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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
Synopsis: Based on the book DON'T KISS THEM GOODBYE by real-life psychic investigator Allison DuBois, NBC's popular television series MEDIUM blends crime-drama with the supernatural for a smart and chilling spin on the detective genre. Patricia Arquette (TRUE ROMANCE, STIGMATA) stars as a fictionalized version of DuBois, a family woman and aspiring lawyer who has been haunted all her life by strange visions and dreams. When she realizes she has the capacity to communicate with the dead and to read minds, Allison puts her unique skills to work for a sympathetic district attorney (Miguel Sandoval) while depending on her husband (Jake Weber) and two daughters (Sofia Vassilieva and Maria Lark) for moral support. Dark, moody, and creatively original, the series' debut season is presented in its entirety with this collection of episodes.