Category Archives: Psych
Published July 9th, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Comic-Con tweeted Twilight fans today asking them not to start lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days before the convention starts on Thursday like they did last year. The anual geekfest doesn’t want them to erect another Camp Twilight tent city either. Any Twihard or TwiMom who tries to line up earlier than tomorrow or brings more than a chair and a sleeping bag with them, risks not being among the six thousand-plus lucky enough to get into the final vampires & werewolves panel at lunchtime on Thursday. If asked to leave, they’ll miss seeing exclusive footage from the mainly Vancouver-shot The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 and celebrity trio Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner in person. Organizers have scheduled the final Twilight movie as the first official panel in marquee Hall H so that Twilight teens and their Moms can’t ruin Comic-Con like they have in the past.
[Update: A Twilight fan who'd been camping outside the San Diego Convention Center since Sunday was struck and killed by an SUV on Tuesday morning while rushing to cross the street to get back to the lineup which Comic-Con organizers were moving. Fellow fans are trying to organize a moment of silence in her honour during the Breaking Dawn 2 panel.]
Once the Twihards have gone home, Comic-Con is free to fly its geek flag until Sunday night, epitomized by what could be 2012′s hottest panel — the 10th Anniversary reunion of the cast (and creator) of space western Firefly, featuring Canada’s own browncoat Nathan “Captain Tightpants” Fillion. Is cult TV once again dominating big budget movies at Comic-Con with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory panels all in high demand too?
Maybe, maybe not. Iron Man 3 is a hot ticket, as are the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures and Sony Pictures panels in Hall H. Who doesn’t want to see footage from The Hobbit, which just wrapped filming in New Zealand? Or get a first look at two other mainly Vancouver-shot movies: the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill (seen below filming a shirtless green screen rescue scene in North Vancouver) as part of the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday afternoon and mysterious space station movie Elysium starring Matt Damon (link to first official photo) and Jody Foster as part of the Sony panel on Friday afternoon. Vancouver director Neill Blomkamp will be on hand with his stars to answer questions about the followup to his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9. It turns out Elysium is the name of a vast space station constructed by a company called Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159 (want-ads for Armadyne popped up at last year’s Comic-Con, the start of a viral campaign for the movie). The rest of us –- the 99% if you will — live on the over-populated, ruined planet Earth below. A bald, buff Damon is Max, who goes up against Foster as hard-line government official Minister Delacourt [corrected], who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (the mansion set below on Kent Hangar field could be on the space station).
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.
Vancouver Canadians fans who stayed after the game in Nat Bailey Stadium a year ago to play extras in a Psych series baseball episode can see themselves in the crowd tonight on Global TV.
Psych’s fifth epsiode — Dead Man’s Curve Ball — of the sixth season is about the mysterious death of the fictional minor league Santa Barbara Seabirds’ hitting coach, with Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame), Michael Trucco (Fairly Legal/Battlestar Galactica) and Baseball Hall of Famer and 1996 World Series Champ Wade Boggs as guest stars. James Roday’s “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer infiltrates the team as a hitting coach and Dule Hill’s Burton “Gus” Buster as Sammy the Seagull, a big white bird mascot with giant yellow webbed feet (looking very much like Mascot Hall of Famer, the San Diego Chicken).
Trained tap dancer Dule Hill performs some tap dance moves in a routine that doesn’t please the fake fans but ends with him face down on a platform near the field doing the worm as his giant yellow feet flop up and down.
Michel Trucco plays the Santa Barbara Seabirds catcher and a childhood idol of Shawn Spencer’s.
Hey Now! That’s Jeffrey Tambor, better known as Hank Kingsley on the Larry Sanders Show and Oscar Bluth on Arrested Development, waving at me from the Psych set in the 6100 block of Boulevard in Kerrisdale today. I’m not often starstruck but I scrambled to remember just one of his catch phrases, experienced brain freeze and ended up giving him a feeble wave back.
This is old news for American Psych-Os but may,be not for some Canadian ones. On tonight’s Psych, Timothy Omundson’s buttoned-down Santa Barbara police detective Lassiter falls for a woman who could be a vampire, played by none other than Kristy Swanson, who was on the other end of the stake in feature film Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh and Psych stars James Roday, who directs This Episode Sucks, and Dule Hill dress up like Lestat from Interview with a Vampire and Blacula.
