On Wednesday July 15, NBC Universal launches its new streaming service, Peacock. In addition to offering lots of fan-favorite NBC Universal programs from the past, the service will also be the home to several brand new scripted original programs. In the days leading up to the launch, we’ll be taking a look at some of these new scripted comedies and dramas. The hilarious comedy Psych originally aired on USA Network, as did the show’s first follow-up TV movie. However, the latest film sequel, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, will make its debut exclusively on Peacock.
Psych ran for eight seasons on USA Network, following the misadventures of best friends Shawn Spencer (James Roday, A Million Little Things) and Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill, Suits) as they ran a psychic detective agency in Santa Barbara, CA. While neither of them were actually psychic, laid back Shawn grew up with a strict police officer father who helped him hone his observation skills. Shawn utilized these skills to pose as a psychic consultant, helping the SBPD solve tough cases, and he pulled neurotic best friend, pharmaceutical rep Gus, into his scam. As the series came to a close, Police Chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson) and detective Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson)—who had become Shawn’s girlfriend—relocated to San Francisco. Shawn and Gus decided to close up shop and head to San Francisco as well. Back in Santa Barbara, Detective Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson)—who had once been Shawn’s nemesis bent on proving he was a fake, but later turned out to be a good friend—was promoted to the new chief.
After the series ended, Psych returned 3 years later with its first TV movie. While Shawn and Juliet were living together, they would not get married until Shawn found his grandmother’s missing ring (which went missing in the series finale). While Shawn continued to hunt for the ring, he had opened a new Psych office, and had once again sucked best friend Gus (who was now in the cell phone business) into being his partner. By the end of the film, Shawn had finally found the missing ring and he and Juliette tied the knot. Meanwhile, Gus had also made a love connection, with a Pluto-hating woman named Selene (Jazmyn Simon), and the future was looking bright for their budding relationship.
That film gave fans a fun return to the world of Psych, but there was a bit of a dark cloud hanging over the movie. Star Timothy Omundson was supposed to have a much bigger role in the movie, but the actor suffered a stroke shortly before the filming began, forcing some last minute rewrites, and “Lassie” only appearing in one small scene. Fortunately, the actor’s condition has improved dramatically over the past couple years, and so this year’s aptly-titled follow-up film, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, serves a nice double meaning.
It has been a couple years since the events of the previous film. Lassiter had recently been shot while out on an investigation, and is now recuperating at the lush Herschel House Recovery Center. He has been seeing some strange things he cannot explain, and has been having some flashbacks to his childhood relationship with his father (Joel McHale, Community). Carlton is also having trouble remembering why he had even gone into the building where he was shot. And so Lassie has sought out Shawn’s help to figure out what is going on—a fact that Shawn has been keeping secret from wife, Juliette. Shawn, of course, enlists the aid of best friend Gus, and the two soon find themselves mixed up in their familiar brand of wacky misadventures, as they investigate some suspicious and unusual happenings at the recovery center, and run into the owner of a very odd business venture (Allison Miller, A Million Little Things) at their old Psych stomping grounds. Meanwhile, Juliette is also doing her own secret, off-the-books investigation of Lassiter’s case—while someone had confessed to the shooting, things just don’t seem to add up. It’s inevitable that these two investigations will cross paths, and along the way, the squad encounters some familiar characters as well as some unusual new ones, such as Dr. Hirsch (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) who runs the clinic and isn’t easily amused by Shawn & Gus’ antics, and Carlton’s nurse Dolores (Sarah Chalke, Scrubs), who makes her attraction to Gus well known—something that doesn’t sit well with Selene.
Much like the first film, Psych 2 finds fun ways to bring back all of your favorite main and supporting characters from the series—Chief Vick, Henry, Woody, Buzz, …—as well as some surprise guests. The film also includes many of the elements that made the series so much fun—the endless pop culture references, the wacky banter between Shawn and Gus, the ridiculous nicknames, and so on. In addition the humor, the movie also takes a bit of a dramatic turn, allowing each of the main characters to explore and confront some big issues or hurdles in their relationships. While we didn’t get to see much of Lassie in the first film, he does play a much larger role this time around, and we get to see that fun annoyed banter between him and Shawn. While it was great to see Omundson back, he still felt a little underutilized, though it may have been that the actor was still not fully recovered. Hopefully by the next film we’ll see even more of Lassie, but this was a refreshing start.
It’s always great to return to the hilarious world of Psych, even if it is only once every few years. I hope that we will continue to see more of these Psych films in the future…You know that’s right!
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home will be available to watch at launch on Peacock, though Peacock Premium level service may be required in order to watch original programming such as this.