The last day of the school year is always an interesting time. Panic sets in as you realize the kids are going to be home with you every second of every day. The normal routine has been interrupted and will need to be reworked to make time for the kids while accomplishing tasks around the house. However, on the eve of summer vacation my kids hit me with a surprisingly delightful question. “Daddy, can we watch Psych?”
My response, “Wait for iiiittt! You know we can.”
You may be asking yourselves how my kids know about this USA Network show about a detective who has to pretend to be psychic. The answer could have to do with the fact that I own and wear an official Psych “A Playa Named Gus” t-shirt. Yes I love this show. Over time, while watching it on TV over the years or on Netflix, my kids have caught more than a few episodes with me. In fairness, this request was not out of the blue. The night before the kids had watched a couple of episodes with my wife and I so it was already on their minds.
What was fun for me though in all of this besides watching a favorite show is that my daughters have a tendency to want to watch the same few movies over and over. For this father, any time they are looking for something new feels like a step in the right direction. On top of that, it give me a chance to bond with my daughters through one of my favorite shows that is appropriate for them to watch. Hey, they’re at least a few good years away from watching Justified.
And that has become supremely important to me in recent years. After a long day of activity especially in the summer where my girls like to swim for hours, it’s nice to have some good programming to come home and relax to. Luckily the adventures of Shawn and Gus in Psych have even provided a variety of episodes to enjoy from musicals to homages to pop culture. I know the show well so it also provides a home field advantage in that I can skip certain episodes that might not be a good match for my two young viewers.
For the most part, I let them watch just about every episode except a few that might be a bit scary for them (I’m looking at you Yin Yang Trilogy). And the girls love the characters. From how funny Shawn and Gus are, my daughters laugh every time they scream, to how bad-ass Detective Juliet O’Hare is. Believe me, I would rather my girls look up to her than any of the characters on Monster High. Yuck. That very night they wanted to watch the show, we ended up watching the episode Romeo and Juliet and Juliet which ended with Juliet saving Shawn from a skilled fighter from a Chinese Triad family after a recent ordeal had led to her working a desk job. This episode shows her overcoming the trauma and saving the day. Another great moment from a great Psych character.
The show is fun and it’s funny, and my younger daughter will sometimes tell me that she likes them and that they’re funny. I especially like when she tells me, “they’re funny like you.” In these cases she is usually referencing Shawn and Gus, who are there from episode one as the best of friends. The relationship of these two is the heart of the show whether they are facing death or being eliminated from a Bachelorette style dating show. These two are often put through the ringer and their friendship is shown as more like family than just friends. If you are unfamiliar with Psych, Shawn is white and Gus is black. In today’s world where diverse casting is often rolled out as a big announcement, this part of the show comes off as it should in real life. It’s just natural. These are just two guys who have been friends since childhood.
When we moved out to Texas, my kids were enrolled in a school where they had black classmates. They made friends with everyone. They lived in a diverse neighborhood and did the same. It’s been great to see and I wonder if the friendship between Shawn and Gus helped instill in my children this idea of not judging someone based on skin color. As parents we try our best at home to instill this, but outside forces including classmates using racist slurs can have a negative impact. In a bit of an aside, we had been visited by a relative of sorts from Texas, and what had happened after that visit astounded my wife and I. This guest in our home told a mutual acquaintance that we were living in the ghetto and I quote “because we have black neighbors.” Well these are some of my family’s best friends since our move from Jersey to Texas and I am glad my daughters gained some really good friends. Heck, I’m glad I made good friends as well. Its a thousand times better than spending time with this relative. But like I said, there’s blood family and then there’s the type of family that exists between close friends. Just like Shawn and Gus.
So here we are. As my daughters have grown older, they’ve become Psyched to watch Psych. So am I. Sure. there might be times when I start doing Shawn’s British accent where my wife starts to cringe, but at the end of the day my older daughter will jump in and finish the line from that musical episode. So in honor of that, I’ll end with the quote.
“Hey! Hey you! Over there! Hey!” Go watch Psych for some good family fun.