OCD TV: ‘Medium’
It’s hard to believe that TV season is almost over and the summer schedule is about to begin. I feel overwhelmed with season finales. One show that has been dragging out its season finale for three weeks now is “Medium.” “Medium” has my favorite opening credits on television, with the Hitchcockian music and a psychedelic version of the Rorschach test. The show itself has fairly simple story lines, sometimes to the extent of over-explaining, but is saved from it’s simplicity with surprisingly good acting and a great sense of a real-life family.
We’ve all heard of psychics aiding police detectives in murder cases when the police are at a dead end (this show is even based on the real Allison Dubois, a medium who claims to have assisted the police on many cases), but in “Medium” they cut all the unnecessary corners and the psychic works directly with the D.A.’s office, giving clues to the police to help solve cases. She also helps pick jurors by psychically knowing their true feelings and emotions, which I find to be slightly unfair to the defense. It doesn’t matter, though, because that part’s boring anyway. I just want her to solve gruesome murders.
If you’re psychic, you already know what comes after the jump…
Patricia Arquette plays Allison Dubois, the medium extraordinaire with sometimes startling haircuts. This season she seems to be a medium/flapper and in previous seasons her bangs were so heavy that her eyebrows must have been crushed under the weight of them. However, it’s nice to see an actress who looks much more like a regular mom, who coincidentally happens to have a good wardrobe and make-up than say, the women of “Desperate Housewives” whose wombs couldn’t hold a child unless it could survive on a diet of cigarettes and Diet Coke.
Her husband, Joe, is played by Jake Weber and can somebody please tell me how I missed this guy until now? He’s awesome! I looked at his credits and he has been working forever and he’s good! I even like him with his floppy brown hair that on most guys his age, would make him look like the creep who hangs out by the liquor store and buys underage kids alcohol just to hang out with them. But on him, it works. Then there’s the Dubois kids and the only actor on this show who I absolutely CANNOT stand, Sofia Vassilieva, who plays the oldest daughter Ariel. Oh my God, every time that kid opens her mouth, I want to punch it shut. Surely there are a million other blond pre-teens who could have played the part that wouldn’t cause such a violent reaction from people. She just really, really, really, REALLY bothers me.
But then, Maria Lark playing the middle child, Bridgette, appears on screen and everything’s OK. My blood stops boiling and all of a sudden I feel pure joy. Everything about her makes me happy: her crazy tangled hair, giant pumpkin head and the best line delivery on TV. That kid rocks. I admit I may be a little biased because truthfully she reminds me so much of myself at that age. I too had knotted blond hair that stuck up at impossible angles, a big round head and body to match (my affectionate nicknames were Pumpkin and Tank), and while I didn’t get to deliver lines, I delivered my share of jokes from a joke book that I memorized back to front. I’m sure my parents found those jokes just as funny the 12th time as the did the first time they heard one. What goes 99 plonk? A centipede with a wooden leg. See! Hilarious twenty-odd years later! So yeah, I get Bridgette and her awesome weirdness. What I don’t get is the third kid who as far as I can remember has never had a line and serves no purpose on the show other than to be fed and carried around. She’s probably tax deductible.
Lastly, two other actors who play integral parts of the show are D.A. Manuel Davalos and Detective Lee Scanlon played by Miguel Sandoval and David Cubitt. I bet you can guess who plays what. Both of these guys are solid actors, who play great supporting cast roles. The roles themselves are a little one note, with the D.A. always as calm and collected as a horse on tranquilizers and the cop short-tempered, gruff and a cynic even though he’s seen Allison solve his cases for him numerous times. I always find it amusing that he lets Allison poke around murder scenes by herself and take items from the scene of the crime, but hey, a little suspension of disbelief is necessary in a show about talking to dead people.
Unfortunately, season three of Medium has finished, but if you haven’t seen it and have an interest in psychic abilities, pumpkin headed children and solving murders that really aren’t scary in any way, check out the reruns this summer on NBC or online now at nbc.com.