Sunday, October 23, 2011
Medium vs. the Mentalist?
Medium versus The Mentalist?
After several years, Medium was cancelled, despite good ratings. The Mentalist is not a good substitute.
The Mentalist couldn't do without ghosts either. Ghosts are his foils, red herrings to eliminate, tricks of dark light to illuminate and dispel. Folks wait through the barrage of commercials for him to finally put the got in his gotcha, a logical ending, no inconclusive waiting for Godot.
As for Medium, writers come and go, some episodes were very good and some were terrible, but for at least a couple of its years on the air, it was one of the best-written and most literary crime shows to be found. The Halloween shows were always good, and I wish they would rerun them. I remember the one featuring Elvira.
To solve crimes in life, give me a logical detective. For fictional media entertainment, give me Medium. The Mentalist is sometimes smart, but Medium was more often wise.
Medium also had a more ironic sense of humor, and The Mentalist never approaches the transcendant of humanism, even in the best episodes that I've seen of it (and we do not bother seeing every episode now). This lack is glaring at times, making its protagonist seem very shallow indeed, empty, an ego in a void, without any love other than an obsessive love of the past and an illogical need for revenge.
The mentalist/protagonist lives in denial of his ghosts. He is haunted by the past. Where is the past? It doesn't exist. It's gone. Yet the mentalist is obsessed with it and, worse, in denial of his obsession. These days, show after show now, the writers have him projecting revenge while simply exposing the con artists who pretend to be psychics, usually in a banal plot linked with kidnapping and murder.
Badly written fluff. The cliched repetition is getting old, fellas. It is high time the mentalist got smart, got real, and took stock of himself.