TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Psych TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Smart detective series more funny than graphic.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 215 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show's premise is based on a deception -- that the main character is psychic. But that deception is put to good use, solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice (amid lots of snarky humor). The main characters also have a strong friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although he often comes across as selfish (a trait played up for humor), Shawn genuinely wants to help people, and he provides an example of someone putting smarts to good use. Some cops are depicted as stubborn and dim-witted. The main character's sidekick is the only African-American in an otherwise white cast. Shawn's dad takes a "tough love" approach to child-rearing in some flashback sequences.


Each show investigates a crime. Dead bodies with some blood (usually very little) are shown, and brief violence with weapons is depicted. But this isn't a major element of the show -- it's more about getting to the bottom of the mystery.


Lots of flirting (mostly Shawn hitting on attractive women) and occasional making out. References to "sleeping together."


Not too frequent, but words include "damn," "bastard," etc.


The main character drives a Toyota -- a pretty obvious product placement. Other brands show up and are mentioned by name, including Dunkin Donuts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking in the periphery.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written byfriscomama January 28, 2012

entertaining, but you know your children best

Witty and funny.
Things to discuss: it's intended to be silly; no adults could behave so childishly and get away with it. The father and son relationship... Continue reading
Adult Written byWhiteSpark May 1, 2019
Kid, 11 years old July 23, 2016

The Best Show Ever - and which episodes to skip when watching with kids!

I love Psych. It is my favorite show of all time and just seeing this page made me smile. I would recommend skipping episodes such as: "You Can't Hand... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBad Kharmah June 23, 2020

Psych review, Is it ok for kids?

Psych is one of the best TV shows ever, and I think that kids 10+ can watch it. Although there are episodes that can be scary for younger kids, I was not scared... Continue reading

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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love offbeat characters

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