One of the reasons that "Psych" has been on the air this long is because Shawn Spencer is one of the most charismatic characters on any TV show ever. But now, his charm has really started to wear thin. In Season 7, Shawn has become downright unlikeable.
Even in the show's early days, Shawn was easy to love. Take the show's second episode, "Spellingg Bee." In that episode, fans learned that Shawn had intentionally sabotaged Gus during a spelling bee in their youth.
Shawn didn't want his friend spending more time studying and less time hanging out with him, so Shawn intentionally fed Gus a wrong letter in the word "aggiornamento." Shawn tries to justify his actions to Gus years later by saying that if he had won the spelling bee, Gus would have been classified as a nerd and been too unpopular to date a cheerleader.
"This way, you got to be a smart kid and a cool kid -- the best of both worlds," Shawn explained to a furious Gus. Despite the fact that this is a rotten thing to do to your best friend, most "Psych" fans found this revelation of Shawn's true character to be amusing, not despicable.
But in Season 7, Shawn's pettiness and self-interest are no longer charming. The recent episode "Nip and Suck It" pitted Henry and Shawn against one another in an attempt to solve a case. But Shawn's desire to one-up his old man comes off as cruel. An aging Henry is just trying to feel useful again. Shawn's competitiveness has the added downside of distracting him from the case at hand.
It's no surprise that Season 7 showed the most conflict between Shawn and Juliet. Even Shawn's biggest fan can't stand him half the time! His constant lies, both big and small, hurt her -- and hurting Juliet makes Shawn seem like a bad person.
Ultimately, the shows that TV fans find most rewarding feature an interesting journey that results in character development. A show like "Breaking Bad" is interesting because Walter White started off as a nice guy and has become a true villain. In a similar vein, "Boy Meets World" captured hearts because it was a coming of age story about growing up and finding yourself.
Sadly, it seems like Shawn hasn't grown or matured much in the last couple of seasons. Not only does this have the effect of making the show feel stagnant, but it also makes Shawn increasingly unlikeable. Unless Shawn starts maturing soon, TV fans will find that Shawn has lost his boyish charm, and they'll change the channel when his face is on the screen.
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