Aesthetics and Art

When discussing the series Psych and the six inner and outer-directed tasks of art that are presented by Orlik, the show has a direct relationship with the fifth task. This being the inner-directed task to “lessen tension and internal conflict as an aid to mental health.” The show as a whole displays and abundance of comical situations and serves as a great way for the audience to relax and quite literally laugh their worries away.

The show fits this particular task quite perfectly, due to the fact the the series was created specifically to be one that brings enjoyment and laughter to its viewers. Creator Steve Franks new this and made sure that everyone new that this murder mystery show would not take itself too seriously. For an example, the show has a musical where fans can sing along to all their favorite moments and harmonize with their favorite crime solving duo’s most famed phrase, “Suuuuucckkkk iiiiiittt!” Because of this shows nonsensical hilarity, many fans of come to associating Psych as their comfort show. This meaning that it is a show that helps them unwind and distress and can re-watch over and over again without ever tiring of it.

In Orlik’s book he uses the quote from Leo Bogart, “by constantly diverting us from the unpleasant realities of the human condition, it restrains us from dealing with them too closely at the same time that it protects us from feeling their full force.” This is exactly what Psych does. time and time again, season after season, Psych continues to come up with ways to bring comical relief to its fans. Whether it be the many pop culture references that the characters make in each episode throughout the series, a hidden pineapple in every episode, a new nickname for Gus each episode, or just the hilarious situations that the characters are thrown into, mainly from Shawn’s shenanigans, people find comfort and an escape from their daily lives and stress in this series.

Moral Duties

Throughout the series of Psych, the show addresses some of the six moral duties. The first being the individual conscience, or the constant within the show. That is, that the show is meant to be a comedy and is not meant to be taken seriously. It is simply a show for the whole family to enjoy and laugh at. This is apparent in the fact that in each episode, no matter how serious or tense the situation gets, the show’s main character’s, Shawn and Gus, will constantly do something absurd and ridiculous to make the audience laugh and blatantly remind you that you are watching a comedy.

Secondly, The institution, which is USA Network. The reason why USA network and the moral duty of the institution go together is one, because USA is where Psych was broadcasted and two, and the biggest reason, USA took a huge risk when choosing to air Psych. The show was pitched to many networks that refused because, at the time, they were airing serious crime shows, which were the biggest hit. They were afraid if they threw in a show that was a comedy and mocked these crime shows, they would lose ratings. USA was one of these networks. However, they took the risk and in the end it paid off, leading to a memorable series that is loved by many.

Lastly, society. Psych has always catered to its “public interest,” whether on or off the screen. Within the show, they kept the audience engaged by having hidden pineapples in every episode, which fans loved and looked forward to, just as much as they looked forward to hearing what Shawn will call Gus next. Not only in the show, but after the show aired, they had interviews in which fans could engage in asking questions to the stars. They even held an event where the car, “The Blueberry,” from the show was given to a select winner. They even had a golden pineapple awards for the stars of Psych in which fans got to vote. This led to a lot of fans love for the show to grow, and even led to Psych getting approved for a movie trilogy, keeping the show alive for its fans just a bit longer.

A Vaccine Has Come

Recently, there was an announcement by Pfizer, that they have made a vaccine for COVID that was 90% effective. However, as a vaccine that just came out, and due to our experience with COVID so far, and the tragic deaths that occurred, more than some would be wary of getting it. How did Pfizer address this? Well, as we spoke about triggers and the top of mind, tip of tongue, there was a video released of a volunteer who advocated for the vaccine and suggested getting it ASAP.

In the article, the volunteer, Glenn Deshields, speaks about his experience after he got the vaccine administered to him twice. He claims that there were side effects to the vaccine, which were more severe after the first shot than the second, however, it wasn’t that bad and he urges people to get the vaccine as soon as they can. “I talked to my doctor. He said there’s differences in how this one works, but, in the end, it’s just still a vaccine and people shouldn’t be scared of it. How does this play as a trigger though? After reading this article, people who were hesitant to get the vaccine or didn’t trust it, now have seen a first hand experience with the vaccine and it will lead to more people wanted to get it administered to them.

Structural Analysis

In the media text Psych, we begin to understand the archetypes of each character within the film. The show, when broken down, is a clear example of the hero’s journey and it’s eight archetypes. Although, some archetypes are brought out by either the same character or by more than one character.

