"Psych" is a mixed bag - snappy jokes mixed with painfully flat attempts at humor, and imaginative strides followed by tedious formula.

"Psych" is a mixed bag - snappy jokes mixed with painfully flat attempts at humor, and imaginative strides followed by tedious formula.

I understand it's a lighthearted procedural aimed at a broad audience, but last season's cheeky, brilliant Hitchcockian finale proved the show can tackle a larger story arc - when it tries to.

Instead, "Psych" mostly relies on the chemistry between James Roday and Dule Hill. Granted, the two are enjoyable to watch, and Hill plays a great straight man, but they don't generate much plot to fill in the space between bad jokes.

Last night's season five premiere only indicates more procedural on the docket. Sean (Roday) and Gus (Hill) take on a case involving the Chinese Triad, while the police - with Sean's father (Corbin Bernsen) aboard - tell them to stay away. Karate and kung fu references ensue, along with some poorly conceived slapstick action.

It's mostly the same old stuff. Only Sean's on-again, off-again romance with Detective O'Hara (Roday's real-life girlfriend, Maggie Lawson) has legs.

Unless "Psych" grows into a serialized procedural hybrid (like USA's superior "Burn Notice" and "White Collar"), I'll only be anticipating the season finale.