|Medium: The Complete Second Season (2005)
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Jake Weber, Miguel Sandoval, David Cubitt, Sofia Vassilieva, Maria Lark
Patricia Arquette may have won the Emmy for her role as Allison DuBois, but in the grand scheme of things, “Medium” is a show that tends to fly under the mainstream radar much of the time, and the fact that its season premiere was – like “Scrubs” – pushed back to November hasn’t exactly helped things any. Even worse, now that reruns of the series are being aired on the Lifetime network, it’s poised to be written off as a “chick” series as well. Bullshit, I say. “Medium” is one of the most consistently solid shows on television today, full of strong acting, great writing, and some of the creepiest moments outside of a Stephen King novel.
If you read the Season One review, you already know the premise of the show, but to sum it up in one sentence, Allison DuBois is a loving wife and mother of three who possesses psychic abilities and uses to them to assist the Phoenix D.A.’s office in solving crimes. It’s just as much of a crime show as it is a family drama; the easy chemistry between Arquette and her TV husband, Joe (Jake Weber), continues to result in one of the most believable marriages on television, and the young actresses who play the two oldest DuBois children – Sofia Vassilieva (Ariel) and Maria Lark (Bridget) – continue to own their roles as well. The second season continues to expand on Joe’s work and the kids’ lives at school, particularly Ariel’s, now that she’s hitting her teens. Weber gets a few episodes where he’s a major star, including one where Joe serves on a jury for a case that Allison’s boss is prosecuting, as well as when one of Joe’s old flames turns up and Allison finds herself having a vision of Joe’s college one-night stand with the woman. (“Oh, that is SO not fair,” he reasonably argues.)
A few characters return from Season One, including Arliss Howard as Texas Ranger Kenneth Push, whose cliffhanger ending at the end of last season is quickly wrapped up in Season Two’s opener. Allison’s brother comes by for another visit, as does the spirit of 19th century murderer Dr. Walker. The big guest spot, however, was from the show’s executive producer, Kelsey Grammer, who shows up as…wait for it…the Angel of Death.
Season One of “Medium” was great, and Season Two is just as good…though it’s docked half a star for resorting to having a 3D episode as a rating stunt. Kudos, though, for at least including two pairs of glasses in the box set, so buyers can enjoy the experience, anyway. There’s every reason to believe that Season Three will continue the trend, so stay tuned.
Knowing full well that the fanbase for this series is a diehard one, the producers of “Medium” must’ve called in all their favors to get a really nice package of special features. In addition to multiple cast and crew commentaries scattered throughout the discs, we also get four featurettes and a gag reel. The featurette that summarizes the events of the season is extremely well done, incorporating interview footage from what feels like virtually every actor, actress, writer, director, and producer involved in the show; it provides a really nice look at the season’s episodes that, unlike a lot of these summations, is actually illuminating. The story of the 3D episode is about as so-so as the episode itself, but it’s interesting to hear that Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens had an indirect hand in its creation. The look at the actresses who play the DuBois daughters is very nice, but the Q&A with the cast and crew from the Museum of Television and Radio is really disappointing, in that it’s barely a snippet that evening’s proceedings.