A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this detective comedy/drama, while funny and lighthearted, depicts dead bodies and some violent action. The main character (who has a tendency to act impulsively and selfishly, though he usually has a good ulterior motive) also pursues women eagerly, but it usually takes the form of flirting and verbal come-ons vs. groping sessions (though there is some making out occasionally). Overall, teens will probably find the main character and the show compelling and amusing.
What's the story?
In PSYCH, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) uses his amazing observational abilities to solve crimes and has a lot of fun in the process. After years of being a happy-go-lucky guy without an ounce of ambition, Shawn winds up helping the police department solve crimes. The catch? They think he's a psychic. Shawn gets help from reluctant friend Burton "Gus" Guster (Dulé Hill), with whom he runs a private psychic detective agency. The partners have a constant push-pull relationship, since Shawn has talked Gus into one too many wild rides in the past. In the background is Shawn's somewhat estranged father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), an ex-cop and stern taskmaster who helped Shawn hone his abilities as a child.
Is it any good?
Roday, who works a likeable Ben Stiller vibe, is hilariously goofy as a fake psychic. He puts his fingers to his temples as if conjuring spirits, only to blurt out clues he's deduced by smart observation and a little digging around. Shawn's charm and good humor aid him in his constant pursuit of women, which he pulls off jauntily and without being sleazy. Shawn and Gus engage in clever banter, which is usually chock full of obscure pop culture references. And the tricky relationship between Shaun and his father adds emotional depth to an otherwise lighthearted show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about observational skills. How many details can teens recall about a room they just entered or a person they just met?
What can you do to improve your observation skills? Is being able to recall small details a fun process, or a drag? What jobs could you get with highly attuned observation and memory abilities?
Do you consider Shawn a role model? Why or why not?
For kids who love offbeat characters
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.