I didn’t expect to see Psych — American TV’s hottest fake psychic detective agency — filming on the most American holiday of the year: July 4th, Independence Day. I walked up to the set inside a Tudor-style apartment building on the southern edge of the South Granville neighbourhood in a rare bit of Vancouver sunshine. James Roday (fake psychic Shawn Spencer who solves crimes for the Santa Barbara police department with his superior observational skills); Dulé Hill (Shawn’s BFF and reluctant sidekick Burton “Gus” Guster) and Maggie Lawson (Santa Barbara police detective Juliet O’Hara and Shawn’s girlfriend) sat in their cast chairs outside, on a break from filming. Timothy Omundson (Santa Barbara police detective Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter and Shawn skeptic) joined them after hitting the craft table. It’s the first time I’ve seen Lassie on location this season.
Next week, more than four thousand lucky PSYCH-Os (either dressed as a pineapple or carrying one) will have the chance to both see and hear from all four leads at the standing-room-only, people-turned-away Psych panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
Even though Psych has been filming in Vancouver without much fuss for almost seven seasons now, it’s a completely different story at Comic-Con where the Psych cast and showrunners are treated like rock stars. But then, Psych really knows how to play to a Comic-Con crowd, with episodes crossing over into genre stuff like animation, vampires, super heroes and now Big Foot. Last year PSYCH-O’s were treated to a hilarious taped shoutout from William Shatner, aka Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk and Juliet’s father on Psych’s season six. Hopefully this year there’ll be a hilarious shoutout from Jeffrey Tambor, aka Arrested Development’s Oscar Bluth and Juliet’s stepfather on Psych’s upcoming season seven (I photographed Tambor filming in Kerrisdale last month). Personally I can’t wait for Shawn and Juliet to get married so that all these in-laws meet on screen.
For the fourth year in a row, Psych’s entire main cast will be on stage, including Corbin Bernsen (Shawn’s disapproving retired Santa Barbara police sergeant father Henry) and Kirsten Nelson (Santa Barbara Police Chief Karen Vick), as well as Psych creator and showrunner Steve Franks and fellow EPs Chris Henke and Kelly Kulchak.
And there will be gag video clips and a first look at season seven episodes in production like the Bigfoot episode directed by James Roday and Psych’s 100th episode called 100 CLUEs, a milestone celebrated by cast and crew with a party in Vancouver.
If those aren’t enough reasons to start lining up now, Psych is bound to have some surprise hijinks and guest stars, such as The Friendly Indians singing the show’s theme song “I Know, You Know.” Last year’s panel ended with cast, producers and guests all on stage wearing their Psych glasses.
Psych panel & screening: 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. on July 12th in Ballroom 20.