Thursday, March 1, 2012

Awesome Characters - Shawn and Gus

There are characters we fall in love with. The perfect mix of actor and writer that breathes magic onto the screen or inside the television.

The first male characters to crack the list come in together as a pair, as is only fitting because what is psychic detective Shawn Spencer without his steadfast best friend since childhood Burton Guster (who you might also know as Bighead Burton, Fingers, Homeskillet, Blackstar, Chocolate Columbo, Magic Head, Gus T.T. Showbiz, Ovaltine Jenkins, Bud (from The Cosby Show), Nick Nack, Bruton Gaster, Lavender Gooms, Dr. Mc Took, Gus "Silly-Pants" Jackson, Methuselah Honeysuckle, Chesterfield McMillan (and wife), Felicia Fancybottom, Longbranch Pennywhistle, Scrooge Jones, Art Vandelay, Trapezius Milkington, Sterling Cooper, Burton "Oil Can" Guster, Hollabackatcha, Jazz Hands, John Slade, Ghee Buttersnaps, Chocolate Einstein, and The Jackal)?

Gifted with perfect recall an a strong analytical mind, but with a father (Corbin Bernsen) who drove any hopes of him ever becoming a police officer out of his head at an early age by riding his son too hard, Shawn Spencer finds himself at a loss to explain how he's able to solve a crime with almost no evidence. But... what if he were psychic?

Together with his best friend Gus, a pharmaceutical salesman by trade, the pair open their own psychic detective agency and help the local Santa Barbara Police Department on their more bizarre cases (including death by dinosaur, alien abduction, werewolves, vampires, and serial killers).

Over five-and-a-half seasons the pair have solved several dozen crimes, including a handful in which they didn't initially accuse the wrong party. The don't exactly work by the book, but the do provide more than a few 80's references and a hell of a lot of fun every week.

Shawn is played gleefully by James Roday who revels in the characters quirks, mistakes and miscues (I've heard it both ways) and love of all things ridiculous and nostalgic.

The yin to his yang, so to speak, is played by Dulé Hill, who aside from this role is best known for playing Charlie Young on The West Wing. Although constantly irritated by Shawn, the buttoned-up Gus has come a long way since the first season, even coming to embrace to colorful names Shawn will inevitably use to introduce him.

The pair make the wackiest detectives on television, and do what few other mystery shows do - have a genuinely good time while solving the case (even when its often a grizzly murder). Whether that means dressing up as vampires or going undercover in an American Idol rip-off, the duo always show up to prove they are a couple of the most awesome character on television.

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