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Every other Tuesday in Storied, K. B. Hoyle explores the ways our cultural narratives act on us individually and in society as a whole.
In the long-running USA comedy series Psych (2006–2014), Shawn Spencer—the grown, hyper-observant son of a police detective—uses skills ingrained in him by his father to fool the Santa Barbara police department into believing he’s a psychic. Shawn (played by James Roday) is both amateur and immature, and alone in his antics, he would fail as a protagonist. Liars are not usually very endearing, so the audience of Psych needs a sympathetic window through which to view him. We get this via Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill), Shawn’s lifelong best friend. Thanks to Gus, we get to see Shawn through the eyes of someone who knows him well enough to challenge him at his worst and support him at his best. Furthermore, Gus reveals to the audience that Shawn is not as self-seeking as he seems and does, in fact, have a great capacity for love. The friendship between Shawn and Gus forms the backbone of Psych, a show that could easily have worn out its formula long before eight seasons was up. But one thing became clear over the course of those seasons: the very real affection Shawn and Gus have for each other as devoted friends.
Depictions - Friendship - Stories - Souls - Culture
Depictions of close friendship in stories are important to our souls and to our culture, and I think sometimes we forget that friendship itself is a vital, pure, and beautiful form of love all on its own. The cultivation of friendship not only helps hold sacred the other bonds of love in our lives, but it also helps us safeguard ourselves against temptation. If we ran after every tug of affection on our hearts and minds (or eyes, for that matter),...
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