As the series finale of “Medium” drew near, Allison DuBois continued to create negative publicity with her behavior on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Allison, her husband Joe and their three daughters are the inspiration for the one-hour TV series. Since the paranormal show shares such close ties with the real-life Allison DuBois, will her recent antics hurt the show’s legacy?
“Real Housewives” Drama
True to the franchise, the cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has ongoing strife. Camille Grammer hosted a dinner party to smooth things over with her castmates, but something went horribly wrong when one of her dinner guests, Allison DuBois, went over the edge.
Invited as a friend of Camille, Allison quickly became embroiled in the reality show drama. Brandishing an electronic cigarette, she spitefully made predictions about some of the dinner guests and warned Kyle Richards that her marriage would end. She professed her love for herself and said she knew exactly how and when Kyle would die and what would happen to her children. The angry, cursing woman was very different from the fictional Allison DuBois played by Patricia Arquette on “Medium.”
Allison DuBois Defends “Real Housewives” Appearance
Following the backlash from the episode, which aired in December, Allison blamed editing for her harsh behavior. In a Jan. 14 interview with TV Guide, she explained portions of the show were cut to make it appear as though she and Camille were the aggressors.
Creative editing, writing, staged scenes and acting can affect so-called reality shows, but that does not seem to be the case here. Regardless of whether Faye Resnick or Kyle Richards provoked her, Allison made some incredibly hateful, arrogant predictions that betray the spiritual values she seemingly associates with her gift.
Supernatural Powers Refuted
Despite her success as an author and medium, there is controversy surrounding the validity of her powers. A 2008 report in the Phoenix Newtimes News highlights questionable details and quotes people who directly contradict the claims made by Allison. Law enforcement and families of victims say she was not helpful in solving the high-profile cases mentioned in her books. However, the line is blurry as some of it simply comes down to one person’s word against another’s.
Parapsychologist Gary Schwartz tested Allison and concluded that she possesses supernatural powers. Unfortunately, his test results are questionable because he did not consistently adhere to strict controls and scientific guidelines
Does This Hurt “Medium’s” Legacy?
As a regular viewer, “Medium” stands, and sometimes fails, on its own merits. The biggest draw is Patricia Arquette’s star quality, the realistic children and the cast as a whole. Because of the contradictions, the pilot probably would not make it today, but the controversy surrounding the real-life medium does not sway my opinion of the fictional show. According to EW.com, 7.8 million viewers tuned in for the finale. The impact on Allison’s book sales, lecture tours and personal readings remains unclear.
The series finale of “Medium” aired on Jan. 21 and is currently available on CBS.com. Repeats of past seasons continue to air on Lifetime.
“Allison DuBois on the “Housewives” Dinner from Hell,” TV Guide
Megan Irwin, “There’s no good proof the real “Medium,” Allison DuBois, has ever cracked a case, but her fans don’t care,” Phoenix New Times
“A Critique of Gary Schwartz et al.’s After-Death Communication Studies,” CSI
James Hibberd, “Fringe Makes Friday debut, doesn’t drop in ratings!”, Entertainment Weekly