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Let’s Prepare For ‘Psych: The Musical’ By Checking Out The Best Of Burton Guster

By 12.15.13
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Psych returns with their musical episode tonight, a two hour extravaganza that should at least be more bearable than NBC's The Sound of Music (even if both networks are owned by the same folks). We don't really cover it too much here, but we have noted how USA programming is a guilty pleasure of sorts in the past.

Psych has always been a show for me that represents an alternative to the heavier, critically hailed programming that occupies the other nights of the week. Where Sons Of Anarchy is beating their characters with pipes and murdering them with carving forks, Psych is usually solving a murder with humor and movie references thrown into the mix. It's unbelievable, throw away fun that paints Santa Barbara as one of the most colorful and dangerous parts of Canada you could visit. And that's why I like it. It's a great diversion that could be ending in the very near future.

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A big reason the show has been so successful and is currently the longest running original show on the USA network has to be Dule Hill as Burton Guster. Gus is the BFF/confidant/partner to our hero Shawn Spencer played by James Roday. Gus has loyalty that is inexplicable and a series of talents that range from cracking safes to a superior sense of smell.

Hill stands out on the show and gels well with James Roday, the fake psychic with a heart of gold. It's Gus that has probably grown the most throughout the series and provides much needed humor to almost every situation. Where Spencer tries hard to be funny, Gus is there to with a natural compound. He's the Andy Richter of the show.

So to celebrate the 2-hour musical and the general enjoyment of the program, I thought we'd look at some of the best of Gus. And tune into the musical episode. It's been getting great reviews and should be semi-enjoyable even if you hate musicals like me.

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(Lead image via Tumblr/Psych)

Faces

Danger noted the importance of Gus' face in our earlier USA piece:

Psych is a goofy, fun show that doesn't take itself very seriously. I appreciate that. I also appreciate Dulé Hill, who plays Gus, because if you focus on his face while all the other characters are doing things, you'll see that he has hilarious little reactions to almost everything. Little tip from me to you.

And that's dead on. His reactions are a key reason to tune in and almost guaranteed to be the opposite of your expectations. It's a small reason, but it is really something to appreciate over seven seasons.

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Nicknames

A running gag throughout the series involves Shawn introducing Gus as some random nickname. It used to be a tool to define the comedic/straight roles on the series early on, but soon Gus started to play along and it took on the role of whatever character Shawn could think up.

I tried this once at a strip club and pretended I sold encyclopedias state by state. It didn't work out as well and cost me a lot of money.

Friendship

With friends like Gus, we might not need anti-depressants in the world. Well we might still need anti-depressants and other meds (because they're fun), but friends like Gus are still one in a million.

Sure it's a TV show, but the bond between Shawn and Gus seems genuine on the screen and one to be jealous over. Not many friends are going to investigate a murder with you while finishing your sentences and sharing a Japadog. And how many times can you count on your friend to run screaming like a little girl alongside you?

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Dedication

Be it dedication to his work or to staying in character during an investigation, Gus is reliable through and through.

Throughout the series we've seen Gus drive a junk heap of a car for the sake of a case, date suspects to gather information and still uphold his daytime responsibilities as a pharmaceutical rep. I doubt there is someone more dedicated on all of television. Unless of course there is food nearby or a dead body or a bomb ready to explode. Luckily that's where our sub-best Gus feature comes into play: his speedy feet.

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Musical Talent

This is where Dule Hill really shines, both as Gus and with his own real life talents. Psych is a show that lives on musical references, which is why it makes sense they would attempt a musical episode. You saw the "Ebony & Ivory" homage a few pages back, but we also had a Hall & Oates and Simple Minds inspired promos as well. Not to mention the countless musical guest stars that have appeared on the show.

The reason Gus shines in this category is Hill's real life tap dancing talent that he's gotten to show off from time to time. On top of that is his connection to his college a cappella group, Blackapella, first introduced in the episode 'High Top Fade Out.' And from what I've read, he's a real stand out in the musical.

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This is why I feel Gus is the strongest reason to tune into Psych. A character that's full of joyful surprises amongst a landscape filled with anti-heroes. But please be sure to return in February to check out my investigation into the strong Deadwood/Psych connections.

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