Saying goodbye to Medium, the surprisingly Jewish television show that perfectly captured the realities of parenting, the depths of grief, and the joys of everyday life
Medium, which ended its seven-season run last week, was a show about ghosts, the afterlife, and general spookiness. But what it was really about was the messiness of family life. It presented the challenges of parenthood—funny, irksome, intimate, quotidian—as worthy of attention. “Can you make it to make our daughter’s soccer game?” was as important as “Why has the ghost of a murder victim taken possession of our video camera?”
If you weren’t a Medium watcher, let me fill you in. The show’s heroine, Allison (Patricia Arquette) was a psychic in Arizona who worked for the Phoenix District Attorney’s office, helping to solve crimes. She had to juggle her psychic visions, her relationship with her engineer husband, Joe, and the needs of her three quirky daughters.
It’s ironic that a show about the paranormal was so, well, normal. Allison didn’t look like the cookie-cutter starlets populating the TV universe. She wasn’t a size 2. She never wore spike heels to a crime scene. Her house looked like a real home, with unfortunate blue-and-yellow kitchen tiles I’m certain she hoped to replace as soon as they could afford it. Her girls squabbled at the breakfast table, and not in an adorable smart-assed sitcom-sassy way. I loved the show’s depiction of a loving marriage in which the partners fought and made up and had the same arguments over and over. (“Allison! Maybe that was just a regular dream, not a message from beyond the grave!” Oh, Joe.) ( Read More )