On TV: Medium
Medium's jump from NBC to CBS commences tonight with the sixth season premiere episode "Deja Vu All Over Again," which sees a relatively quick return to normalcy for research medium Allison DuBois (Patricia Arquette) after she recovers from a three-month coma. This follows a breakneck fifth season where the sullen protagonist's soul transferred into a dude named Todd. Fancy! Now she's back on her feet, making risky efforts to return to work, and wondering what happened to her psychic power.
Fans of the series won't be shocked to hear the following: Patricia Arquette is still excellent. The Emmy-award winning actress plays her newfound paralysis (her left side, including her hand and leg, don't function) with great ease. Even better, as she discovers that she still retains a glimmer of her original powers, she shows sides that are so believably resolute and frustrated that, for a few seconds, the show doesn't feel like science fiction. That brings to light another strength of Medium -- its ability to navigate real and unreal worlds and arrive at a place chockablock with human stakes. Allison's husband Joe (Jake Weber) also has a wonderful scene where he considers whether "the old Allison," with her harried clairvoyance, is actually better than her less-paranormal current self.
The mystery that peeks through in the new episode is twisty and chilling, as both an affair and a strange attack come to light. My only complaint with it is the near-absence of Allison's psychic kids (Sofia Vassilieva, Maria Lark, Madison and Miranda Carabello), who rank among the most tolerable (even lovable) scene-stealing children in recent memory. Now that CBS is inundating its airwaves with ads for Medium, maybe the series's new network will justifiably promote a show which very likely has another two seasons left in it. No one expects Medium to be hip -- that's why they moved it to Friday nights on CBS -- but this is the sort of mature, stately drama that sufficiently compensates for the network's overshot new crime offering.