Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who killed Laura Palmer?

If you don't know what TV classic this week's Psych was sending up/offering a tribute to based on the headline above, the episode's title--Dual Spires--ought to give it away. If that doesn't do the job, you are just too painfully young my friend.

Another clue: check out that librarian. Look familiar (if older)?

The show in question was one of the great mainstream cult TV shows of the early 1990s. Psych is one of the marvelous character-driven cable TV shows which have turned USA into a player, to the degree a cable channel can be, in the big TV picture and helped turn "the season" into a year-round series of shorter runs and, in many way, reinvent what the TV audiences have come to expect. It is the show that inspired, and is way superior to, The Mentalist, much as In Plain sight gave us this season's "new" mainstream show, Chase. Trust me, seek out the originals.

USA started on this run with The Dead Zone, Monk and the The 4400, all shows which enjoyed long runs and significant popularity. Current very successful and enjoyable programming on the channel includes Burn Notice, White Collar and Royal Pains.

Other cable channels such as AMC, A&E, ABC Family, FX, SYFY & TNT are also dramatically changing the face of television drama, but that's a story for another day.

Back to Psych. James Roday is spectacular as the lead character, a fake "psychic detective." I knew squat about him before. The co-lead, DulĂ© Hill, made his bones on The West Wing in a dramatic role but his flair for comedy really blossoms here. Another familiar face is Corbin Bersen as the father of Roday's Shawn Spencer character.

As I said, the current episode (you should able to find reruns on your cable system, is particular fun. As to the show it celebrates/parodies, here's a another clue...

"A damn fine cup of coffee."

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