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Unfortunately (and probably at least partly as a result of the above), as an adult Shawn is equal parts prankster and slacker with no real desire to apply himself in any normal occupation.So, he employs his skills to identify criminals and their methods in the news and calls crime tip lines for the reward.This backfires on him when he is arrested as an accomplice.The police are suspicious of how good his tips are, so therefore he must have been involved with the crimes.The program also stars Dulé Hill as Shawn's intelligent best friend and reluctant partner Burton "Gus" Guster, as well as Corbin Bernsen as Shawn's father, Henry, a former officer of the Santa Barbara Police Department. Most episodes begin with a cold open in the form of a flashback to Shawn and Gus's childhoods.Psych debuted on Friday, July 7, 2006, immediately following the fifth-season premiere of Monk, and continued to be paired with the series until Monk's conclusion on December 4, 2009. The flashbacks usually involve Shawn and Gus being taught a lesson by a young Henry Spencer (Shawn's father), who wishes that his son would follow in his footsteps and become a law enforcement officer.With Shawn attempting to appear as a psychic whenever giving The Summation, he ends up doing comically-inappropriate things when identifying a killer.
Shawn and Gus frequently talk about their childhood, which includes numerous references to The '80s and (increasingly) The '90s.In order to avoid jail time and continue his lucrative-but-lazy crimebusting, Shawn tells the police he's a psychic.After a demonstration on several of the officers in the Santa Barbara Police Department, he is allowed on a case.After solving it, he opens up a detective agency and, to the perturbation of certain members of the Santa Barbara Police Department, Shawn and his best friend Burton "Gus" Guster help the police solve crimes assigned to them by Chief Karen Vick.
The two frequently collaborate with the real detectives Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter and Juliet "Jules" O'Hara.Head detective Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), playfully named "Lassie" by Shawn and Gus, quietly respects Shawn's crime-solving skills, but doubts his psychic abilities and is constantly exasperated and/or infuriated by his antics.However, junior detective Juliet "Jules" O'Hara (Maggie Lawson) and Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) are far less antagonistic – with O'Hara expressing belief in Shawn's abilities, while Vick is mum on the subject – and usually willing to give Shawn the leeway he needs to solve cases.The interim police chief warns Shawn that if his "powers" are fake, he will be prosecuted.