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Mary Claire O'Donnell | Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Everyone experiences life-changing moments. For some, it was ripping open that Notre Dame acceptance letter. For others, it was picking a major or locking eyes with that special someone in class. For me, it was discovering “Psych,” a TV show on USA Network.

“Psych” follows the life of Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill). Shawn refuses to grow up and become his father, a former police detective who also trained him to be one. In a pinch, to avoid jail time, he tells the Santa Barbara Police Department he is psychic. In reality, he is highly observant with an eidetic memory.

He continues to pretend to have these powers and becomes a consultant with the SBPD. Although Head Detective Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Osmund) does not fully believe in Shawn and his professed powers, he proves to be an excellent addition to the force, helping to solve many cases.

Basically, “Psych” is a crime comedy. Shawn and Gus solve murders just like Detectives Ed Greene (James L. Martin) and Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) on “Law and Order.” They just do it in a less conventional — and questionably legal — manner. But that adds to the hilarity and general awesomeness of the show.

The show began in 2006, although I did not discover it until about a year later when I watched it with one of my brothers. Instantly, I was hooked. At the time mostly unknown, “Psych” unfortunately aired Fridays at 10 p.m. Hulu and Netflix, however, helped solve this problem until this past year, when the show was bumped up to Wednesday night.

That fateful day I watched “Psych” for the first time, my life changed for the better. If you know me well, you are aware that half of what comes out of my mouth is from a movie or TV show. Well, half of that probably comes from “Psych.” We’ll really be better friends if you can get on my “Psych” level. Shawn helps me express myself in ways I never could’ve imagined.

Shawn, with his hijinx and tomfoolery, has also opened whole new worlds to me. After watching an entire episode centered on Alfred Hitchcock movies, my family and I watched most of the classics. I am now a huge fan of delicious flavor and pineapples have become an important part of my diet.

The show has even given me new opportunities to bond — and spar — with my family. My brothers and I share a unique and unparalleled love for this special USA show, and we’re not afraid to show it. We’ve always gotten along extremely well, but “Psych” helps bring our relationships even closer.

“Psych” may not change your life like it did mine. But if you want to give it a shot, Season Six begins in October with an impressive list of guest stars. Shawn and his polished blades of snarky eloquence promise to bring just as many laughs this year, so I would recommend not missing them.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Mary Claire O’Donnell at [email protected]