March Madness - Psych

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Worst. Episode. Ever. Now I'll be the first to say that I am a big fan of the television show 'Psych', I like its humour and strange twists, however, Season 5, Episode 16 ('The Polarizing Express') just made me laugh. This episode was a Christmas special, and had everything from a Christmas elf to 'guide' Shawn through his concious, to bad jingles and the constant falling of snow. Even inside.

If you haven't previously seen the show, the basic storyline is that Shawn Spencer grew up with quite a different childhood to most. His father, Henry Spencer, was a detective, and would constantly drill him on his deductive skills. This made Shawn a killer detective. Shawn however, did not like the idea of becoming a detective in the slightest, and so when he was called into the NYPD on the grounds that he had suspiciously supplied too many tips to the police, naturally, he told them he was a psychic. The show then revolves around him using his 'powers' to consult with the NYPD and solve crimes, with only a select few people knowing the truth.

This episode naturally starts with a problem caused by Shawn's egotistical attitude and problems with authority. Due to Shawn's complete lack of regard for the law, there is the very real possibility of a high end criminal walking free, which results in the police department not only suspending Shawn, but also firing his father. Like I said, this episode starts off fine. It isn't until the opening credits that this show takes a turn for the worst. First, there is the new Christmas jingle and special effects which are horribly cheesy. But even that is nothing compared to what happens next. The show turns into a fully fledged Christmas cheese ball. Shawn falls asleep, and suddenly he 'awakens' (in his dream that is) to find a Christmas elf ready to take him on some kind of spiritual journey through his concious, in order to show him that he takes people for granted and needs to grow everyone didn't know that already. Although there are a few jokes throughout this sickeningly clichéd episode, they can't be appreciated because the episode just emanates stupidity...I mean, at one point, the elf blows some kind of magical snow in Shawn's face in order to 'transport' him to another part of his concious...come on! And just to make matters worse, as he comes to the painfully obvious, epiphanic realisation that underneath his adult facade, he is just an egotistical child, his 'inner child' appears out of nowhere to give him advice.

If you were thinking that after he woke up it would go back to normal, you are wrong. He wakes up with another, completely irrelevant epiphanic realisation, that helps solve the crime. Then, towards the end of the episode, there is a moment where Shawn stands up in front of a crowd to address them with the most corny speech I have ever heard, and one by one, people join in as they gain the confidence to stand up for themselves against the criminal, as he himself watches on, and might I say, acting terribly. After that, everything is right with the world again, leaving you with the urge to throw up from a cheese overload. Both Shawn and his dad get their jobs back and reconcile after a fight, with the typical 'finding-him-asleep-and-putting-a-blanket-over-him' situation.

All in all, this episode made me lose a little faith in 'Psych', and it took me several good episodes to get over it. Normally, with an episode as bad as this, I would say 'watch it if you are in the mood to make fun of something', but this episode seriously isn't even worth that. I think that the fact that they try to be funny and fail miserably just makes it annoying. So in conclusion, if you like the show, skip that episode, or I guarantee that you will die a little inside.

Review by Emma Laarkamp


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