Lassitar meets the woman named Marlowe in a bar and is instantly attracted but she disappears on him. The next morning, Lassitar arrives at a crime scene with his police partner Juliet, played by Maggie Lawson, which turns out to be the roof of the Bay parkade in downtown Vancouver. I watched James Roday direct a scene of Lassitar and Juliet examining the body. They find puncture wounds on the throat and neck prompting Roday’s ”psychic” detective Shawn to jokingly proclaim the killer a vampire.
Last night’s Psych on the USA Network featured ’90s star French Stewart from 3rd Rock From the Sun as Sherlock Holmes-esque character Whip Chatterley who helps our heroes — James Roday’s Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill’s Burton “Gus” Guster – piece together clues about a recent murder and help clear medical examiner Woody’s name after a mistake is found in his autopsy. Is Psych finally running out of ’80s stars to cast? Hardly.
I photographed one scene of episode fourteen, called Autopsy Turvy, at Main St. & West 8th Ave. in Vancouver last September outside the Scout Boutique turned Miss Ivana’s. Our trio is retracing the victim’s last steps which leads them here where fake psychic Shawn Spenser comes face to face with “real” psychic Miss Ivana. Of course Miss Ivana turns out to be a fake too, but not without psychic abilities.
This scene looked like a lot of fun to film even though I couldn’t understand the context so far ahead of the episode. In the last part of the scene, French Stewart’s character Whip Chatterley calls shotgun on the Blueberry.
Published October 3, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Psych wrapped filming its sixteen episodes of season six last week in Vancouver and is set to debut the first one a week Wednesday on October 12th on the USA Network. A movie-style trailer of the season opener entitled Shawn Rescues Darth Vader reveals star James Roday wearing a tux in full James Bond-mode. Before it airs, some lucky Psych-os, as fans of the comedic-detective series are affectionately known, will attend this Thursday’s Psych Fan Appreciation Day at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre in New York to enjoy a popcorn-fueled advance screening of the season premiere with creator Steve Franks and the full cast in the audience.
Psych has been shooting season six here for six months but films out of order so although I wrote about and photographed scenes from the first filmed vampire-themed episode This Episode Sucks in March, it turned out not to be the season premiere. Similarly, the last filmed episode shot shot in Vancouver last week will not be the season finale but likely episode fourteen, Autopsy Turvy.
What’s Psych about? The season six trailer’s tagline sums it up: A City Under Seige/One Man Stands Prepared/To Predict and Serve. That one man would be James Roday, who plays a former Santa Barbara police sergeant’s son Shawn Spencer, who’s conned the police department into thinking he’s a psychic when he really uses his superior observational skills to solve crimes. Dule Hill is his best friend and police consultant partner Burton “Gus” Guster.
James Roday admitted this summer that Psych is a pretty wacky show ahead of Comic-Con in San Diego, where it is a popular attraction because of the way it crosses over into all sorts of subcultures like vampires, super heroes and Star Trek. Still, the long-running series is at its wackiest in its love for all things ’80s. They must have made an exception last week for guest star French Stewart from the classic ’90s comedy 3rd Rock From the Sun, as you can see below.
Since I watched and wrote about Psych filming its baseball-themed season-six episode Dead Man’s Curve Ball in Nat Bailey stadium this past June, the producers have hosted another parade of guest stars, but none bigger than Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner as the estranged father to junior Santa Barbara police detective and Shawn love interest Juliet, played by Maggie Lawson.
Published July 21, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Twihards starting lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days early (on Monday) to be among the six thousand lucky enough to get into The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 panel in Hall H, which took place just before lunchtime today. Breaking Dawn 1 was the first panel in Hall H so that Twihards couldn’t ruin Comic-Con like they usually do. What’s even more crazy? That the vampires and werewolves of the mainly Vancouver-shot Breaking Dawn 1 aren’t the most popular panel of the hundreds at Comic-Con 2011. Not even close. That honour belongs to the zombies of AMC TV series The Walking Dead.
