Psych out.  Even if you never wondered, it's worth a watch, not for the mystery but for the banter and character relationships.  (And the commentaries, which are sometimes astonishingly funny and informative.)

Man solves mysteries using mostly powers of observation: this situation is quite different depending on what "genre" it's set in, and I find that fascinating.

I bet if Gus told Shawn the world was round, Shawn would get mad at him, too.

Are there any TV shows you like where the set-up for an older story seems ported into a new time and place with interesting results?  Or, if you're a Psych fan, do you have any episodes to recommend for the new viewer?

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