Maggie Lawson is ready for a “Psych” out … again, actually.
The actress who has played police detective Juliet O’Hara for eight seasons on the USA comedy-mystery first said goodbye to the cast, crew and show when she finished her filming last year.
She’ll do so again Wednesday (March 26) when a live “Psych After Pshow” — a farewell special also featuring James Roday (Lawson’s beau in real life, too), Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson and others with whom she’s worked for so long — immediately follows the telecast of the series finale.
“It’s another way for us to come back together as people are going on to different things,” the friendly Lawson tells Zap2it. “It unites us once again, and it unites us with our fans once again. Sadly, it’s almost like another wave of grief, so the audience is sort of experiencing what we were experiencing.
“It was a while ago,” Lawson notes, “but it’s almost like we’re reliving it again, and it feels right. It feels like there should be this sort of moment where we can say ‘thank you’ back. The fans have been so dedicated and so supportive, they should be included in the celebration.”
The arc of Juliet also is being celebrated by Lawson: “We’ve been blessed with the time to grow, and the writers have done such a good job of picking up on who we are and where we want to go with the characters as well. Juliet went from being this wide-eyed newbie to a tough route, then a romantic route.
“I think she’s become a woman,” Lawson adds. “She’s grown up, and I feel like our writers have been with us the whole way. A lot of them have been with us since Season 1, and to have that sort of collaboration is almost unheard-of these days.”
Roday also has been one of those writers on many occasions, and a “Psych” director on several. “We couldn’t set up a romance [between Juliet and Shawn] right away,” Lawson says, “even though that was a long-term goal, so the first season, it was about what her role was.
“I have to say ‘Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast’ (the first ‘Psych’ story Roday wrote, with series creator and executive producer Steve Franks) will go down as one of my favorite episodes I’ve ever shot, and I have to give that credit to James. He saw that Juliet could go undercover and that I could play younger or older, and I think that set us on a trail of Juliet going overboard when she’s given a character to play.”
Lawson already has a new character in the works. She’s the lead in the CBS comedy pilot “Save the Date,” playing a woman who books a wedding site after drinking too much — then has to find a groom. Still, Lawson laments the short life of “Back in the Game,” last fall’s baseball-themed ABC sitcom that teamed her with James Caan as an estranged daughter and father.
“I was really excited to see where that was going to go,” she reflects. ‘”It’s too bad we couldn’t get further into it, because we had such a great time working together. It was a bummer.”
In all the shows she’s done lately, including “Psych,” Lawson reasons that “the comedy comes from reality, hopefully. I think that’s the approach to making something funny. I have to say I learned a lot of that on ‘Psych,’ finding the truth in something. I think that’s more important than to find the joke and jump on that. Life is funny.”