Watch out for Psych-Os this Christmas. No, there’s not an outbreak of serial killers. These Psych-Os are fans of the USA series Psych who got their Christmas wish. Psych: The Movie fills their TV stocking this December, three years after the final episode of Psych in 2014.
Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) have been on their own in San Francisco until one big case comes along that only a fake psychic and his old gang could solve. That gang includes Juliet (Maggie Lawson), Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson), Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and even Woody (Kurt Fuller)
Roday and Psych creator Steve Franks spoke with Rotten Tomatoes before the premiere of Psych: The Movie. Here are nine ways they hope the movie makes loyal Psych-Os happy.
Just because it took three years to get one more Psych mystery doesn’t mean this is the last case. The creators and cast all hope to do more movies, though they take nothing for granted.
“Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Roday said. “We were so lucky to be able to do this one. It was like let’s treat it like maybe this is the only one we ever get to do and give the [fans] the best two hours of Psych that we can. If we get to do it again, same mentality. We’ll always say yes.”
The good news is Franks has more ideas. “Whoa whoa, who said anything about one?” Franks said. “One of six last cases, or one of two, one of three. That’s why we make sure never to tie things up too tightly at the end.”
Roday was never happy with the Psych Christmas episodes, so with the movie airing in December, ‘tis the season to finally get Yuletide right.
“It smells like Christmas, it tastes like Arbor Day,” Roday joked. “Christmas wasn’t always our biggest success. We never quite nailed a Christmas episode, I don’t think, so I feel like it was a bit of a redemption tale in addition to a reunion movie. It was like we will, we will make Christmas work.”
It’s not really a spoiler that Shawn and Juliet are going to end up together, according to Roday. Psych: The Movie is about getting Shawn and Juliet together, finally.
“On a show like Psych where it’s about laughing, it’s about hope, it’s about love and not being divisive, I don’t think there was ever any doubt that these two characters would end up together,” Roday said. “It’s a celebration of something that I think everybody’s been hoping for for a really long time.”
Besides, eight seasons was long enough to string them along.
“You’ve been so patient, you’ve waited for so long, it gives us so much pleasure to now give this to you and put a giant bow on it and say thank you,” Roday said. “Maggie and I both felt that. Hopefully, the fans will feel it.”
The series finale promised the Psych team was moving from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. Now that they’re here, the city gives them more room to play in Psych: The Movie.
“It’s bigger!” Roday exclaimed. “There were so many times in the show where we were like, ‘This would never happen in Santa Barbara’ and then we’d do it anyway. There’s stuff that actually might happen in San Francisco.”
They’re also really in San Francisco, not Vancouver doubling for it.
“San Francisco’s not that different from Santa Barbara, just that it’s bigger,” Franks said. “But it just felt like an entire new thing and it gave us something, we had a chase right in the middle of the city. We’re in big tall buildings. Evil is more evil because it’s big city evil.”
Shawn opens up a new office in San Francisco, painstakingly recreated to look like the curio shop from Gremlins. It’s all replicated, except for the Mogwai who turns into a gremlin when fed after midnight.
“How can you not love anything that looks that much like the store from Gremlins?” Roday said. “Our production designer probably lost years on his life making that with the money he had to make it.”
Not only would Shawn want to live in a classic ’80s movie, but Gremlins also suggests the tone Psych always goes for.
“Gremlins is essential ‘80s comedy scary viewing,” Roday said. “We did so much of that on Psych.”
Franks hopes the stars of Gremlins appreciate the exacting detail. “In the back of our mind we thought some way we would lure Phoebe Cates out of retirement,” Franks said. “She’ll see this, she’ll start thinking about it.”
Shawn’s got a new office, Gus has a new job, but nothing major happens until everyone gets back together.
“The one thing we knew we didn’t want to do is for there to have been a wedding that you didn’t see,” Franks said. “Time has passed and they still have their same great positive characteristics and they also have their hangups. We’re picking them up in a moment where they might be in a crisis and they have to overcome it in their relationship, in their professional lives and certainly with this case.”
Well, one character had a whole season’s worth of story in the interim. Woody’s downfall is played as a joke.
“Kurt is the only character who has had a significant story happen off camera,” Franks said. “He ascended to the top coroner job in the state of California and had all these wonderful things happen and immediately ruined it within three days, by sewing up a cadaver with a chili dog. It wasn’t the chili dog; it was when he went back in to retrieve said chili dog because he took a working lunch.”
Psych: The Movie isn’t just about Shawn and Juliet. Gus finally finds a woman worthy of Gus.
“I think the idea is what happens if Gus gets Gussed,” Roday said. “Let’s start with that and see where it takes us. It took us to a pretty cool place.”
Psych: The Movie introduces Gus to Selene, and she’s played by Hill’s real life fiance Jazmyn Simon.
“It took Jazmyn Simon, his real-life fiance to be able to spar with him,” Franks said. “We’ve done so many things with the Gus character and his pursuit of women who weren’t exactly completely interested in what he had to offer, that it was the light that went on at the end of the tunnel when we realize: How about someone does the same thing to him and how is he going to react?”
Psych has already done two-parters, like the cliffhanger “Santabarbaratown” and the two-hour musical. So the new movie had to be more than just two regular Psych episodes crammed together.
“We did want it to feel feature-length and we wanted it to be bigger and to have more stakes, to have a greater scope,” Franks said. “We want it to be fun and light in a world that needs fun and lightness. And yet our darkest moments are as dark as they get. It’s funnier than most of the things we’ve done, so we felt like the scope should match a two hour.”
Psych: The Movie may be the ultimate Christmas present to Psych-Os this holiday season; however, Roday and Franks took a moment to return their gratitude.
“I can’t overstate this,” Roday said. “Our fans and their appetite for this show is so special, has been so overwhelming and unexpected over the years. The spirit that they give us for feeling like, hey, after being off the air for four years, we’re gonna get the band back together and deliver you some more classic, silly, zany Psych and you guys will eat it up and love it, is ammunition you don’t always have.”
And you can trust Team Psych not to come back and do the dark and gritty reboot of Psych that no one wants. They are listening and they know what Psych-Os crave.
“There’s this unspoken contract between us and the Psych-Os,” Roday said. “We’re pretty sure we know what you want and we’re pretty sure we know how to give it to you. If you just give us a couple scenes to shake the rust off, we’re going to get right back into this thing.”
New Psych-Os are always welcome. If you like Psych: The Movie, you can go back and catch classic Psych on Hallmark or good old Netflix.
“We felt a big duty to people that discovered the show since the run ended, watched it while we were there and people that are about to discover it for the first time with this movie,” Franks said.
Psych: The Movie airs December 7 on USA.