Skeptical television -- at last
Pysch premieres on July 7, and a week earlier on the network's new broadband channel (the sure-to-be-renamed Character Clique). It features a young amateur detective with unusually well developed observational skills that he decides to pass off a pyschic powers. Sounds like fun. Here's the description of what I expect to be the primary comic relief:
Retired cop Henry Spencer makes no bones about his contempt for Shawn's new business venture. After years spent training his son to observe and analyze like a detective, Henry can't believe that Shawn would squander his enormous talent only to take his place at the bottom of the law enforcement food chain ... as a psychic. To Henry, it just completes the long spiral of disappointment that has left his relationship with his son strained to say the least.It's been a long time since TV drama has embraced skepticism. Instead, almost every depiction of the supernatural in recent has been far too open-minded. "Medium," for example, claims to be based on the true story of woman who can communicate with the dead, even though the "real life" inspiration has been unmasked as a fraud. Then there's "Supernatural," "Ghost Whisperer," and "Ghost Hunters," among other intellectually insulting offerings now on the tube. "Lost" offers hints of skepticism, but the intelligent smoke a few episodes back suggests the writers haven't quite embraced the field.
So the advent of a series that makes fun of psychics rather that glorifying them has to be good news. I am cautiously optimistic. The actors are a pretty-but-not-too-pretty, experienced-but-not-overexposed group, including a bald Corbin Bernsen as the cynical dad and Dule Hill, late of the West Wing, as the sidekick.
Finally, something other than the Discovery Channel's hit-and-miss "Myth Busters" for those us who have little patience for quackery. Plus, it's filmed in Vancouver, so my wife and I can once again play Spot the Cleverly Disguised Vancouver Landmark.