Fake Psychic. Real Detectives.
Psych's concept is a relatively simple one at it's core, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) was trained in the powers of observation by his ex-cop father Henry (played excellently by Corbin Bernsen) from a very early age. This talent combined with a photographic memory allows him to pick up on clues and details which most other people would miss. When he calls in a tip to the local police force he's suspected of being involved in the crime somehow and rather than explain that he knows this because he's an incredible detective he instead claims to be psychic just before being arrested. He's warned by the interim Police Chief he will be arrested if his "powers" turn out to be fraudulent and ends up trapped into this act.
The police continue to rely on Shawn's abilities, initially he works with the (correctly) sceptical Detective Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Detective Barry (Played by Anne Dudek, who would later become famous as Amber in House), but recasting after the pilot episode would result in Barry leaving (which is a real shame because Anne is just fantastic) and being replaced by Detective Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson), the new Chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson) rounds out the core cast of Police Officers.
Fortunately for Shawn he's not alone in this masquerade, his father and his best friend Gus (Dulé Hill - The West Wing) are in on it and it's these two who provide the strongest performances in the show. Dulé in particular is a delight; his dry, sharp observations and witticisms make him very much Al to Shawn's Tim (To use a Home Improvement reference) and I find Gus firmly my favourite character. His somewhat level-headed and pragmatic approach to things provides a good contrast and relief when compared to Shawn's excessive "psychic" performances.
The first season runs for fifteen episodes and remains a quality mix of comedy and murder mystery throughout. During the course of the season Shawn and Gus confront a variety of murders, encountering "alien abductions", ghosts, urban legends and much more in a wonderful spin on the classic detective show. Psych is very aware of it's own absurd nature and embraces it completely, it's a show you just can't help enjoying with a solid freshman season.
Psych is one of those shows I just can't help but recommend and the first season is a quality piece of television.
James Roday's Audition Tape
Psych Revealed: Inside the Writer's Room
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Soundtrack: English 5.1 and 2.0
Regions: 2, 4 and 5
Run time: 10 hours 43 mins approx
Extras Run time: 6 hours 36 mins approx