When Psych joined the USA Network lineup in 2006, brick-and-mortar video rental stores were already on their way out in most American communities. Series creator Steve Franks, who co-wrote this week's Psych: The Movie with series star James Roday, took time out of the summer press tour for the film to help explain to PopCulture.com's younger readers just what a "Blockbuster Video" was anyway.
The rant was prompted by a reporter in the press room wearing a Blockbuster t-shirt, but the resultant explanation of the culture of the big-box video "rentailer" was perfect enough that it seemed like it was worth sharing.
"There was this thing called Blockbuster," Franks explained. "Most of our fans are too young to even know what Blockbuster was, but it was this great thing: you could go to the video store. You didn't have Netflix; you couldn't just go on your computer and download iTunes movies. You'd go to a video store and see what movies are still on the shelves, which led you to make terrible, terrible choices about videos and movies and you got to see all kinds of weird movies that you would never see in your life."
Video stores still exist, of course; areas that are not well-served by high speed internet still tend to have them, as do poorer communities in the U.S. where it is not a guarantee that most households are connected by their cable or fiber optic network.
Those neighborhoods likely still have some version of a ritual Franks went on to describe, before finally getting around to talking about Psych...
"It was a cultural thing," Franks said. "It was a meeting of the minds and people were in their pajamas and dirty shorts and they hadn't come out all day but they had to go down to Blockbuster to get a movie. It was a great, communal thing and I think the world is worse off for [losing] it — although I love Netflix, so maybe there's good in moving forward."
We guess so, although we still enjoy specialty rental shops like Atlanta's Videodrome and the hundreds of remaining Family Video locations around the country.
You can see Franks's comments -- and more about the film, which debuts this week on USA -- above. Later this week, Psych: The Movie will be reviewed in Emerald City Video, a podcast run by a group of people who used to work at a video store.
Psych: The Movie airs on Thursday, December 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.