Tagged: USA Network

Emily S. Whitten: Psych The Movie – A Christmas Miracle

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Psych. And while I understood that maybe the TV execs felt that after eight seasons it had run its course, still I was sad to see it go.

Everything about the show appealed to me – the goofy premise and the quick-witted humor of main character Shawn Spencer; the unshakeable best-friendship of Shawn and Gus, a loyal companion who didn’t always approve of Shawn and sometimes needed his own space but still accepted Shawn for who he was; the Sherlockian vibe of the show’s formula (and I’m always a sucker for an interesting police procedural); the running gags and nerd references (who would think spotting pineapples could be so much fun?); and the romance that bubbled in the background.

I also appreciated that the show was unafraid to feature a cast of essentially good characters – even hard-boiled Lassiter had a softer side. And I liked that Shawn’s light-hearted shenanigans also revealed his deep understanding of people – his teasing of Lassie, for one example, also served to show Lassie that it was okay to open up a little and trust that not everyone would hurt him because he was vulnerable. From the Chief to big, innocent Buzz, the characters were real without being unnecessarily harsh.

And yet, Psych had a darker side, too. I’m not just talking about the murders. You don’t get to be so good at observing human behavior without an early reason to do so. And while dad Henry’s extreme insistence on young Shawn being observational about details could be looked on as a parent’s attempts to prepare his child for the world, or hone a recognized unique ability; his harsh attitude probably played as much of a role in developing Shawn’s gifts (and stunting his emotional growth) as his actual “training” of Shawn.

The difficulties that Shawn has in maturing – from his hopping from living space to living space and job to job, to his discomfort with anything getting too serious, to his actual and obvious relationship issues with his father as an adult – are directly correlated to both Henry’s parenting in flashbacks and also to his parents’ divorce. I always appreciated that the lightness of the show and of Shawn also grew from those darker roots, and that it wasn’t afraid to reference them.

Yet, while the show acknowledged the emotional damage that Shawn attempted to hide behind humor, it also called out the harm it was doing to his prospects for a fuller life – from his inability early in the show to have a real relationship with a father he couldn’t forgive, to the ongoing frustration of his love interest Juliet with his ability to artfully avoid real intimacy. Not only that, but it explored the growth of all characters, but particularly Shawn. Amidst the treasure hunts, planetarium adventures, and petting of baby bunnies, it showed how Shawn’s eventual emotional maturing (what Steve Franks himself called being “an actual, self-realized human being”) and willingness to face those serious issues for love and be a responsible adult finally allowed Juliet to trust him with her heart.

That’s some heavy lifting for a show that also made a habit of using silly nicknames, throwing out pop culture references, and having its main characters ride around in car nicknamed The Blueberry. And it’s a show where you’re sad to see the end of all the great characters involved.

That’s why I’m so excited that this December, we are getting to hang out with those great characters again – in Psych: The Movie, which will also be starring a favorite actor of mine, Zachary Levi, as a villain. I’m really looking forward to it.

So is the Psych cast and crew, with whom I discussed the movie at SDCC. They spilled about what it’s like to be back together after some time away from the show, where the movie is going to pick up in the threads of everyone’s lives, how Shawn and Juliet are doing, Henry’s new fashion choices, working with Zac Levi, and a whole lot more!

After our chats I’m super excited to see the movie on the USA Network this December. I’m sure you will be too after you check out all of the fun interviews below!

Interview with Producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak

Interview with James Roday (Shawn Spencer)

Interview with Dule Hill (Burton Guster)

Interview with Maggie Lawson (Juliet O’Hara)

Interview with Kirsten Nelson (Karen Vick)

See you around, Psych-Os! And until next time, Servo Lectio!

The Point Radio: Last Minute Guide To The Super Bowl Ads

The countdown to the Super Bowl kickoff is getting shorter, and the excitement is about to start. By the end of the night, who will be the big winners and losers on Madison Avenue? BBDO AdMan, Will Bordeau, gives us some last minute tips on the commercials you don’t want to miss plus we’re on the set of the USA Network drama, SUITS. Patrick Adams talk about how the current season will close and what’s coming for the next.

In a few days, we ‘ll introduce you to the cast of the newest docu-comedy from the folks who gave us THE OFFICE, plus the cast of BLACK SAILS talks about the dark days ahead. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Jessica St Clair and Lennon Parham – Brainy Beauty Besties

Beautiful, brilliant besties, Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, are headed to The USA Network for a new series, PLAYING HOUISE (premiering tomorrow on USA). They talk about writing comedy, making the new show stand out and the strength of their longtime friendship. Plus Warner Brothers finally publicly says “There will be a JLA movie!”

