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Psych the Musical Review: The Music Men

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Astoundashing.

It truly is the only way to describe Psych the Musical.

It was every Psych fan’s dream: Music, mayhem and murder, all wrapped into 14 examples of musical excellence only Psych could supply - and all in the key of awesome.

Psych Sings!

I cannot say enough about the talent of this cast. They can sing, dance, act and do it together as if they’d been practicing for years. In many ways this is true, as we know from our much beloved Psych-Outs from earlier seasons that this cast made it a habit to exercise their pipes to classic tunes.

This songfest, however, was beyond all expectations.

Steve Franks and Adam Cohen, the genius pair behind the music and lyrics of this work of art, deserve much credit for what will no doubt be a bestselling soundtrack on iTunes once it's released. The songs were catchy, cheeky and so true of Psych. My personal favorite track has to be "Santa Barbara Skies" and its reprisals.

It was only made better being layered on top a very clever plot, which found a paranoid and institutionalized playwright, Zachary Wallace Zander or "Z," roaming the streets of Santa Barbara on a killing spree. Yet, in true Psych fashion, not everything was as it seemed.

How crazy was it that Z confided in Yang? We knew she was going to be part of the musical, a tidbit Dule Hill accidentally spilled way back when they filmed the episode in October 2012.

I just didn't expect her participation to have such heartbreaking results.

I wanted to avoid talking about Yang's passing this early, but part of me is still shocked that it happened for several reasons, not the least of which the fact that Mary was the angel she saw on the other.

If I had been in the crying mood, that would have been enough to have me bawling. It's been a long time since we lost Mary, which was plenty of reason not to expect to ever see him again. The fact the two shared a song was rather brilliant, and the fact Mary was clad in racquetball attire utterly mind-blowing.

Did anyone else find it ironic that Yang not only died in the same way that Mary died: both stabbed and with Shawn and Gus at her side, too late to do anything to save her - but that it was also at the hands of a masked and capped serial killer? Too much of an homage, guys! At least in the end she finally got her ballad...

This whole musical thing was a part of Shawn and Gus's imagination, so maybe Yang really didn't see Mary when she died and that's simply something Shawn came up with as part of his rather morbid musical pitch. Then again, she really did die.

There is no question the whole thing was brilliant, but I do have to say that I'm a little disappointed there wasn't a little more reverence over Yang's death. Her presence as a character and everything that came with her was a real turning point for these characters over the seasons, so her death was a little bit more profound in my mind as a result.

It was very much the end of an era, and in some ways echoed of the uncertain future of Psych. You don't kill off your most infamous villain lightly, but when your show has an uncertain future you do yourself a favor by taking parts of the plot into your own hands.

Now that all of that is out of my system, I can at least remember all of the fun times we shared with her. Shawn coddling and protecting her at every turn was kind of entertaining. If she wanted a song or an antic in exchange for a piece of information, Shawn did it and made sure everyone else got in on it with him if necessary.

We really hadn't gotten a taste of that kind of thing in previous episodes she's been part of so it was pretty great to see.

One person who wasn't getting coddled at all was Gus, which isn't anything new. What was kind of new - but nonetheless entertaining - was his obsession with getting a role in anything that might have an audience, including the play he was actively investigating. Jamaican Inspector Man did finally get his day, though, and will forever be immortalized on the soundtrack.

Some other fun bits from this special:

  • Shawn's British accent. So.Not.Happening.
  • Henry's refusal to sing or really take part in the musical at all.
  • Seeing Lassie and Shawn put their ongoing feud over methods to song.
  • The Chief in all her Chiefly glory. Given what took place in Season 7 Episode 14, which actually takes place after the musical sequentially, we know that won't be the case when the show returns for Season 8.
  • Shawn doing the "Bend and Stretch" routine from Season 1 Episode 5. 
  • The fact that the episodes were narrated like a fairytale at their outset.
  • Shawn sweeping - in an apron - in the episodes' opening scene. We should have known something was up from the beginning...in what world does Shawn Spencer do chores?!

