Medium - Season 1 [DVD]
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All 16 episodes from the first season of the American paranormal television drama. Patricia Arquette stars as Allison Dubois, a young woman who has, since childhood, experienced strange dreams and visions of the dead. Taking up a position as an advisor to the police, Allison risks her life to help the dead find justice. In this series, Allison suspects that she has helped to put the wrong man on death row, investigates the supposed suicide of a young woman who was having an affair with the DA, and has a horrific dream of her brother's death in battle. Episodes are: 'Pilot'; 'Suspicions and Certificates'; 'A Couple of Choices'; 'Night of the Wolf'; 'In Sickness and Adultery'; 'Coming Soon'; 'Jump Start'; 'Lucky'; 'Coded'; 'The Other Side of the Tracks'; 'I Married a Mind Reader'; 'A Priest, a Doctor and a Medium Walk into an Execution Chamber'; 'Being Mrs O'Leary's Cow'; 'In the Rough'; 'Penny for Your Thoughts'; and 'When Push Comes to Shove'.
It's not a coincidence that Medium represents not only Glen Gordon Caron's best TV work since Moonlighting but also his most successful siege on the American ratings since the 1980s heyday of the latter show. In an interview included in this five-disc set (which contain all 16 episodes from the first season, in addition to bountiful bonus features), the writer-director-producer confides that the series was partly inspired by films like Something Wild and Married to the Mob, in which director Jonathan Demme achieved a balance of what Caron calls "the serious and the frivolous." Medium also contains elements of Moonlighting and another Caron creation,1999's underrated Now and Again; there are echoes of The Sentinel and The Dead Zone as well, not to mention a hefty dose of The Sixth Sense. So while it's not what you'd call unique (then again, what on TV is?), Medium nevertheless provides engaging, rewarding entertainment.
Patricia Arquette stars as Allison DuBois, whose skills as both a medium (i.e., she sees dead people) and a psychic (she can fairly accurately read minds and predict future events) make her an invaluable help to the Phoenix district attorney (Miguel Sandoval). But like most characters possessed of extraordinary powers, Allison isn't entirely comfortable in her own skin; plagued by awful nightmares (one of which kicks off every episode), she tends to become cranky and depressed, has a hint of a drinking problem, and regularly gets into it with her supportive but skeptical husband, Joe (Jake Weber). Those are the very characteristics that make the show consistently watchable. Although one might wish that she would find herself in real danger more often as she deals with everything from necrophiliac serial killers and air crashes to ghosts and child molesters, Caron focuses less on special effects and police procedure than on Allison's humanity, including her efforts to balance work and family responsibilities (sub-plots involving her young daughters are usually effective, if sometimes a bit too cute). It's the stories and the writing that make Medium work; Caron, in fact, is the show's real star. --Sam Graham
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Top customer reviews
Patricia Arquette is very believable in the role. She portrays Allison Dubois as a relatively normal family-oriented woman, with ordinary aspirations and everyday problems, but extraordinary powers of perception which she has long-struggled to repress, before finally embracing them once she realises how they can benefit both the living and the dead.
The fact that the story resists the typical Hollywood temptation to sensationalise, and is instead effectively grounded by the contrastingly familiar routine of the Dubois home life is refreshing. Unlike most 'supernatural' dramas, there are no dazzling special effects and hocus-pocus nonsense; this is the journey of an otherwise normal mother and wife as she struggles to make sense and effective use of the 'gifts' she has been born with.
The entire cast is very strong, with Jake Weber a particular stand-out as the comforting anchor in the chaotic storm of his wife's unconventional career. Sofia Vassilieva and Maria Lark, portraying the elder Dubois children, also provide a delightful foil to the mayhem and murder in their mother's life, with Lark being especially compelling and adorably comic in equal turns. Miguel Sandoval is also well cast as the slightly gruff District Attorney Manuel Devalos, Allison's boss.
The premiere episode effectively sets the tone for the rest of the show and pulls you in from the very first scene, making it a great pilot that makes you want to watch the rest of the series. My only gripe was that I can't get the episode to play with the lip-synch running correctly. The dialogue is ever so slightly out of phase with the action. Hopefully this will not apply to the rest of the episodes.
This show was put in the "graveyard" slot (where else you may say) by the BBC and was treated very poorly. Why, when there is so much dross, is this show dumped there?
Four disc DVD region 2 set, there are no extras hence only 4 stars. Could they not at least put in an extra DVD with cast interviews or an interview with the real Medium.
However, am looking forward to the second series coming out on DVD (soon please) but note to distributor - please give us some cast interviews and extra stuff next time.
If you are looking for refreshingly crisp dialogue and some excellent acting then give Medium a try. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Bridgette especially!
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