Hey kids! Psych is finally, finally, back this week (Wednesday at 10 pm e/9 pm c on USA) and we can finally, finally, finally bring you some of the goodies from our blogger set visit last May. When we met with the cast and crew, they were shooting the 100th episode—a huge milestone for any series these days and an even bigger deal for cable and USA Network. Monk is USA’s only other series to get there, and Burn Notice will get there next season.
We sat down in separate roundtables with the cast and producers, and they were all equally jazzed about the longevity of the show and the show’s growth—helped in part by ION’s strip syndication, and streaming services that have allowed new viewers to find and marathon the show and catch up. So, what can we expect in season 7? Here’s what Dule Hill had to share with us.
First up, Gus will have a love interest to call his very own, in the lovely person of Parminder Nagra, playing a single mom whom Gus meets online. Hill was chuffed to finally get there. “Gus finally kind of takes a few steps into the relationship world,” he says. “And it still doesn’t go exactly as planned, but…I think it’ll be exciting for the audience to see how Gus interacts in relationship land…I don’t know how long it’ll last. I’m a big fan of Parminder, too, so the fact that she was able to come up and, and join us has been great.”
A relationship is just the latest growth for Gus, who’s evolved from his early days. “Gus definitely stands up for himself more…and he’s owned more who he is. I think at first he [wasn’t as] comfortable in his skin, but now he’s very fine with who he is,” says Hill. “He appreciates that he…has all this random trivia, and likes to eat food, and, has a super sniffer.”
Hill adds that he thinks early on, Gus wasn’t really thinking about relationships. “He was [just] thrilled to be moonlighting as a psychic detective. But now he’s looking for something beyond just hanging out with Shawn all the time,” he says. Hill thinks that Gus has likely realized there has to be something more than [Psych]. “At some point…the ruse is going to be up, and people are going to figure out that Shawn is not telling the truth, and what is [Gus] going to do next?”
According to Hill, going down this path is also a result of Gus watching Juliet and Shawn. “He’s turned a mirror on himself. “[When] it was just he and Shawn having fun, then it was all fine. But now the time has to be split a little bit [between Juliet and Gus, and he’s wondering what to do with himself].”
Hill believes the boys will always be the boys regardless of the ladies in their live. “[They’ll] always have the bromance. I mean, no matter what happens, there, there will always be the core,” he says. “[Even] with Shawn and Juliet, you know, Shawn and Gus are still extremely tight, and I don’t think anything will ever get in between [them]. There may be challenges at different points, but really when it comes down to it, there’ll never be anything that gets in between Shawn and Gus. Simple as that.”
Another thing Hill never wants to change is Gus’s trusty ride. “[Gus] and the Blueberry, they go hand in hand,” he says. He would like to see Psych do another family episode with yet another actor playing Gus’s dad—maybe even Bill Cosby, if he were to have his dream casting. “One of the early guest spots that I did on TV was on The Cosby Show. I was rehearsing [with] Doug E. Doug, Madeline Kahn…and I think, Felicia [Rashad],” he recalls. “[After] a while…Mr. Cosby came walking out from his dressing room. And he was like, ‘No, man…have fun with it, you know, you’re an angry poet, and you have [swagger]. And he did the scene…for me.”
Hill said that was an eye opener for him about how an actor could take the words in a script and go beyond that and have so fun with it. “[What] he did was completely different from what I was doing…and that little seed has stuck with me throughout my career,” he says fondly. “[If we could] have him come and work on this show, that would be, would be great…if [Felicia was] in the same scene, that would be phenomenal.”
Hill was also asked about the various nicknames Shawn rattles off for Gus when they introduce themselves. He said they’re a mix of improvisation and scripted. “[Now] the writers have caught on. The first one, which I think was Gus ‘Silly Pants’ Jackson, was just [James] Roday doing it. And I remember doing the take, and after the take, I was like, ‘What did you call me?’” he says. “And that just kind of stuck. Lavender Gooms [is] my grandmother’s cousin…who’s still alive. [One] day we needed a name, and I was like, ‘Oh, Lavender Gooms,’ and we just threw that in there. I can’t remember whether ‘God’s comma’ was in the script or not, or whether we added that. But it’s a big collaborative effort around here. They’re a lot of fun, I look forward to them.” He adds that when the nicknames are written, he’ll look for ways to bring them to life. “That’s where I got the ‘Jazz Hands’…or…’MC Clap Your Hands,’ and things like that,” he says.
We’re so glad season 7 is finally here so we can see where they go next. You can catch the season premiere at 10 pm e/9 pm c on USA.
Check back here for more scoop from our set visit!
Photo courtesy of USA Network.