'Monk' and 'Psych' Review: TV's Top Detectives Back on the Case
'Monk' and 'Psych' Review: TV's Top Detectives Back on the Case
Friday nights get a lot better tonight with the return of USA's two best shows, Monk at 9pm and Psych at 10pm.  For Monk, this marks the beginning of the end as it's the obsessive detective's final season.

Monk and Psych are an interesting pair because they are so similar, yet so different.  Both are expertly crafted character-based comedies with a ton of laughs and compelling mysteries.  However, Monk seems to skew older, a throwback to the days of Perry Mason and Murder She Wrote, while Psych, with its nonstop barrage of pop culture references, is much younger and hipper.

But no matter your age, there's something for everyone in both shows, most notably when it comes to guest stars.  For its final season, Monk is wheeling out a parade of guests, including the return of Bitty Schram's Sharona near the end of the season.  But for tonight's premiere, Monk starts off with Weeds star Elizabeth Perkins as a Maureen McCormack-esque former child star who turned into one crazy wild child.

For an obsessive TV critic like myself, it's easy to identify with Monk's love of her classic family sitcom, The Cooper Clan (which looks and feels exactly like The Brady Bunch).  The detective has an encyclopedic knowledge of every episode, line and scene, which of course proves very helpful, giving me hope that my own obsessive TV knowledge will one day come in handy.

Psych's premiere also features an excellent guest performance by The Princess Bride star Cary Elwes as an international art thief who proves to be quite the formidable foe to fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer.

But the highlight of the episode is certainly a clip the network has been running as a promo in which Shawn notes the eerie similarities between CBS' hit drama The Mentalist and Psych.

Both Monk and Psych will continue into November, and if you're looking for a great way to enjoy your Friday nights, there's no better one-two punch than San Francisco's neatest detective and Santa Barbara's preeminent fake psychic.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of USA)