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Emily S. Whitten: SDCC Part 3 – Notes from the Psych Press Room

Whitten Art 130731Psych is a warm and engaging and frequently hilarious show, and having spoken to the cast and crew at SDCC, I can attest that they are just as much of a blast to talk to as the show is to watch. I got to sit down with James Roday, Dulé Hill, Cary Elwes, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen, Steve Franks, Chris Henze, and Kelly Kulchak and dish about the show. Here’s what I learned.

The Psych cast sings around the set a lot, and loved doing Psych: The Musical (which will air in December), and actually singing for the cameras.

Kirsten Nelson: “It was exciting to do! It was a whole lot of fun to go into a recording studio to record the songs and play it back for the crew, who were excited to hear us sing. They hear us singing, goofing around all the time, but now they’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s an orchestra backing you, and you guys sound good.’”

Dulé Hill: “I liked the opening number, which really represented what our show is about, and all the things happening in the background there; and the Jamaican bit. Steve wrote that for me and it was a lot of fun.”

James Roday: “I was surprisingly moved by Mary Lightly as an angel sending off Yang’s number. Just because, like Despereaux, Yang is a character that we’ve kind of truly built into the fiber of our show; and without spoiling too much, I felt like it was the end of something, within the framework of our show. And I thought it was very well executed.”

The newly introduced Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall) is going to cause chaos in Season 8:

Kirsten: “He wreaks havoc on all of their lives, and the SBPD is turned upside-down. I’m not in those episodes; the guys aren’t hired for stuff; and Lassiter is demoted. He’s wearing his blue uniform – he’s a beat cop again!”

Cary Elwes returns in Season 8 for another Despereaux episode, and it’s going to be epic:

James: “It’s pretty rad, you guys. We go to London (and it looks a lot like Vancouver) and we get involved with some Guy Ritchie-like gangster hi-jinks; and right in the middle of it all is the return of Pierre Despereaux, throwing us yet another curveball.”

Dulé: “As always with Despereaux, you never know what to believe.”

James:  “You never know what’s real and what’s not.”

Cary Elwes: “Vinnie Jones joined us for some fun, and man, we just laughed our way through this entire episode; it just was so much fun.”

James: “And it was a new kind of color and flavor for Cary to play as well.”

Cary: “A really funny episode; I can’t wait to see it. I had a lot of fun doing it. Every time I get the call to come and play with these guys, I’m ready to go. I have more fun working on this show than any other show I’ve ever done.”

Steve Franks is a Sherlock Holmes fan, and the London gangster episode is not only a little bit Guy Ritchie, but also a little bit Harry Potter:

Steve Franks: “Certainly, Psych was inspired by Sherlock Holmes, The Great Observer; and since then they’ve made a few of these Sherlock Holmes movies, that Guy Ritchie has done. I was really excited to see those, because in those they do a thing where Holmes sees things almost like a Shawn vision. It was very cool how similar that is. Then that gave me license to totally go and rip off Guy Ritchie, and we’re doing a London gangster episode – but that’s too straightforward for a Psych episode – so that’s where I took Harry Potter and mashed those two together. So we have an episode called, ‘Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels, and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire.’”

Season 8 focuses on the core characters:

Maggie Lawson: “I don’t think in Season 8 so far we’re getting into our families as much as we are “this” family. I think we’re dealing less with the outside relationships; it’s a very core season. We’re really in it with each other, not so much family members. Although I would love to see another family member turn up, because I have the coolest family ever. Jeffrey Tambor, and William Shatner, and John Cena. Like, who’s next?”

Timothy Omundson: “It could only be topped by Sean Connery playing your grandfather.”

Maggie: “That would do it!”

Season 8 will be a season of changes and emotional rollercoasters:

James: “There’s definitely more emotional stuff coming; I think we’re just at that point in the run of the show. Last year kind of opened the gate for some more character-driven stuff to happen. It’s more of a character-focused season than we’ve had in the past.”

Dulé: “I also think the characters are realizing that it’s time to move forward. You can’t stay stagnant. So there are a lot of changes happening in the characters’ lives.”

Timothy: “Shit gets real in the SBPD in Season 8.”

Maggie: “It really does. I’ve heard Steve say that it’s a bit of a rollercoaster, Shawn and Juliet (dealing with the aftermath of Season 7’s episode ‘Deez Nups’) in Season 8; and I think that might be an understatement. It’s pretty intense.”

Timothy: “Season 7 cracked the door; Season 8 blows it off its hinges. It’s like a garage door blowing off its hinges – which actually happened to us in Season 3, by the way, by accident, and almost turned us into collateral damage! Season 8 is just so big and so intense and so emotional; it’s unlike anything we’ve done.”

Can Juliet forgive Shawn in Season 8?

