Every show based on our love for watching the antics of comically-irresponsible boy-men (or child-adults) runs into this problem, if it goes past the 39-episode length of The Honeymooners. After a while, our pleasure in identifying with their “getting away with it” turns into resentment that they are getting away with it.
Seinfeld tried to give ultimate resolution to the issue by putting its irresponsible child-adults into jail–making them face real-life consequences for remaining irresponsible. And audiences howled. (Many in the audience, anyway.) The jail time was too much punishment.
But withholding punishment altogether, over too long a run, doesn’t work well, either–a lot of people have simply stopped watching The Simpsons, for example. Homer’s eternal child-man antics are simply ignored by many.
So far, The Big Bang Theory is doing as good a job as any show in making this dynamic work. Maybe it’s something to do with having a larger number of child-adults cavorting around, instead of merely one (as with Shawn Spencer or Homer Simpson). Or maybe it’s due to the childlike characters having some genuine competence in some areas of life (their jobs)–a feature distinguishing BBT from Seinfeld. No one was really good at any ‘life skill’ in that show–Jerry’s standup career wasn’t as impressive as his real-life one; neither George nor Elaine could hold on to a job; Kramer didn’t even try. And none of them could sustain a romantic relationship.
Anyway, yes: the Psych people are probably wise to call it a day. I’ll miss the show, though.
(gad, I do go on…)