I watched the latest episode of Psych (season 8, episode 3) over the weekend, and thought it would be a fun one to recap.
They did a parody of remakes, by doing a remake of their own, with a take two of the season 1 episode Cloudy...with a Chance of Murder. The basic story is the same: Shawn and Gus offer their services as legal consultants to a lawyer out of his depths, and in need of some self confidence, defending a teacher accused to killing a local TV weatherman. Shawn is able to figure out who the killer is after a more careful inspection of some surveillance video.
The remake of the story starts off with a reminder that the episode takes place in 2006, and starts off similarly, with Shawn and Gus going to the courthouse because Shawn's motorcycle was impounded. They run into the teach/suspect, and later see news about the trial on TV and decide that she's not guilty and that her lawyer needs some help.
They also start off with Shawn and Gus discussing how most remakes are a bad idea where they just use stunt casting and fancy CGI to make things look pretty, right before entering the courthouse, which looks a lot more polished than in the original episode.
Here's a preview clip from before the episode aired:
I found the episode to be quite enjoyable, and a fun game of "spot the difference", and without going back and watching the original (which I was tempted to do but didn't have time), here's what I noticed. I've put in bold whichever I liked better (original or remake).
Original: starts with a flashback of Henry and young Shawn at a hearing, and Henry training Shawn to notice things about the lawyers and the Jury.
Remake: similar, but now Shawn is a baby, and can't possibly understand anything Henry is trying to teach him.
Original: Shawn sees the accused teacher take the time to pick up some trash off the ground and throw it away, which convinces him she's not the murdering type.
Remake: The accused teacher is kind enough to give Shawn and Gus directions on where to go to pay his motorcycle impound fees. She seems friendly, and Shawn doesn't think she could be a killer. Also, Gus hits on her.
Original: The lawyer mentions that his father never supports him but Shawn's dad is there on his first day working the case.
Remake: The lawyer's dad actually shows up in the audience, although Henry later shows up too.
Original: Lassiter is called to testify and mentions he didn't think the teacher had motive.
Remake: Lassiter is left out of the case, which is a non-improvement, but Woody is brought in, which was awesome.
Original:* Shawn learns that his bike was impounded because Henry reported it, and it's revealed he's worried about Shawn, especially after a killer tried to run him off the road in a previous episode (the Spelling Bee one). At the end of the episode, someone covered Shawn's impound charges, and it may have been Lassiter, or the judge.
Remake: most of the motorcycle story is cut out, except at the beginning when it's the reason he's at the courthouse.
*since the remake isn't aired right after the spelling bee episode, taking it out makes sense.
Original: Shawn convinces Gus to let the lawyer borrow his tie, because one of the jurors considers him poorly dressed.
Remake: same, but he returns the tie to Gus with a stain on it. He then asks Shawn if it's ok to pursue Juliet, and Shawn tells him sure because he psychically knows it won't work out and he'll end up with her, until Gus reminds him he's not really psychic and he runs after the lawyer to stop him.
Original: Gus was in an "accelerated program" back in elementary school where he learned about law. He uses some of that knowledge to justify him and Shawn being able to speak to the jury, and the judge is impressed enough to ask where he went to law school.
Remake: Gus was pre-pre-pre-law, and uses movie quotes to stall while Shawn heads back to the court with the tape to announce the real killer. Although not as good as the original, the quotes are fun, since they include a My Cousin Vinny reference and involve Ralph Macchio's character in it.
Original: the killer is revealed to be the weatherman's assistant, who is the only woman he didn't sleep with.
Original: while questioning the weatherman's assistant, she mentions that he slept with a lot of women, and was a handsome man. The lawyer replies with "that he was", getting some confused looks from Shawn and Gus.
Remake: this is taken out, but instead we get one of the news anchors referring to himself as various celebrities and getting called out on it by people who don't consider him as handsome as the ones he mentions.
Remake: the assistant alibi's out, when she confesses that she went home and slept with Woody the night of the murder, which was fun to watch, and it succeeds in making the episode not entirely predictable, despite being a remake.
I won't reveal who the killer is this time, because that's too spoilery.
The remake recasts a lot of the roles, including Ralph Macchio as the prosecuting attorney, which leads to some fun My Cousin Vinny references later on. The judge is now played by Ray Wise, and he doesn't have kidney stones in this version. The teacher, dead weatherman, and meteorologist who takes over for him are recast, and each of them appeared in previous episodes of Psych. The same actor plays the lawyer, which is good because he was great in that role. There are also references made to hint at Shawn and Juliet ending up as a couple, and a reminder that they're not together now because the story takes place in 2006.
Ralph Macchio as the prosecution, leading to Gus using the "youts" line from My Cousin Vinny, and Ralph's character saying it was an ok movie.
Woody the coroner being brought in to testify, and his testimony. I love this character and consider any scene he's in to be gold, so having him included in the remake was a definite improvement.
Ray Wise as the judge, always fun to see him on Psych, even if it's not as his reverend character.
Some people on the Psych Facebook page seemed unhappy that they "just redid an old episode" but I found it to be a fun take on remakes, and like the title mentioned, there was indeed a chance of improvement.
ETA: comparison on Gus' "accelerated program", and which I liked better between the original and remake. Added another comparison (one of the lawyer's lines).
ETA2: I'm wondering if Lassie's reduced role in the remake had anything to do with his recent appearance on Supernatural. I know Psych is on kind of an alternate production schedule, which is why Maggie Lawson was able to also film and star in Back in the Game, but that was a short season. Maybe they let Omundson take a day to film his gig on Supernatural, since they're both in Vancouver it might not have been too much of a trip.