Maggie: “I think as with any couple that truly loves each other, there come these times when it’s like, ‘Are we in this forever, and is forgiveness on the table?’ I think Juliet definitely has it in her to forgive him fully. I think there was part of her that was enchanted by the idea that he might really have been psychic, but there was probably a seed of doubt. Maybe why it hurt so bad is that they’d been together for so long, and it took that long for him to tell her.”

Timothy: “…And the fact that he’s a lying son-of-a-bitch?”

If Juliet had never met Shawn…

Maggie: “Juliet definitely would have married a Miami Dolphin.”

Dulé Hill really does have a super-sniffer, at least when it comes to finding nearby food.

Dulé: “I’m always snacking on something off-camera.”

Cary: “And he never puts on weight; it’s incredible.”

Dulé: “It’s my little secret.”

James Roday does not like being wet or hung upside-down:

Steve: “Who tells us no on set? Nobody tells us no; that’s why we get away with it!”

Chris Henze: “Sometimes James tells you no if you say, ‘We’re going to do an episode where you jump into this water; and then you’re going to be wet…”

Kelly Kulchak: “…and then you’re going to be on a horse.’“

Steve: “James doesn’t like to be wet or hung upside down. Those are the only things that he’ll say no to.”

Corbin Bernsen likes to think Shawn is actually (to use the term loosely) psychic:

Corbin Bernsen: “I [Henry] taught him observation, right? But I didn’t teach him the conclusion to the observation. So you might look at two clues, and she might look at two clues; and you both see them, but what do you conclude from them? I could argue that there is an ability, that’s somewhat psychic, to say ‘I know that connects him to the murder,’ when someone else doesn’t see it, though you’re both looking at the same thing. So I would say that he is a psychic, and he’s not fake.”

Steve Franks is Shawn and Gus:

Steve: “This is the weird thing – Shawn and Gus are equal parts of my personality. I am a person who is terrified to go open one of those doors over there to walk into somewhere; but at the same time I have all of Shawn’s quips and snotty remarks. So I’m constantly at war with myself at all times. So it was sort of born out of that idea. And my desire, and the way that we sort of run the show, is that our life is the constant search for fun. And how much is too much; and how much is getting in the way of becoming an actual self-realized human being. So for us when we break stories, it’s like, “Ooh, what roles do we get to play?” It was mostly born out of the two sides of my personality. It’s well-represented in the cartoon strip Calvin & Hobbes.”

Steve Franks would happily do Psych forever (or an approximation thereof):

Steve: “We’ll do it for as long as they’ll pay for our episodes. We love doing it; we’ve been around awhile; we’re going to do it in any incarnation we can. I’d like to ultimately do Psych movies every once in awhile.”

Man, I’d love to see that, and I’ll say this: as long as they keep doing awesome episodes of Psych, I’ll keep watching it!

Thanks to the cast and crew of Psych for sitting down with me for these interviews, and to USA Network for setting it all up.

And until next time, Servo Lectio!



THURSDAY EVENING: Yep! More Emily S. Whitten!

(note: all times vague but Eastern-USA)


Martha Thomases Is Talking Dirty

Martha Thomases Is Talking Dirty

They say “shit” on cable now. And “ass.”

And not just pay cable where not only has this been going on for decades, but it’s often a selling point. Need proof? Watch the reruns of The Sopranos on A&E, where they bleep so much that it sounds like having the hiccups is a requirement for being in the Mafia.

I don’t know when things changed. So many people in my daily life say “shit” and “ass” (and lots of other things) on a regular basis that I don’t really notice. This is how people talk in 2012. It’s how people have talked for the last 50 years, maybe longer (my memory is limited to my lifetime).

Still, when Ellen Burstyn said “Shit” on Political Animals. I had to pay attention. I think it’s in her contract that she has to say “shit” at least five times per episode.

Next up, I noticed they say “shit” on Suits, a show I started to watch because Gabriel Macht struggled so nobly in Frank Miller’s The Spirit that I rooted for him. I don’t think anyone says “shit” in Don Quixote, but if someone did, he would sound like Macht.

I didn’t notice if they said “shit” on Common Law, but they do say “ass.” I wonder if there are rules on the USA Network that you can say one word formerly deleted on basic cable, but not all of them.

On Louis, I think I heard them say “fuck.” I also saw a scene set in my local drug store, so I may just be projecting the neighborhood ambiance.

All of these shows (except Louie) are on in prime time. Louie is on at 11. So is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but they are still bleeping “shit” and “ass” on that show. I don’t know why there is a difference.

It’s also possible that, on scripted shows, the writers insist that “shit” and “ass” are necessary for the artistic integrity of their work. I’d agree that it’s hard to imagine back-room politics, high-powered law firms, or Los Angeles police departments where such language isn’t used. And the life of a stand-up comedian is an f-bomb waiting to happen.