Breaking Dawn 1 isn’t even among the most popular of Vancouver-filmed movies and TV series at Comic-Con, which has become less about big movies and more about cult television series in recent years. Locally-shot TV series Pscyh cracked the Top 25 most popular panels and Fringe, Eureka, Supernatural and Alcatraz are all in the Top 50. Breaking Dawn 1 and Underworld Awakening (the fourth in the movie franchise but only the third to star Kate Beckinsale and her vampire cat suit) barely made the Top 50 cut.
Psych presented today to standing-room-only, people-turned-away capacity, with Psych-os either dressed as pineapples or carrying them. Apparently series star James Roday (seen above directing a vampire-themed episode) improvised with a pineapple in the show’s premiere and there’s been one hidden in every episode since. Nominally a detective series, Psych knows how to play to a Comic-Con crowd, with several episodes in its sixth season (now filming in Vancouver) crossing over into genre stuff like vampires, super heroes and Star Trek. In a real casting coup, the original Captain Kirk — William Shatner — plays the father of one of the main cast in an episode filmed
Published June 2, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
PSYCH-Os, fans of USA Network comedic-detective series Psych, have been asking when I would return to their show. Since I watched Psych filming its vampire-themed season-six episode in late March, the producers have hosted a parade of guest stars ranging from Clockwork Orange baddie Malcolm McDowell to New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre to Brat Packer Molly Ringwald and done Darth Vader to Superman to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest themed episodes in locations as far away as Gibsons Landing. I promised PSYCH-O’s I would try to photograph a rumoured baseball episode if the cast and crew showed up at Vancouver’s baseball mecca — Nat Bailey Stadium.
Sure enough, a friend spotted dozens of white film trucks and trailers parked at the Nat, home to minor league Vancouver Canadians, on the Tuesday morning after the Victoria Day long weekend. Various entertainment sites soon reported that Psych’s sixth filmed episode of the sixth season would feature the mysterious death of fictional minor league Santa Barbara Seabirds’ hitting coach, with guest stars Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame), Baseball Hall of Famer and 1996 World Series Champ Wade Boggs and Michael Trucco (Fairly Legal/Battlestar Galactica), who plays a childhood idol of James Roday’s “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer. I did wonder how Spencer’s best friend Burton “Gus” Buster, embodied by Dule Hill, would figure into the investigation, but didn’t have long to wait.
Through the trees from the grassy slope of Queen Elizabeth Park that morning I could hear the extras, who filled section 1 of the reserved grandstand overlooking first base, shouting at a big white bird mascot
Published March 31, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
Did you spot a dozen or so vampires entering the blood-red interior of Barcelona night club on Granville Street this past Tuesday night? Maybe it’s not that surprising to see vampires on the streets of Vancouver with two big features – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and Underworld 4 – filming here but the vampires at Barcelona this week belonged to TV series Psych and are featured in the third episode of the sixth season, the aptly-titled “This Episode Sucks”.
Psych star James Roday teased fans late last year with the prospect of a vampire-themed episode for the long-running and popular USA Network detective series, promising that the show would do something different than the “spoofs on spoofs on spoofs” already out there. I don’t know if he planned to direct the episode back then but he is directing it now and getting ribbed for it by his co-stars.
Psych is the story of Shawn Spencer, played by James Roday, who cons the Santa Barbara police department into believing he`s a psychic but really uses his superior observational skills to solve crimes. He partners up with his best friend Burton “Gus” Guster, played by Dulé Hill (The West Wing) as police consultants. Lots of jokes and pranks later, the American comedy-drama is filming its sixth season.
A vampire episode is not that much of a departure for a dramedy like Psych, which paid tribute to cult noir series Twin Peaks last fall in an episode where the detectives investigated a murder of a high school student in fictional Dual Spires, with Twin Peak cast Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn, Ray Wise and Dana Ashbrook all guest starring.
For the first filmed episode of the sixth season, Psych producers searched for an actress already known for playing a vampire in a film or TV series. Then in a role reversal, they cast Kristy Swanson, who staked many a vampire in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as their lead suspect in a vampire-style killing. Vampire-related actor Corey Feldman from Lost Boys is on board too in one of the guest star roles, either as a vampire club bartender or as an offbeat rocker. The other vampire-related guest actor is not yet known.
Late last week, Dulé Hill tweeted a photo of a Psych family reunion, along with special guest star Kristy Swanson as Marlowe Viccellio. She reportedly meets and charms Timothy Ormundson’s