Review of Medium

Medium (2005–2011)
"Afterlife"? What's that?
27 January 2006
"Ghost Whisperer" isn't the only series about a female medium to come along after "Medium" (although Jennifer Love Hewitt in dead-people-conversation mode has yet to arrive on these shores); just before BBC1 began its run, ITV1 launched a show about a blonde medium and her cases called "Afterlife." Factor in the fact that the main character in both shows is called Alison, plus ITV's long-standing belief that their audience thinks US shows don't exist for purposes other than grouting, and we may have one of the most suspicious cases of probable coincidence in TV history (see also "Teachers" and "Boston Public" - the former came along not long after the latter). Of course, this is only supposition.

What's fact, on the other hand, is how consistently watchable "Medium" is now it's in its second season. The pilot episode announced "There really is an Allison. Really," but that's as close to cheekiness as the series has gotten; there is indeed an Allison DuBois, but it's difficult to imagine she's glamourised for the purposes of television - her family life rings true from the off (children who aren't showoffs or obnoxious, husband who's a rock but hardly a wimp), and though Patricia Arquette's Emmy win was a surprise to many, she does provide a good anchor for the series.

Even better, she's not carrying the show on her own; not only are her fellow cast members all good (particularly Jake Weber and Miguel Sandoval) but the show's Phoenix setting is a good change from New York, LA and Chicago, and Glenn Gordon Caron and his crew of writers from "Dark Angel" rarely if ever let us down - they even allow Allison's psychic gifts to lead her wrong sometimes! The series' mix of real relationships and the supernatural makes for something impossible to believe comes from Kelsey Grammar's company (he did, after all, also give us "Girlfriends" and "In-Laws"), and with Mychael Danna's excellent theme music the show leaves just one question - why is it on at after 11pm on Tuesday nights?

Oh yeah, I forgot. It's American, like so many other shows on inaccessible slots or the smaller channels. I guess British TV powers that be are afraid more viewers'll realise which country makes the *real* best television in the world.
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