Comics are still following the old rules. If a writer wants to say “fuck,” there will be a “Mature Readers” warning on the cover. When I was publicity manager at DC, part of my job was to answer the letters from parents outraged that a bad guy in a Superman comic said, “damn.” I think I told that parent that it was a way to demonstrate the person was a bad guy.

I didn’t lecture the parent about how, if I was trying to protect my impressionable child against bad influences, I might be more upset that a character in Superman had a gun and shot at people. I might have started a discussion about Bruno Bettelheim and The Uses of Enchantment. I might have said that the word “damn” is in the Bible. Instead, I commended that mother for being so involved as a parent.

I was really good at my job.

The language on these shows is realistic, within the boundaries of the form. In real life, we use profanity, but we also talk aimlessly about the weather, politics, sports, and what we’re going to eat for lunch, none of which is normally found in television dialogue. Many brilliant scripts have been written without cussin’ (see Casablanca  for example), but, for the most part, I think writers should have as many tools at their disposal as possible to show character.

I can’t recall any discussion about this in the media, certainly no outrage. Perhaps these shows are so focused on their target demographics that those who fall outside that range don’t even know this is happening.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Does anybody?

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


The Point Radio: ALCATRAZ = LOST 2?

The new Fox Series, ALCATRAZ, might seem a little familiar to LOSTies – there’s JJ Abrams, an island and even Hurley but there’s a lot more hidden in the mystery than you might think. Jorge Garcia and Sarah Jones join us to talk about what you can be sure will be different this time. Plus DC breaks the line and goes to $3.99 on Bat-Books.

The Point Radio is on the air right now – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or mobile device– and please check us out on Facebook right here & toss us a “like” or follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

‘White Collar’ Season Two

USA Network sells itself as a place with memorable characters, which they certainly do. When they don’t have a lot of money compared with prime time networks, they need to be challenged creatively and have delivered over the last few years a handful of series that are never less than entertaining to watch. Beginning with the wonderful [[[Monk]]], they set the template for engaging and quirky series set in a variety of settings (wherever they can shoot cheap and probably get a tax break) but it also means the shows have distinctive looks unlike the slick gloss found on the big five networks.

The high concepts aren’t all that different from what you find on the majors but the tone feels lighter and brighter, even when things get dire. By building the shows around the characters, you quickly get emotionally invested so when things happen to them, you cheer or cry or anxiously want to see what comes next.

A new quirk is that the seasons are broken up, with around half offered up over the summer, when we want lighter fare, and you get a cliffhanger until January, when the networks tend to avoid burning new episodes in the post-holiday fatigue period.  This way, we get fresh, fun fare with familiar characters as a nice bridge.

USA isn’t alone in this arena, but they started it and capitalized quite nicely adding show after show, with two new ones coming soon. Tonight, [[[White Collar]]] returns for its third season and today, the second season is available on a four-disc box set.  The show, for those unfamiliar, is largely a buddy story of a seemingly uptight FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), and the notorious forger and thief Neil Caffrey (Matt Bomer), whom he has captured twice and now uses as a consultant. (more…)

The Point Radio: Oh! He’s That Guy!!

The Point Radio: Oh! He’s That Guy!!

Right now, you’ve probably recognized the picture of Willie Garrison above. He’s been in a ton of TV shows from SEX IN THE CITY to X-FILES and now he is a big part of WHITE COLLAR on the USA Network. Willie talks about his career as a character actor and why you should be watching WHITE COLLAR. Plus more with Katie Aleston from THE LEAGUE and WONDER WOMAN gets a greenlight.

And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix, RSS, MyPodcast.Comor Podbean!

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The Point Radio: FAIRLY LEGAL – Why You Have To Watch

The Point Radio: FAIRLY LEGAL – Why You Have To Watch

You’re probably staring at Sarah Shahi in the poster above, wonder where you saw her before. That doesn’t matter – it’s where you will see her NOW that matters and that is on the new USA Network show, FAIRLY LEGAL. Sarah tells us why you need to watch – plus comic sales  are down but graphic novels are up. Why?

And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix, RSS, MyPodcast.Comor Podbean!

Follow us now on and !

Don’t forget that you can now enjoy THE POINT 24 hours a Day – 7 Days a week!. Updates on all parts of pop culture, special programming by some of your favorite personalities and the biggest variety of contemporary music on the net – plus there is a great round of new programs on the air including classic radio each night at 12mid (Eastern) on RETRO RADIO COMICMIX’s Mark Wheatley hitting the FREQUENCY every Saturday at 9pm and even the Editor-In-Chief of COMICMIX, Mike Gold, with his daily WEIRD SCENES and two full hours of insanity every Sunday (7pm ET) with WEIRD SOUNDS!

FOR FREE or go to GetThePointRadio for more including a connection for mobile phones including iPhone & Blackberrys.