Over/Under: Community and Psych
In Over/Under, the Blog writers will discuss two similar pieces of film, music, book, or other culture and which of these is overrated by the popular consensus and underrated by most people. Feel free to comment below with your own views!
I know, I know, this is the best comedy show on television today and is the only thing supposedly saving the creatively dead form of television, or at least this is what I feel I am led to believe. By no means is NBC’s Thursday night single camera comedy a bad show, in fact, it’s a pretty good show, but is it the greatest thing on TV? No. Community has several episodes that I’ve laughed hysterically during. The writing on the show is great; it has a feel of people that are having fun writing and making a TV show, something that is sorely lacking on the medium. The show does at times, however, run itself dry. I love referential, ironic humor as much as the next guy, but that really is the main humor, if not only sense of humor in the show. The characters are always in situations in which something will be referenced off-hand by either Abed or Troy (Danny Pudi and Donald Glover), and then hilarity ensues. It is a formula, whether anyone cares to admit it or not. It works though, and isn’t that really all that matters? Yes, but many fans of the show refuse to admit that it has one. I don’t mean to bash on Community fans, but let’s face it, no one seems to just “like” Community, you have to “love” it. I like the show, and I think it is an incredibly fresh and smart show, and deserves to be renewed and viewed. I do think that it is overrated though. Many people say that it is the best comedy on TV, and though they are not necessarily wrong, they don’t seem entirely original.
USA Network’s Psych
I remember still watching a Friday night new episode of Monk and seeing the ads for the show following it at 10pm. I sat through the series premiere of Psych laughing continuously and did so for the entirety of the first and second season. I still watch the show, and it still maintains freshness, though admittedly it has run into the doldrums of repetition and predictability as of late. Still an under viewed gem, Psych has similar tropes and referential style humor that Community populates, and it started before it as well. Not only did Psych begin before Community and several other similar shows, but also before the more dramatic based The Mentalist, whose main character has a very strong likeness to Psych’s Shawn Spencer. I recall Community relieving praise for the crossover remarks between Cougar Town and Abed, but Psych had a similar sketch as well. Shawn Spencer will at times reference how he “needs to be home to catch the Mentalist premiere” or how he thinks it is “incredibly original”. The dynamic of this show is the bond between Shawn and Gus (James Roday and West Wing’s Dule Hill), much like Community’s is Abed and Troy. Partly because it is the focal point of Psych and partly because the relationship is written better, the friendship of Shawn and Gus is much for comically and emotionally fulfilling that what I have seen of the other duo. Psych is a show that deserved to be watched, and though at times it can be viewed as too “cheesy” or restricted, the show has plenty of episodes where it lifts its top off and makes fun of even itself.
I may sound as though I hate Community and love Psych, and while I do love the latter, I by no means hate the former. I just feel an unusually high amount of praise is levied to a show, and some of those who give it praise can become annoying when doing so. Both shows need to be watched and are hilarious, but one is overrated and one is underrated.
Written by Phillip Bryant