There are certain people I feel we at FlickSided must continue to champion and James Roday is at the very top of the list. Roday first came to our and everybody else’s attention on the USA show Psych. The show, which ran its course in March, followed Shawn Spencer, the son of a retired police detective, Henry Spencer, played by Corbin Bernsen. Henry wanted Shawn to follow in his footsteps and taught his son how to observe. A slacker, Shawn never lived up to his father’s expectations, but he kept his powers of observation. Because of his training, Shawn could go into any room and take in the necessary clues in a matter of seconds. He eventually starts a detective agency with his best friend Gus, the brilliant Dule Hill. The thing that separated Psych from most other series was its writing and the fact that it had no problems dealing in comedy.
A lot of TV shows and movies are embarrassed by comedy. They sheepishly present it as a sidelight, as if to say, “We’re sorry. We had a few extra minutes to kill.” Not Roday and Psych creator, Steve Franks. They embraced the silly, made a home for it and even gave it a place at the table. Roday especially helped to flavor the show with his own brand of humor and abundance of 80s pop culture knowledge. Melding beautifully with Franks, also a connoisseur of 1980 kitsch, the characters of Shawn and Gus had their own language –
Not only did Roday star in and eventually add executive producer to his resume, but he also took up writing for the show and directed several episodes. Since Psych, Roday is set to direct and write a comedy horror film titled Gravy, which follows a group that descends on a Mexican cantina on Halloween with a taste for more than what is on the menu. Roday co-wrote the screenplay with Todd Harthan. Little else has been publicized about the project. With the Roday repertory on full display in Psych, it will definitely be worth checking out.
There are very few talents as diverse and big as James Roday’s in Hollywood. Those who know Roday’s work are sure to stay tuned for all his future projects.