Sunday, November 30, 2008


So 'Psych' returned for a special holiday episode this past week, and delivered the Toobworld equivalent of coal in our stocking - a Zonk!

Zonks are those pesky discrepancies which play hob with the integrity of the TV Universe. Usually it's a reference to another TV show as a TV show, when both shows should be co-existing in the same dimension. However, this time it was the classic "Darrin Discrepancy", a recastaway, in which a character is now played by a new actor with no splainin made for the change in his appearance.
In this case, Gus' Dad, who was played once before by Ernie Hudson, was now portrayed by Keith David. Both good actors, both right for the role, but neither one looking like the other. The shape of the face (and the nose is always a major factor), the body build, the amount of hair and its style, even pigmentation, keeps us from turning a blind eye to the casting change within the reality of the show.

'Psych' is pretty grounded in the so-called reality of Toobworld; they may investigate cases of ghosts and mummies and co-ed slasher spirits, but those are always debunked when the crime is solved. So I don't think a splainin in which Mr. Guster's facial structure was magically altered by a witch or a genie is going to fly in this case.

However, the show does take place in Santa Barbara, and this is a noted soap opera locale - one in which an entire series bore its name. And soap opera locations are known to be test sites for quantum leapers from the future beyond that of Dr. Sam Beckett. Many characters have been replaced over the years in such locales as Pine Valley, Port Charles, Llanview, Genoa City, Oakland, Salem, Bay City, and in this case, Santa Barbara.

As the viewers in the Trueniverse, what we were seeing was Keith David as the leaper who replaced the original Mr. Guster. Had he looked into a mirror at any point during the episode, we would have seen the visage of Ernie Hudson in the reflection. This splainin will serve until the next time Mr. Guster appears on the show.

It could be that Ernie Hudson will be free to come back to play the role again; in that case, then the original Mr. Guster will have returned from the "waiting room" outside the quantum leap accelerator. Or perhaps the producers preferred Keith David in the role, so it would be O'Bvious that the experiment was still in progress. Or who knows? Maybe even a third actor will take over the role the next time. In that case, then a new Leaper had taken over the experiment to explore life in early 21st Century Santa Barbara.

And dat's de name of dat tune!

Toby O'B

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