With the Psych series finale looming, I couldn't help but take a minute to extend a heartfelt Thank You in letter form.
Whether the intended party ever sees it or not, this essay says everything I could possibly want to say.
This open letter is to the cast, crew, producers and show creator Steve Franks. It's my last chance to truly tell you now much I've adored your show from day one. I was there when Shawn outted Lucinda Barry & Lassie's relationship, when Shawn meet Juliet for the first time, when Henry asked "How many hats?" in the very early seconds of the pilot.
I was even there the first time Shawn and Gus executed a fist-bump.
I may not have interviewed you all countless times - interviewing you all at Psych Fan Appreciation Day that one time in person was beyond my wildest dreams - but I did participate in a few conference calls over time. I also never made it to the set (for the Psych movie, perhaps?).
You may not know my face or my name, but the only reason I am able to write this letter to you right now and have it published to a website like TV Fanatic was because I took a leap of faith out of love, and had the privilege of covering this amazingly loved show for the site since Season 5 Episode 10, a.k.a., "Extradition II."
That's right; I covered the culmination of what is hands down my favorite romance of all time in my VERY FIRST REVIEW! I was never a "shipper" before, but my heart couldn't help it for "Shules." Any time our site did a Best Couple on Television poll, I was writing a defense of Shawn and Juliet.
The same went for the inconceivably awesome bromance between Shawn and Gus, the heart and soul of this show. If we did a poll about television duos, Shawn and Gus were at the top of my list. We would all be blessed to have a lifetime relationship like theirs - totally unconditional and without end - and hilarious to boot!
But what made this show so great in my eyes wasn't just the individual relationships. It was the way that Shawn, Gus, Lassiter and Juliet came to interact with each other and grow into a team; the way Chief Vick seemed to act as the bridge between them until they were strong enough and close enough to be on their own; how Henry entered the fray and constantly challenged Shawn to be better, even to the point he came out of retirement.
I've enjoyed so much watching Lassiter grow into a husband and father, Shawn grow into an investigator and a man, Gus push his limits, Juliet come into her own as a woman and a detective, Henry move from enemy to ally for Shawn and Chief Vick just be more generally awesome all the time.
Even more than that, I feel privileged that we fans were able to watch their relationships constantly evolving on screen, a reflection of the relationships you - James, Dule, Maggie, Tim, Corbin and Kirsten - were forming with each other behind the scenes.
We can only hope those are relationships you'll continue to take with you wherever you end up next, as utterly unbreakable as that of Shawn and Gus.
Kurt Fuller, you deserve a HUGE shoutout, too. You joined the crew somewhere in the middle. Your creepy coroner alter ego, Woody, became a show staple and irreplaceable addition. You stay creepy.
So, James, Dule, Maggie, Tim, Corbin, Kirsten and Kurt, thank you all for sharing your immense talents with us for eight amazing years and eight entertaining seasons. You can sing, dance, and act. You've done every kind of episode there is to do and excelled at it.
I still marvel at your vocal talents every time I listen to the Psych: the Musical soundtrack, which is often!
Besides the regulars, if you ever need proof about just how special this show is, look no further than the countless guest stars over the years. From William Shatner to Curt Smith, it really says something wonderful and amazing.
As far as the content of Psych goes, I didn't grow up in the '80' - I'm a '90's chick - but I now have the greatest appreciation for that decade. In fact, I feel more complete for having been exposed to the '80's on a weekly basis.
The same goes for some of the episodes; I watched the entire Twin Peaks series just to prep for "Dual Spires." I grew as a person watching this show!
I am, however, thoroughly entertained and amazed by the range the pop culture references spanned. There was always something for everyone. From the pop culture junkie, to the geeks in a basement in Wisconsin. If you made yourselves laugh, it made it into the episode. Plain and simple. I cannot thank you enough for that level of genuineness.
This is as much a credit to the writers on the show as it is to the actors, who sometimes assumed both roles!
We cannot thank you writers enough for all the love and pieces of yourselves you put into your episodes. You gave us the chance to get to know you, too. I feel like I know as much about your hearts as your humor. Each of you had a signature style that you could point to and say, "This has got to be a [insert name here] episode" and were typically right.
You are talented beyond what some people dream of achieving in a career, and you always made it work. And when it didn't, you went and did a "Remake." Many thanks.
To Steve Franks, the freakishly tall and abundantly loved genius behind this entire operation... stay awesome. Whatever you do next, I'll be there to support it. The same goes for Kelly Kulchak and Chris Henze, who I am sure on more than on occasion had to convince the network that they really were doing work up there in Vancouver, as you are appreciated beyond what you could possibly fathom.
To the crew, from the coffee-runners to the boom and C-camera operators, none of the actual work of Psych would be possible without you. If we fans never stopped to say "Thank you," this my deepest appreciation on behalf of Psych-O's everywhere.
For all the nights you drank one more cup of coffee, jogged one more lap around the set to keep awake and energized, we know what you do isn't always easy.
None of you ever forgot about us, either. From appearing at Comic Con to joining twitter and interacting with us, you always made an effort above and beyond what any other show I've seen has. You are Psych, Psych is you.
At the same time, you always made sure we as fans felt like Psych, too. We feel part of something and still do - and we fans love you for it.
In Psych's honor, and in remembrance of all of you, I will continue to tell those who disagree with me to "suck it," agree with those around me with a "you know that's right," sing loudly any time I hear Tears for Fears on the radio, re-watch episodes that make me smile (every one) until I wear the DVD down and I have to buy a digital copy, and proudly continue to wear my stock pile of limited-edition Psych t-shirts.
It's been an absolute joy, and an absolute honor. Thank you.
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.