MEDIUM: THE THIRD SEASON
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Glen Gordon Caron
What's it about
A suburban mom has the ability to see the future through her dreams and does what she can to solve murders.
Is it good movie?
It’s always somewhat difficult to review a show that you’ve never seen. Usually, I never attempt to do outset research because if the show claims success, than a viewer should not be forced to watch from day one. The ability to jump into a show at anytime becomes how shows survive. You gotta make room for the newbie. With that said, I leaped aboard with Medium: The Third Season with its’ two-part season premiere co-starring Thomas Jane. It didn’t take long to figure it out, but a few elements surprised. For one, the show seems an odd combo as the show alternates between strong language, extremely violent scenes (for network TV) and Allison Dubois suburban family life. She has the quirky, lovable husband, the three perfectly cute daughters, and the giant, luxurious home. At times, it feels the show just isn’t sure what it wants to be. Medium basically is a combination of CSI and a family drama. And at times, that feels downright awkward.
After watching a few episodes, it became clear how formulaic the show seems. Now I know all shows rely on a formula. They all do. It’s how producers create 22 episodes a year with a variation of the same idea. But how many times can Allison wake up claiming, “I had a bad dream. And people died!” Everyone around her then claims she’s simply crazy and never takes her seriously. At first. And then as the D.A. (the very good Miguel Sandoval) or the standard detective (David Cubitt) investigate the case, they seem to always find that Allison might have been right after all!
At the same time, Medium suffers from a serious case of the ‘duhs’. Some of the mysteries are so obvious that the producers might as well use the Columbo approach and just show us the crime being committed and then concentrate on how Allison and her team put together a case. I don’t know how many times I did the full eye roll as clues stared directly at the cast and they just stood there, looking blankly at the scene until someone points out evidence. “Look. Could that be a clue?” Duh.
The complaints listed above were my only true annoyances (ok, I guess I did have a few). The family aspect is quite likeable (even though it seems an awkward balance) and the acting, for the most part, is very good. I’ve always dug Patricia Arquette and she’s an excellent lead for this type of show. Sandoval is great in a supporting role and Arquette’s family seems picture perfect. Maybe too perfect.
Video / Audio
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Audio Commentary: Available on three episodes, they include a variety of people but no Arquette. What gives with that?
Deleted Scenes: A number of deleted scenes on seven different episodes, but as always, they are for hardcore fans only. There’s usually a reason scenes are cut.
Drawing on Dreams: A look at the animated sequence from the season premiere. How can’t anyone love a look at the lives of animators?
Directing with David Arquette: A candid look at how Patricia’s brother got a gig directing an ep on her show. A must for Arquette nuts, if they exist.
Acting is my Request: Quite funny look at Sandoval playing tennis with his co-stars, and how they can relate it to acting. DVD’s need more of this sort of humanizing aspect.
The Story of Medium, Season 3: A good behind the scenes that focuses on the storylines for the third season and how the characters evolved and the storylines progressed.
Gag Reel: Gag reels are always fun, especially with kid bloopers.
The Making of Medium: About 25 minutes of behind the scenes look at, you guessed it, the making of the show. Very good stuff as it explains the special effects and how the show is put together, from directors to writers to actors to special effects guys.
If viewers are in search of a likeable show that doesn’t require a lot of thought but has good characters and good storylines, then Medium might have been tailor-made for ye.