To begin with, we have the hero, who is obviously Shawn Spencer, our main character who battles with the flaw of being a huge man-child. We follow him each episode in his venture to solve the case he is presented with. The next archetype is the mentor, who is Shawn’s father, Henry. He is a retired cop who taught Shawn everything he knows. When Shawn has trouble with a case, he seeks help from Henry. Though, instead of just revealing the answer, Henry will use previous lessons he taught Shawn, to help guide him to what he needs. The Ally of the film is Burton Guster (Gus), Shawn’s best friend and partner. Although, he isn’t “psychic” like Shawn, he helps Shawn in all of his cases and will most often be used as a distraction when needed. The Herald, Carlton Lassiter, is the one that incites the call for Shawn to begin his ploy as a psychic, after attempting to arrest Shawn in the first episode. He is the head detective at the police department and can be seen as Shawn’s rival or “frienemy.” The trickster is a special case, as both Shawn and Gus are seen to bring comedy into the show at every turn, no matter how serious the situation. The shapeshifter is also seen in multiple characters, as most episodes have someone that befriends them end up the culprit by the end of the episode. However, one character that fits best is Pierre Despereaux, an art thief who faces Shawn more than once. Although a criminal, Shawn still idolizes and respects him. The Guardian is also a role played by many, but best depicts Ying and Yang in each of their finales. They toy with Shawn mentally through-out each of their episodes to the point where he is about to break down, leading to their face off at the end. Lastly, the shadow, which is every culprit in each episode. they start the episode with a murder, which incites Shawn and Gus to track them down until they find them in the end.

Depiction Analysis

In the show Psych, there are two questions that compose depiction analysis that are the most pertinent in the show. These questions include, ‘what is society like’ and ‘what consequences flow from our actions?’ The first one is quite obvious, in that it relates to almost every crime show on television. Although Psych is mainly a comedy, it is still a show that deals with serial killers and psychopaths, all placed in Santa Barbara, California. When constantly seeing murders take place in this city, people develop a bias and label it as unsafe. In every episode, the show features, some kind of murder, in which we follow it from the crime scene, to the morgue, and, as the case is solved, we watch the whole murder play out in front of our faces. Although the show has heavy comedic moments, the basis is still created from these crimes. This creates a depiction that crime is high in this particular area, and leads to people being wary of it, even if the show is meant to be taken lightly.

The second question, however, is the most fluent throughout the show. However, these consequences are in a positive connotation, rather than a negative one. These consequences formed from the improv of James Roday. These improv moments are the alias’s that Gus goes by in every episode, starting with ‘Gus Sillypants Jackson,” and the fact that in every episode there is a hidden pineapple for viewers to find. This started when Roday picked up a pineapple and asked if he should cut it up for the road in one of the scenes. which led to the Golden Pineapple Awards at the end of the series, where people were nominated to receive, well, a golden pineapple. These moments have become a staple of the show and are amongst the fan’s favorite moments within the show. In every episode, fans look forward to hearing a new, ridiculous name that Shawn calls Gus, or scour the screen to see if they can find the pineapple. These moments in the show have led to unforgettable moments and laughter and led to their fanbase, the ‘Psych-o’s.’

Cancelling Johnny Depp?

Recently, a huge scandal was going around of Johnny Depp being a ‘wife beater.’ He would throw fits and physically and mentally abuse his wife, at the time, Amber Heard. Many articles were produced highlighting Depp’s actions. This affected his role in many major film franchises, including Fantastic Beasts and The Pirates of the Caribbean. This also led to the defamation of Depp by Heard’s fans and fans that felt betrayed by Depp, nearly cancelling him completely. Now, there is an article by Reuters, “UK judge to give ruling on November 2 in Johnny Depp ‘wife beater’ case,” in which it talks about Depp’s awaiting of the outcome of his libel action against a British Newspaper which labeled him as a “wife beater.”

Why would Depp file this lawsuit? Well, that’s because everything Heard said about Depp about him being this abusive monster, was a lie. In fact, it was the other way around. Heard was the one that was extremely abusive towards Depp. This is one of the problems with cancel culture. People will quickly ‘cancel’ someone, just by word of mouth, without knowing all of the facts. Sadly, I feel like this is mainly the case when a woman defames a man. Not that it doesn’t happen the other way around, just that it is more common. This is the same case with Will Smith and his wife’s ‘entanglement.’ Will Smith’s crying on his wife’s “Red Table Talk’ became a meme, rather than people ‘canceling’ her. The biggest problem with cancel culture though, is that once someone is framed for something, whether true or false, it is still incredibly difficult to come back and regain what was lost.

