The following article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as scholarly research or as a final authority on the subject.
Welcome to Friday’s Bitter End. Today’s topic deals with real-life stories on TV. And, as an added bonus, there’s a little paranormal thrown into the mix.
Movies based on a true story are commonplace. Most of the true stories on TV come in the form of reality television. And we all know how much reality is involved in reality television. I am not familiar with many fictional television shows actually based on real people. But today, we’re going to talk about one.
I missed Medium when new episodes were airing on TV (NBC). Only recently did I discover Medium on Netflix streaming. Though the show has its shortcomings, I quickly got interested in the format and in the characters. I am now in Season 5 of Medium. I watch an episode every day during my lunch break.
About the Show
Medium centers on Phoenix, Arizona wife, mother, and medium Allison Dubois (played by Patricia Arquette) who works as an “independent contractor” for the Phoenix District Attorney’s office. Allison uses her abilities, which manifest in the form of dreams, to help solve crimes — usually murders.
[Fun factoids: Actress Patricia Arquette won an Emmy for her portrayal of Allison Dubois. Glen Gordon Caron, who created Moonlighting, did the scriptwriting.]
The show also delves into Allison’s relationship with her husband, Joe, and their three young daughters. It features a cast of lovable characters. Even when the mystery is not terribly complex, watching the interpersonal story lines advance makes up for it.
As I said, I am nearing the end of Season 5. All this time, I never imagined Medium is based on a real person. Sometimes I surprise myself with my own ignorance.
The Real Allison Dubois
The TV show Medium is said to be based on Allison Dubois’s book Don’t Kiss Them Goodbye. The book reveals Allison’s experiences working as a profiler for law enforcement and discusses what it’s like to have the gift she has.
The real Allison Dubois is much like the one portrayed on TV. She has a husband named Joe who is an aerospace engineer. The couple has three daughters and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Some facts about the real Allison:
- Allison refers to herself as a “medium and profiler” because of the negative connotations associated with the word psychic.
- She became aware of her talent at the age of six.
- Allison has said that, while every episode of Medium was not a biography of her life, it was based on her real-life experiences.
- Unlike the TV Allison, whose visions come to her in dreams, the real Allison’s visions come to her while she is awake.
[Unfun Factoid: Allison made a controversial appearance on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Click here to watch a short clip of that appearance. To read more about that appearance click here and here too.]
The Bitter End
I’m not going to get into the veracity of Allison Dubois’s talents as a medium. And I’m certainly not going to get into her appearance on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The bottom line for me is that Allison has an interesting life, and I think that is the point of living. She had a whole TV show based on her life–one that ran for seven seasons. Not just anybody can claim that kind of notoriety.
If you’ve never watched Medium and enjoy fictional shows that feature the paranormal, give it a try. Some episodes are mediocre, some are hair-raising, and some of them have made me cry.