Break out your Kleenex and your pineapples - tonight we say goodbye to USA's Psych. And we're doing it the best way possible. Last week BFTV connected with the show's leading lady - and one of our oldest and dearest site friends - Maggie Lawson, to talk about sending off her character Juliet O'Hara and what she's learned from eight seasons of hilarious goodness.
In today's TV landscape, it's uncommon for a show to last this long, let alone for an actor to stay with a series for its entire run. What was it like for Maggie to complete the journey from start to finish? "I feel really lucky that I can say that!" she told us. "Psych has been a huge blessing. We all kind of grew up together over the last eight years, and I think that's why you hear us refer to our group as a family so often. It's a really beautiful thing."
"All of the memories of playing Juliet are good ones," she continued. "I like how the writers kept peeling back layers. Every season there seemed to be something new to learn and get into about who she is, or where she came from.
"I have a lot of favorite moments," Maggie added. "The undercover business in [the season one finale] 'Scary Sherry,' I thought was a funny and clever way to get into who she is, a fun way to get into that fact that she sometimes goes overboard when given a task. I really love the clock tower scene [in season four's 'Mr. Yin Presents'] with Lassiter, when I fall into his arms. That was a huge moment for us. And also, when I find out Shawn is not really psychic [in season seven's 'Deez Nups']."
Asked if where Juliet ends up is at all close to where she envisioned her character finishing the series, she could only say, "In almost every way, yes."
Maggie knows her way around television; she was a part of several other, shorter-lived sitcoms, including Inside Schwartz, It's All Relative, and Crumbs, which was cancelled just two months before Psych premiered. But it was the role of Juliet O'Hara that finally allowed this talented, charismatic and down-to-earth actress to get the attention she deserved.
"Psych absolutely helped boost my career," she reflected. "I just learned so much from this experience as an actress but also as a team player. I feel over the years we all really looked out for each other - at work and in life - and I think it made what we do even better. And I think going forward into any other show, it's about taking the lessons and applying them and doing the best you can and hoping lightning strikes twice."
Hopefully, we won't be without Maggie for very long. Although her freshman series Back In The Game struck out in December, she's already been snapped up for another project. "I am doing a pilot called Save The Date for CBS," she revealed. "It's a really fun role, and very different from Psych, and I am really excited about it." She'll play the sitcom's main character Katie, who - according to the network's description, "drunkenly books a wedding venue and now is faced with the task of meeting the right man in time." Definitely not Juliet!
Perhaps the best role that Maggie's played, though, is just being herself. Over eight seasons of Psych, she's always been incredibly kind and gracious to the press and to the fans, be it at in-person appearances or on social media. So has everyone else in the cast, all the producers, and even the guest stars (we're looking at you, Cary Elwes).
But we here at BFTV have a particular soft spot for Maggie, because we've had the honor of working with her perhaps more than anyone else on Psych. And so we can personally testify to how wonderful of a person she is. When we were just starting out years ago, back when yours truly was writing these articles fresh out of the hospital, she was one of our first fans and she stayed one of our biggest supporters. Without her encouragement, this writer would've given up writing. Instead, she directly inspired three novels, and we've finished thousands of articles. So we owe her a debt of gratitude, even as she expressed her own for everything the last eight years have brought her.
As she prepares to send off Psych by celebrating with her fellow cast members, Maggie also had some parting words for the show's loyal fans. "Thank you," she enthused. "Thank you for the support and enthusiasm and dedication and love. We truly could not have done this without you. And I am forever grateful and forever changed because of it. A million thank yous."
The Psych series finale airs tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on USA, followed by a special series-ending aftershow. For more on Maggie, you can follow her on Twitter (@maggielawson). Our thanks to her, and the entire Psych cast and crew, for eight seasons of not only a wonderful show, but a great experience all around.