A Fiery Destination

Lately, the virality of the forest fires in California have been sparking the attention of people across the globe. Global warming has been a huge problem that has yet to be taking seriously. To highlight the damages of these fires, we take a look at the article Assessing California Fire Scars, written by Michael Carlowics.

The article highlights the wildfires caused by lighting in the SCU and CZU lightning complexes. The CZU lighting complex burned more than 86,500 acres of land and the SCU complex burned 396,00o acres becoming the third largest fire by area in California history.

These fires, according to Cal Fire, have burned more than 4.1 million acres of the state in 2020, with the fire season still in effect. Five of the ten largest fires in California history have occurred in 2020. If this is not a huge warning sign of the effects of global warming, then I don’t know what is. Christopher Potter, who specializes in satellite studies of land-cover change, says “Some researchers think these lightning storms may be related to climate change. If global warming means more lightning storms like this in California, then we are in trouble.”

Stage-molding with Psych on Halloween

Stage-molding plays a crucial role in developing a film. It brings together each element, camera angles, lighting, sound, etc. and brings out the tones and moods of the film. I prime example in Psych that uses these elements to their full potential. This being the season one finale, “Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast.” Being a Halloween episode, it uses the stage-molding elements to heighten the mood of Halloween, while also keeping the comedic element.

The whole episode is encased with shadows, with dark tungsten light, which gives off the mood of a frightening environment. Another way they use lighting, is through the use of shadows where, in a flashback, they use a silhouette of a woman committing suicide, which scares the two boys (Shawn and Gus). The use of the silhouette, along with the overall dark tone of the scene, really brings out the fear and trauma that the two boys are faced with.

Another way that the episode conveys the mood is through sound. Psych makes use of slow build ups in sounds to increase anxiousness in moments when a jump scare is anticipated. A great example of this is at the end of the episode, Shawn begins to hear strange moaning noises. The music slowly begins to rise as he goes to inspect where the sound is coming from. The audience begins to feel like something bad is about to happen, just for Shawn to reach the noise, finding Gus with his foot stuck in the floorboards, freaking out. Although a comedic moment, it was still a successful use of sound to build tension.

Lastly, the positions of the camera. In the episode, when introduced to each house, the camera is always low, looking up. This also calls back to the angle looking up at the silhouette of the woman. This brings on a sense of anxiety, and makes it feel the the people in the house are not in control of what will happen within. Another way the angles heighten the mood, are the extreme close-ups on characters when displaying fear. The close-ups heighten that emotion for the audience.

-love mattwithdiabetes

Music of Psych

Psych has a reputation of using music in the show as a way to make a moment more effective, even going so far as to base a few episodes around Curt Smith the singer for Tears for fears and their hit song “Shout”. However, the best execution of music in the show is the season 4 finale, “Mr. Yin Presents…”, which features the song “I Go to the Barn Because I Like the Horses,” by Band of Horses. The song plays in the final minutes of the episode and encapsulates the outcome of the events through out the episode. In the end, Shawn is faced with the decision on whether he is to save the life of Abigail, his current girlfriend, or Juliette, the shows main heroine, and the girl that Shawn has flirted with and developed deep feelings for, from Yin, the episodes main antagonist. Shawn chooses Abigail, however both are saved. The biggest part is the ending is not what you think. After saving Abigail, she then breaks up with Shawn because his life of a detective is too dangerous for her. Cue the song.

The execution of the song is miraculous, as it begins at a very hard-hitting moment for fans where this slow, emotional song plays after witnessing many tear-jerking events. Instead of being in the moment, the song plays after the events settle, waiting till the very end when you begin to decompress everything you witnessed. Adding to it was the on-stage talent of the actors. The emotional scene of Abigail and Shawn breaking up, clashing against a scene of Juliette breaking down into the arms of Detective Lassiter, who through-out the show, is not an emotional, touchy guy, making this moment even more powerful. The continuity of the music between the scenes is relatively perfect with such a said song of heartbreak detailing the same feeling in the show, which even shows the aptness of the song within the scenes. Even with the splash of comedy of Shawn and Gus in tennis gear at a funeral still holds true to the moment because of the attachment they had with the deceased man in the casket. All in all, it was a perfect song to go with such a tear-jerking moment.

-Love mattwithdiabetes

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