And with that, we are officially at the end of Psych Season 7, and I will never be able to look at Santa Barbara skies the same way again.

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Meh... big ol meh for me. Which is weird since i love those commercials that they sang together, but in this they all seemed way off key. The case was minorly interesting but after the first hour i found myself fast forwarding through most of the singing.

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Fantastic. Very well done.Ditto on everything Mr Charles said.

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It's not really an uncertain future... They had the set sale back in September. All the costumes and props are gone. It makes me very sad, but it's definitely over :(.

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I saw a brief preview at Comic-Con of under Santa Barbara Skies. I eagerly anticipated the show. I must say I was somewhat dissatisfied with the musical. The majority of the songs seemed to be just singing script instead of being songs. Even so, the episode was fun, although I don't think there was enough different music to warrant 2 hours. Dule's last song was fun. I think what would have really added to this show would have been a single song and dance routine by Dule who is actually trained in these arts. Still, kudos for the creativity and braving the risks of such a show.

Marissa

I loved it my favorite song was I heard it both ways partly because Shawn and Lassiter were dancing together and I was laughing the whole time. I was so excited to see yang she's my second favorite villain the first being Desperaux and I was really suprized when she died I was hoping we would see her again in season 8 but it looks like that wouln't happen but it was nice seeing that her angel was Mary we haven't seen or heard about him since he died. The Z story line was interesting and you were never really sure who the killer was until the end. Room red 71 I figured it was Yangs room from the beginning and not Z's. Yang making Shawn perform for her to get information was funny and when he was doing in the police station and everyone was just looking at him was funny. I can't wait till the new season starts all the previews made it look really good.

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DVR'd it. Scanned and dumped. Nothing grabbed me. I've seen every episode and many twice but this is one I'll pass on.

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@ F.R. Ewing

Wow. You really are missing out. "Under Santa Barbara Skies" was worth the whole episode. Especially with all the reprisals later in. And the scene with Lassiter and Shawn dancing had me giggling like crazy. Although I do agree the story building involving Z had me snoring through it...

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This was filmed back in Oct 2012 and was supposed to be aired I the middle of Season 7, before Juliet found out about Shawn's lack of psychic powers. For reasons I do not know it was decided to be pushed to the beginning of season 8. I'm not sure why that is even a big deal. Honestly, for me the episode started kind of slow. Also the whole episode felt to long and spread thin. That being said I'm a Psych fan through and through and felt it was a wonderful tribute to the fans. My favorite part was Yang's death scene and her angel being Mary in his racquetball outfit. The story without the musical numbers was a great episode. I'm sorry to see Yang go, but it was time to wrap that up. I loved Gus finally getting to sing as the Jamaican Inspector at the very end, but what was with the crazy camera work.

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@ Fletch

I know it was shown out of order, and that in order Jules not knowing makes sense in continuity. I was more concerned that they spent so much time in the opening number building that conflict up, and then a little bit by Juliet in one of the reprises, but it doesn't go anywhere. It just really makes me think that the songs, or at least "Santa Barbra Skies" was written almost completely independently of the actual story they were going to be a part of.

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What a fun idea. It was put together just right. I loved it.

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This was lackluster. It felt to me like they wrote 2 good songs independently and felt they could stretch an episode around them to fit, thus the constant reprises of Santa Barbra skies and I've heard it both ways. There was an out-of-place subplot about Jules's belief in his psychic prowess; odd because in continuity she already knows but more importantly the subplot has no resonance in the rest of the story. The pace of the episode grinds to a halt after the first hour because of the lack of songs and the montage-level "he did it, no he did it" sequences without enough of the silly investigative sequences that make that same silliness work in a standard episode. I appreciate the effort, but no joy here.

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@ John

Totally agree with the issue of Jules's belief of his psychic powers, other than the out of order in episodes was a entertaining episode

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Really a lot of fun, truly enjoyed it. So refreshing in a sea of mindless reality shows. Does anyone know who the narrator was?

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@ DCB

Watch until the end and you'll see it's just Shawn telling the story