Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Medium" Rant

I must be some sort of masochist, because in spite of what I'm about to write, I continue to watch the TV show "Medium."

Haven't seen the show? The premise is that a woman, Allison, has psychic dreams that lead her to solving crimes. She works for the DA doing just that - using her gift to help solve crimes. She is married to a man, Joe, who is an engineer (real smart guy) and they have three daughters.

I started watching the show because of my odd sleep schedule. It was on Lifetime after midnight - two episodes per night. I guess I got hooked. I believe I've seen every episode now, and I'm watching the new episodes as they air on CBS on Fridays. I think I'm now qualified to point out a few annoyances I've developed about the show.

First, Allison has to be just a tad dumb. Untrainable is a better word, I think. The show has been going on for five years, now, and the time frame has kept up. That is, it has been five years on the show as well as five years in real life. Yet, in five years of having her psychic dreams she hasn't yet fathomed that there are some dreams she can do nothing about. Let me explain by way of example. In last night's episode her first dream involved an unknown young woman trapped by fire in an unknown building at an unknown location. And yet, the first thing she did when she woke up was grab her cell phone so she could call someone about the tragedy. Even I, the casual observer, know enough to check her dreams carefully for clues. She hasn't caught onto this yet. She still needs Joe, her husband, to talk her through the logic.

Along the same lines, how many times has Allison told the DA, Devalos, about something like this - something neither of them can do anything about? Too many. It's easy enough for me to figure out. Why is it so difficult for someone to whom it actually happens? And who is psychic, no less!

Next, another item that Allison hasn't learned in five years: She is still quite inconsiderate about waking up her husband. Show fans already know that Joe has had sleep issues many times, and has complained about lack of an uninterrupted night's sleep an equal number of times. And yet Allison will still wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him something that clearly could have waited until later that morning. Is she clueless, or just one of the most inconsiderate characters on TV?

Third, Joe is very aware of what "inconveniences" come with Allison's psychic gift, and yet he still whines a lot. Why is he still whining? Why hasn't he learned to deal with it, understand it, and support his spouse? These are two people who seem to love each other and who have a strong relationship. If this were my malebashing website, I'd call Joe a "typical male." But I really don't think he is. I think he is an extraordinary husband and his whining is just out of place. Is he untrainable, as well? I think so.

Finally, we know that Allison's dreams always end up meaning something. (At least, the ones we've seen always do.) But Joe continues to convince her that the early dream(s) is (are) meaningless. What he really needs to say is, "Honey, this is most likely just the first in a series of dreams in which the meaning will become clear as the dreams progress. So go back to sleep and dream some more." But he never says that. And she never thinks that.

I know. I know. You're going to say that it all happens in order to move the plot along, or to make the show more interesting. Maybe. Probably. But it still makes the characters seem a little clueless, no? Maybe the writers want the viewers to feel smarter than the characters. It worked for me.

There's undoubtedly more about the show that annoys me (I haven't even mentioned the daughters), but these are the things I wrote down while watching last night's episode.  Perhaps I'll blog about them in the future.

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