Over the years I have been obsessed with many different things, but my latest obsession (and the longest lasting) has been with the CW series, Supernatural created by Eric Kripke. The show revolves around two brothers, Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) as they drive around the country saving people and killing evil. Not evil people, per se, but evil things such as demons, vampires, the occasional Rougarou as well as creatures from urban legends. Their mother was killed by a demon and their father, John, became a hunter out of necessity and taught his boys the tricks of the trade. Now that John is gone, the boys have taken on the “family business.” If you haven’t figured it out yet, Dean is my favorite of the Winchester brothers.
Psych is on the USA Network and was created by Steve Franks. This show revolves around Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton Guster or Gus (Dule’ Hill). Shawn’s father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), was a police officer and trained Shawn from a young age to be observant in order to help him in a career of law enforcement. Unfortunately for Henry, Shawn did not become an officer of the law, but rather went from job to job until he and Gus tried being psychic detectives. Shawn uses his powers of observation to help the Santa Barbara Police Department solve crimes, all the time claiming to be psychic.
Please do not get me wrong, Supernatural and Psych are two totally different shows, but the main characters are rich and they both “hunt” evil. So I feel the comparisons are, at least, a little bit believable. Here goes.
For Dean, family is everything. He has given up everything for his family, especially for his little brother. Although in the sixth season, Dean had a normal family for a short time (about a year), but life prior to that was all about hunting and taking care of Sam. He has made the ultimate sacrifice for his family. In fact, he sold his soul to a demon to save Sam’s life. That’s loyalty.
Shawn, on the other hand, loves his family in a typical American fashion. He and his father fight a lot of the time, but you can tell there is much love between the two. There are no siblings that I am aware of. Shawn’s mother, Madeleine (Cybill Shepherd), has appeared in a few episodes and there is a deep connection there too. They may fight, but they can always count on each other and that is what is important.
As far as family goes, both characters are devoted to family, so it is a tie.
Dean’s job is hunting evil. The pay is terrible (actually non-existent), the hours suck, and it is virtually thankless. Dean gets by financially doing credit card scams and faking out opponents at pool. It is a lonely life and many times he turns to alcohol and one night stands (in the first five season anyway) to try to fill the void. Many times he is sad, depressed and on the verge of just giving up but he keeps going because he is saving people.
Shawn helps the Police Department solve crimes not as a psychic but because of his keen sense of observation. Gus and Henry know that Shawn is not really psychic but everyone else thinks he is. That has to create, in Shawn, a bit of loneliness in that he cannot be totally honest with those around him. For the most part, I believe Shawn loves what he is doing because it allows him not to have to work in another job where work would be expected. Plus, when he solves the crime, he is the “big man.”
Both Dean and Shawn save lives, albeit in different ways, so both jobs are important and this category is a tie.
Dean is loyal to a fault and I do not just mean to his brother. Dean is loyal to what friends he has; Bobby, Cas, Jo, Ellen, Ash, and Pamela – okay most of his friends have met with horrible deaths, but Dean is still loyal. He is loyal to the cause and loyal to the promise he made to his father to take care of Sam. Once he trusts someone, he will do anything to save them.
Shawn is loyal to his core group also. There are the police detectives he works with; Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Juliet or Jules (Maggie Lawson), Police Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) and now his father who has been hired as a consultant. They may bicker back and forth, but all the characters are very protective of one another. It reminds me of the crew of WKRP in Cincinnatibecause they would always fight amongst themselves, but if an outsider did or said anything to hurt one of them, the rest of the crew came to their rescue. I always try to use that as my gauge.
Both characters are loyal to a fault, so again it is a tie.
Dean has the sweetest 1967 Chevy Impala that is a character of the show along with the brothers. She is an amazing piece of Detroit engineering. It is amazing that such a huge car with its four doors could be sexy, but it is!!
As far as I can ever tell, Shawn does not even own a car as they always use Gus’ or his dad’s pick up truck. Hands down, Dean wins this category with his beautiful “Baby.”
Dean loves the classics of rock and I love him for that. Cue Bad Company during a love scene or AC/DC in an on-the-road scene and you cannot go wrong. The use of music in this entire series has always been just great. The last two seasons, due to the storyline of the apocalypse, have not been as good but other than The Doors’ The End what goes with the apocalypse?
Shawn makes lots of references to 80s music which was good then and fun to remember now. I, personally, love the music from the 70s. I have to give this one to Dean.
Dean, due to the nature of his work, has been confronted by demons and angels. He has seen both Heaven and Hell. Yet, he still cannot believe that he can have salvation. He cannot believe in faith or living for things that cannot be seen. Too much evil has touched his life; I do not think he can rationalize the evil in the world in relation to a caring God. I hope that somewhere down the line he is able to see God’s true nature and accept it. I am not sure how that will end.
Psych is not that type of show. Religion does not come up. So this category is nil for both characters for the time being.
Dean has said on a couple of occasions that he has a “GED and a can-do attitude.” Dean downplays his intellect because he does not have the confidence in himself to show it. Once in a while, he will surprise Sam and say or reference something unusual for Dean. I am sure that Sam going to college may help Dean feel somewhat inferior intellectually, but I feel Dean is very intelligent; if not in just street and common sense.
Shawn is similar to Dean in this category, I think. Shawn relies on Gus to bring “out the smart.” But I think it is simply because being the smart one would take too much energy and Shawn is not really about expending a lot of excess energy. It is simply easier this way, but under it all I think he is another extremely intelligent character.
Since both characters are so insecure this way, neither one wins this category. Come on guys, realize your potential!
Food and Drink
Dean loves bacon cheeseburgers and beer. I love that about him. No salads or tofu for him. He does not apologize for his eating habits either. Dean is such a guy when it comes to food and drink. The way he throws back a shot is hot.
I have read that Shawn’s favorite topping on ice cream is Cheerios. I have seen him eat ice cream, candy bars, potato chips and other tasty junk foods. I have rarely seen him eat anything of nutritional value, which I always admire! I am a junk food junkie and love my favorite characters to be also.
Since both diets are pretty bad, I give this category to both characters!
Dean spent the first five seasons, with exception of Cassie (who once we met never heard from again), having one-night stands. I believe he was trying to fill the voids in his life with meaningless sex. That is not to say that the women he was with hated it. Just the opposite, most seemed extremely satisfied with the outcome. Dean was the one longing for love and did not find it until he revisited Lisa and her son, Ben. In Lisa, he was able to find the family life he longed for. But in retrospect, did he really enjoy the domestic life or did he long for the freedom of the road? I think that will be answered toward the end of Season 6 because he is going to have to come clean, at least, to himself.
Shawn may have had girlfriends in the past seasons but, in my opinion, there is no one but Jules. They are made for each other and that is it. I will not accept anyone but Jules being with Shawn.
At least both characters have met their true loves, whether they ever complete the deal is still open to options. Until both are happy, neither can win this category.
Looks like a pretty even race. If there was a leader it would be Dean, but Shawn is pretty close. Since the two characters are so different, I will have to determine this comparison a tie. Dean is awesome, plain and simple while Shawn is delightful and funny.
Thank you for reading this comparison and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. Be sure to watch Supernatural on the CW Fridays at 9 pm and Psych on Fridays at 10 pm on USA (you may want to check your local schedule to be sure of the times and dates).