Monday, October 4, 2010


My husband and I watch fewer and fewer mainstream TV shows. In addition to the usual violence, foul language, and sexual content objections, we're tired of watching husbands and wives yell at each other and belittle each other, gay relationships portrayed as normal--or even better and more well-adjusted than their straight counterparts, conservatives and Christians portrayed as dummies, the general lack of respect for one another, and humor that's always at someone else's expense and/or sexual/crass in nature.

Enter psych: a delightful comedy/drama in which a "psychic detective" named Shawn Spencer and his buddy, Guster, solve crimes... hilariously. Shawn is really just extra observant, but he plays it off like he's psychic--which often adds to the humor. This show airs on USA, which we don't get, but you can watch it via or get it through sources like Netflix.

Why do we enjoy this series? Several reasons:
  1. Funny
  2. crime scene/mystery without blood and guts
  3. portrayal of a Christian (Gus) that is subtle and simply part of his character--not the basis for wise cracks, put downs, or making him look stupid. It's only after watching multiple episodes that you realize he is a Christian (or is supposed to be one).
  4. portrayal of great friendships: Shawn and Gus are in their 30's and have been best friends since grade school (incidentally, Shawn is white and Gus is black. There is also no homosexual overtone--both men are interested in women.)
  5. portrayal of normal family relationships, to an extent. Gus lives with his parents, whom we never see. Shawn's mother left early on, so she's not central to the storyline, but clearly he and his father have a relationship that's normal--sometimes rocky, sometimes loving, but never bitter/hurtful/truly disrespectful. That is, their disparaging comments towards each other aren't the source of the humor on the show.
  6. Sexual content is at a true minimum; language occasionally erupts, but again, fairly minimal.
  7. Violence happens in the course of taking down a criminal, but it's rarely drawn out, nor is it excessively bloody or gratuitous.
  8. Women are portrayed as competent in their jobs (the two main females hold higher positions in the police force than do Shawn or Gus), but still retain a feminine persona.
We should support shows like this! It IS possible to produce fun family shows that aren't dumb or watered down. You don't have to have married couples fighting, gratuitous blood/violence, sexual innuendo, and crass humor to make a show worth watching.

What are your favorite TV shows?