NBC’s Medium: Not the TV of Old
A strange show all the way around... but I like it anyway.
I like the NBC series Medium starring Patricia Arquette. It’s about a psychic that helps the Phoenix, Arizona police catch criminals, usually murderers. Well, I say NBC because that is where the season finale ended this week and in a cliff hanger yet. Next fall it will pick back up on CBS because NBC dropped the show. Of course, it’s only natural that CBS would pick the show up for the next season because the CBS Television Studios division produces the show in the first place… um, even though it was first aired on NBC.
This is what I mean that this isn’t the old days of TV. In the old days CBS would not produce shows for NBC and any network that dumped a show that another network rescued — a rarity in and of itself — would not have allowed a cliff hanger for a season finale that would send viewers to the competition!
So, what of this odd show? Well, the whole series can be summed up by the word “consternation.” There’s consternation by the hero, Arquette’s Allison DuBois, who is always churned up about catching a criminal, the consternation of her boss trying to figure out how to actually bring in a criminal found through a psychic’s visions, the consternation of always suffering husband Joe who can’t figure out how to be a good father when he doesn’t know what crazy situation his wife will next get into, and the consternation of the three young DuBois daughters that are struggling both with growing up and growing up with certain annoying psychic powers of their own that they can neither control nor understand.
Oddly enough Arquette’s wooden and disconnected delivery seems to fit the character she plays, a woman that doesn’t know from one minute to the next if she is “seeing” someone else’s future or past, her own future or past or everybody’s present. And Hubby Joe, played by Jake Weber, is always in a dither about his role in the lives of his family since he is the only one without any powers of perception yet is still obligated to be the family protector and father figure that he is perpetually vexed to find he cannot easily achieve.
It isn’t all consternation and vexation, though. The love of family comes through and there have been some many moments of a sly sometimes dark humor underlying the series.
Anyway, the show is engaging and thought provoking without worrying too much about being overly “grounded” in reality, but just “normal” enough so as not to seem silly like “Charmed,” the teen witch series of several years ago, or other such fantasy shows.
So, all around, this show is a departure from “normal” TV. Not only is it fun and interesting but it breaks the usual TV mold of where it was produced, where it comes from, and where its going to. Likely this coming season will be its last, but if not, I look forward to watching it for as long as it lives.
…plus its one of the few shows my wife and I like enough to watch together. That never hurt MY “obligation to be the family protector and father figure,” I gotta say. At least it helps me promulgate the feeling that I am having time “with” my wife. And that is another thing that gripes me. We aren’t “with” each other, dang it. We are “with” the TV show! We just happen to be sitting next to each other.
Now, my own psychic powers are telling me to make sure my wife doesn’t read this posting.
Oh, and I apologize for the departure that this posting represents. I know this post isn’t about public policy or politics like every other post here is. But for some stupid reason I was moved to write it anyway.