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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like the detective series Psych before it, Psych: The Movie has much violence that's often portrayed as humorous. There are shootings -- including two killings -- that take place offscreen, numerous other incidents of guns and other weapons drawn, and the kidnapping of a teen. Language is also a concern; words and phrases like "son of a bitch," "dammit," and "ass" are used casually and frequently. Expect some allusions to sex and many double entendres in this laugh-out-loud movie, but if you aren't familiar with the characters and their history, you'll miss out on some of the references to events from the past.
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What's the story?
Three years after the series finale, PSYCH: THE MOVIE brings pseudo-psychic detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday) back into the fold of police work when he takes up a case involving his longtime girlfriend, Officer Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson). Shawn cajoles his reluctant best friend, Gus (Dule Hill), into joining him on his crusade to unmask the culprit after Juliet's partner is killed and she is targeted. Meanwhile, a new romantic interest emerges for Gus, Shawn attempts in vain to locate a family heirloom before taking the next step with Juliet, and the guys wind up entangled with a street gang.
Is it any good?
Fans have reason to celebrate this welcome addition to the popular series that renders forgivable the three years devoid of Psych antics. With the full cast returning -- including appearances by Ralph Macchio, Corbin Bernsen, and Kurt Fuller -- and a trio of colorful and predictably inept villains, the characters don't miss a beat returning to the fray. Everything fans loved about the series is on display -- whip-smart dialogue, cop drama with a humorous edge, and a mismatched BFF relationship that somehow manages to survive the partners' respective irritations with each other.
As cop/detective stories go, Psych straddles the line between being frivolous and being a darker, more realistic series like Law & Order. There is violence, but it's rarely shown on-screen and usually is countered with comical banter or slapstick. Shawn and Gus aren't your typical heroes of justice, but neither are the villains your average real-world baddies. It's a contrived and unusual mix, but it worked in the series and continues to in Psych: The Movie. And with an indeterminate ending, it raises hopes that more might be on the horizon.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about if and when deception is appropriate. Shawn deceives people with his supposed psychic abilities in Psych: The Movie, but it's suggested it's for good reason. Do you agree? Is it possible for a lie to be better than the truth? If so, when?
Does this story's presentation of dim villains minimize real-world threats of similar nature, or is it all in good fun? Is it important that entertainment reflect reality? On the other hand, how does this type of show offer us an escape from real life?
What positive character traits do you see on display in this story? Does any one character stand out for loyalty, courage, or perseverance? Who are your personal role models, and what do you admire most about them?
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