Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Tishri 28, 5775

'Medium' Cool … and Trailing Sparks

October 6, 2005 By:
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Glenn Gordon Caron
Patricia Arquette is a vision of determination and success.

And now she’ll be a vision in 3-D.

As the insightful star of “Medium,” NBC’s clairvoyant caper of a second-year drama, the newly anointed Emmy Award-winner proves her multidimensional dynamism every week; and on Nov. 21, viewers will need special glasses to keep their eye on her for a special event.

But they know to keep their eyes, too, on Glenn Gordon Caron, the Jewish series creator/ executive producer who’s made the show more real than most reality series.

Indeed, starring as the real-life Allison DuBois, the “Medium” cool upon whom the series is based, Arquette brings a Mother Earth energy to her role as sassy soothsayer. She can tell the future, and what she tells it is to mind its behavior.

It says a lot, too, about her producer that “Medium” has filled a niche in a Nietzsche world, where uncertainty is about the only certain headline viewers can wake up to each morning.

Yes, it says a lot about the producer … but don’t expect the producer to say that.

Zeroing in on the zeitgeist?

Zero intention, says Caron. The creator of TV’s landmark “Moonlighting” won’t shed light on the comet crater the series fills in a world of social insecurities.

“I’m not Machiavellian or didactic,” says Caron of what he is not trying to do. Capture the zeitgeist? How about just good ratings? “I’m arrogant enough to think that if I like it, others will.”

He’s in good company. A ratings star for the network, “Medium” provides that rare glimpse of a household in less than halcyon shape, in which a soccer Mom with ESP is drowned out by ESPN, and feels like she has to turn down the volume on the chaos around her.

She can instinctively find a girl buried in a barn … but find that damn remote?

Who knew such a series would be such a hit? Not its producer, who concedes he thought maybe “Medium” would run “for seven episodes.”

“I was completely surprised” and pleased at how “Medium” has done so well, concedes Caron. “Every week, I wonder if they’ll [the audience] show up.”

For this show, they certainly do. And it probably wouldn’t surprise the producer if a sizable portion of those doing so were Jews. Spiritual spins and other-worldly occurrences are nothing new to those who have studied Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.

With ghost whisperers and the supernatural providing preternaturally keen competition on other networks, does Caron really care? “It is flattering,” he says of those trying to serve as ghostbusters.

Who ya gonna call? These days, it’s “Medium,” say a number of critics and public alike of the show that mixes the spiritual and surreal. And since the small screen is all part of the big picture — well, that’s what makes “Medium” so meaningful. “You don’t have to be believe in mediums” to absorb this absorbing drama, says Caron.

Ignorance may be bliss, but tolerance is tantamount to making the world work. “It’s arrogant to suppose that we understand everything about how people perceive life.”

How to perceive “Medium”? The medium of TV at its best. u

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